Bambi spent the rest of the day wandering the savannah. He had contemplated going back to the forest but decided against it. "No one would recognize me and what else would I have there like this?"
He had been wandering around for a while and found nothing of particular interest. He had a drink at the pool of water but nothing to eat. He tried grass but it didn't satisfy him like it used to. Worrying thoughts kept creeping in his mind. "I don't know what I'm doing. What if I can't make it like this?" He tried to shake them but they just kept coming back.
He saw something moving in the distance. He couldn't quite make it out but he thought it looked like a bigger version of him. At least, in his current form. "Maybe he can help me!" he thought happily and made chase. "Excuse me!" he kept calling. The bigger lion didn't seem to hear him. Bambi tried to catch up but it was no use. The lion disappeared from sight.
Bambi stopped to catch his breath. His stomach was growling fiercely. He tried to eat some grass again; it helped but it still wasn't satisfying. The worrying thoughts kept repeating in his mind. Suddenly, a new thought struck him. "He's got to be going somewhere." It was something, at least so he started running in the same direction as the lion. Bambi found running oddly invigorating. The more he ran, the more something inside him began to build and it felt... good, proud even. All worry seemed to fade and he was starting to enjoy himself.
Then a grazing animal caught his attention. It looked like a deer but not quite. Bambi remembered how Simba had tried to pounce him, of course he was too busy dodging him to study what he was doing. "How hard can it be?" he thought. He crouched down and tried his best to stay hidden. When he thought he was close enough (he really wasn't) he jumped, yelling loudly. His yells quickly turned to unsure cries. He had jumped higher than he expected. His legs flailed wildly as he ungracefully landed with a flop just in front of where the now-scattering animal had been.
Bambi sighed to himself. He turned to leave and bumped into something big and furry. He looked up and saw another lion. He was much bigger than him and had a similar fur coloring. The big lion looked confused yet serious before softening his expression. "Hello," he said in a deep, smooth voice.
Bambi felt very uneasy. "H-h-hello," he stammered.
The big lion eyed him, interestedly. "What is your name?" he asked.
"Hm, Bambi. That's an unusual name."
"Well, I'm not usual," said Bambi. That was one way of putting it.
"Ah," said the lion, "That would explain your... pouncing methods."
"That was my first time trying, actually."
"You've never pounced before?" asked the lion, bemused. Bambi shook his head, looking defeated. The big lion smiled. "Well, we can't all start off as masters," he said, "So few do."
Bambi felt slightly comforted.
"Tell you what," continued the lion, "How would you like to learn?"
"Really?" asked Bambi. His tail lashed excitedly.
"Of course," replied the lion, "I've been looking for someone to take under my wing and teach them everything I know." He paused. "I think you could be that lion."
Bambi was excited. "I'd like that!" he said.
"Good. Now, we'll get you some food and a good place to sleep."
"Before we do," said Bambi, "You know my name. What should I call you?"
The big lion smirked. "Call me Scar."
For only just getting the hang of walking, Simba managed to run far. He ran across the savannah. He ran through the oasis (not noticing a confused meerkat and warthog). He didn't stop running until he reached the pond that bordered the forest. He probably would've kept going if he hadn't tripped on himself.
He looked into the pond and saw a lion staring back at him. He lashed at the water with his hooves. "Change me back!" he demanded, "You can't do this to me! I am not a deer! I. Am. A. Lion!"
Simba knew it was desperate but he had to try something. At last, his efforts slowed. "Please," he said, "I'm right there." And he just sat there, staring at what his life used to be. It didn't feel quite right but he wasn't ready to do anything else yet. Suddenly, his reflection started to fade away.
"Huh?" thought Simba, "What's happening now?" Then he heard voices.
"Are you sure that was Simba?"
"It was his coloring."
"Sure but other than that, it didn't really look like him."
Simba recognized them at once. "Timon? Pumbaa?" he thought, "I can't let them see me like this. Can I?" He took a few clumsy steps back. He was now definitely over the forest border.
As Timon and Pumbaa came closer, they, the oasis and the pond faded more and more.
"Hey, what's that?" asked Pumbaa.
"What's what?" replied Timon. They're voices echoed and distorted.
"That." Pumbaa gestured towards Simba.
Timon squinted. "Ah, we're just seeing things," he said dismissively.
As they turned to leave, Simba took a deep breath. "No, you're not!" he shouted.
They suddenly stopped and at that moment, the pond vanished completely, taking the oasis, Timon and Pumbaa and Simba's old life with it. Everything felt like it drained from him. Had they heard him? Would they ever find out what happened to him? So many questions ran through his head as Simba stood there, shocked and alone in a completely new environment with a form that didn't belong to him.
Characters belong to Disney
Original art and concept by Sirzi (https://www.deviantart.com/sirzi)