Just a Haunch
Because life is a pain in the butt sometimes.
“Ow!!” squealed Simba, sending Nala jumping back with fright.
“I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” she pleaded. “I just can’t seem to get it out!” Simba sighed and looked behind him. His fuzzy rump was held tenderly in the air, and embedded deep within its fur was a rather malignant looking burr.
“Ohhh…” Simba moaned worriedly, “It’s just gotta come out, it’s just gotta!” Nala looked over the spiky protrusion on Simba’s posterior and squinted.
“It’s just a little burr, and I’ve got off all the other spikes.” she pouted, “Why do we have to get this off anyway?
“Duh!” Simba snapped, irate, “If mom sees this burr she’ll know we went to play in the patches again and will be real mad! The last thing I need is a cuffing with that thing stuck there!” The cub shook his rump violently, trying to dislodge the thing. Nala hrmphed softly.
“Well, if you hadn’t dragged us out there, it wouldn’t BE stuck there.”
“And if you hadn’t made me jump then I wouldn’t have landed on that patch!”
“But if you hadn’t suggested we play tag—” Nala’s voice was cut off immediately by the sound of a roar headed in their direction. Simba’s eyes grew two sizes and he looks at Nala worriedly.
“It’s my mom! She’s coming this way!” The cub panicked, twisting around in endless circles trying to get the burr.
“Simba! That’s not helping!” Nala chided, trying to get him to stop. Simba was so busy chasing his tail that he didn’t see Sarabi coming up in view. “Oh HI SARABI!” Nala said loudly, indicating to Simba that she was within view. Seeing no other option, Simba twirled around twice more, lightly bit his lip, then plopped directly on his seat.
“Hi mom!” he squeaked, the pain from the burr bringing a few quickly removed tears to his eyes. Sarabi lithely stepped into the area, smiling at the two cubs.
“Well hello, you two.” she crooned in a soft voice, “What are you doing way out here?”
“Nothing!” Nala piped up quickly.
“—Except playing around!” Simba added quickly, “You know, normal cub stuff, hee hee.” There was a sense of urgency in his voice that Sarabi picked up on immediately. The wise queen looked over her son curiously.
“Oh really?…” she said, the mischevious hint of skepticism creeping into her voice. Simba’s blood ran cold for a moment, she evidently wasn’t buying it. He squirmed nervously as he was apt to do when under interrogation, forcing the burr deeper into his tender flesh.
“Yeep! I mean, YEAH!” he said, offering up a giant grin. Nala took her cue and grinned back at Sarabi as well. When faced by the twin sets of cubby teeth, the queen’s eyes lidded. They were DEFINTELY up to something.
“Well, don’t let me disturb you.” she said, smiling quietly.
“Okay Sarabi!” Simba and Nala chortled, expecting her to leave. There was an uncomfortable moment of silence (more for Simba than anyone else) where Sarabi simply looked from direction to direction, not going anywhere. Nala leaned over and whispered softly to Simba.
“She’s not leaving!”
“I can see that!” Simba hissed back, the urgency creeping into his voice again. He squirmed nervously, letting out a yelp that was quickly covered. Sarabi looked back at the cubs plaintatively.
“Not playing again? I hope I’m not disturbing anything.”
“Of course not!” Nala said sweetly, “We were just, umm, err, just…”
“Enjoying a good rest!” Simba finished quickly, looking at Nala for support.
“Oh yeah!” she added, “Heehee, we’re kinda tired.”
“Then maybe I should bring you two back home…” the wise queen suggested coyly.
“NO!” both cubs squealed in unison, flattening Sarabi’s ears in surprise at such a strong response. Oh yeah, those two were really into something. Simba seemed to immediately recognize his mistake and toothily grinned to his mom.
“I mean, we just want to hang out here for a while. You know, get some fresh air, enjoy being away a little.”
“Yeah!” Nala added, getting kinda nervous, “Pride Rock is so BURRing sometimes, I mean BORing! Boring…” she corrected herself nervously. While Simba sent her the stare of death, Sarabi casually grinned. An interesting slip of the tongue indeed, especially for a cub who wasn’t supposed to be around the patch with burrs.
“Boring,” she said, seeming hurt at the insult to her home, “Why, whatever do you mean Nala?” The cub was put on the spot, much to her dismay.
“Umm,” she looked at Simba nervously, voice wavering offtone, “Well, we always seem to be stuck on our behinds there…” she started, “and um, um, we’ve played tag a lot near the spiky—err, I mean the stalks of plants there.” Simba looked to the sky with a ‘just shoot me’ expression, easily noted by Sarabi. He felt his hindleg quivering, the pain in his rump beginning to really hurt. A surprise visit from a grasshopper on his back made him jump, enough to dig the offending burr deeper into his end.
“YEEE!” he squealed, almost getting to his paws. Sarabi looked at him quizzically, especially as he seemed to forcibly hold himself to the ground, “I—I mean YEEE-HAW!” he said, trying to quickly explain away the pained reaction.
“Simba…” Sarabi said curiously, “why are there tears in your eyes?” Simba blinked quickly, not having noticed the tears leaking their way through.
“Well…” he said, trying to pass it off, “It’s just SUCH a beautiful day, don’t you think Nala?”
“Oh yes!” the cub agreed quickly, “Great day indeed! Not a care in the world!” They smiled at Sarabi again, Nala’s very earnest, and Simba’s wavering between wanting to scream out. The blasted thing seemed to have a mind of its own, because the burr shifted once more and pierced another spot on Simba’s already tender rump.
“YEE-OWWWW!!!” the cub finally shrieked, lifting about three feet into the air. He landed on his paws, throwing himself into a dizzying chase for the burr in his butt. “It hurts! It hurts! It hurts!!” Nala’s smile dropped down to horror as her friend gave them away. Sarabi watched Simba spin around several times, unable to hide a chuckle at her mischevious son. Eventually, the cub became so dizzy that he fell on his side, paws moving in the air without touching the ground.
“Why, Simba.” Sarabi said with mock sternness, “Is that a burr in your backside?” The poor cub couldn’t take the torture anymore.
“Yes it is mom! I’m sorry we went to the patch anyway after you told us not to because we were bored and just wanted a little adventure but I never expected that I would get a burr in my butt and you would come and I would sit on it and it would hurt so bad PLEASE get it out!!!” he sputtered all in one rapid spurt. Nala put a paw on her head.
“Guess he’s not the only one who won’t be sitting for a few days.” she sighed softly to herself. Sarabi, ever the resourceful, put a paw on her son’s side and tried not to giggle at the comic unfolding of events.
“Now son, I’ll pull it out on three.” Simba nodded frantically, bracing himself.
“One… Two…” *YANK!* out came the burr and Simba shot out from under her paw like a golden blur. The cub turned around and looked at his reddened rump with a whimper.
“What happened to three?” he uttered meekly.
“Three.” Sarabi finished, flicking the offending piece away. She leaned over and gently licked the tender area, a painful hiss coming from Simba. “It’s not that nice being deceived, is it?”
“No ma’am.” The two cubs sighed.
“Well, I’m glad to hear that.” she grinned, “I knew you’d learn your lesson in the end.” Nala giggled and Simba groaned.
“Umm, Sarabi?” Nala asked, “How did you know something was wrong with Simba?” The queen smiled benevolently.
“A mother knows these things, darling.” she answered, grinning to her son, “Let’s just say, I had a haunch something was up.” The two females giggled as the sore bottomed lion cub grumbled.