Exchange, Part 3 by stuffalso

Scar carried Bambi back to Pride Rock by the scruff. Bambi had never even had a scruff before and the sensation was a bit much. At least, at first; by the time they reached Pride Rock, he had gotten used to it.
The lionesses had just brought in food and eyed the new-comer. Some with intrigue, others with suspicion. They made Bambi feel very on edge.
"He's with me," said Scar firmly. The others visibly relaxed and offered Bambi some food.
He hesitated. This was his first proper meal as a lion. While he did appreciate the food, his new diet was... different.
He spent the night in the lion's den. Despite having no reason to fear the big cats around him, he couldn't shake a feeling of unease.
First thing the next morning, Bambi started his training.
"We'll need to start small," said Scar, "if your performance yesterday was anything to go by." He led Bambi to the back of the den. Something small and gray scurried across the floor.
"Catch it," demanded Scar.
Bambi was very unsure. He ran right into the den, roaring (pathetically). The mouse, startled, ran into a crack in the wall. Bambi tried to run after it and ran smack into the wall.
Scar rubbed his eyes and sighed heavily. Bambi shook himself from his daze. "I told you I'm new at this," he said.
"So you did," Scar replied, point blank. He composed himself and sat positioned next to the crack. "Keep still," he ordered. It wasn't long before the mouse poked out of the crack. Scar let it scurry around a little then pinned it down with his paw.
"There," he said, "Nothing to it." He tossed the mouse aside and once again, ordered Bambi to catch it.
Bambi sat poised and ready. His tail arched upwards. The mouse was running back to the crack. It was just about to disappear into the wall when Bambi slammed his paw down. He caught the mouse just by its tail.
Bambi smiled and let the mouse go. He was very pleased with himself. He looked at Scar. The big lion didn't look pleased at all. The only emotion he showed was a raised eyebrow. "Why didn't you eat it?" he asked at last.
"Uh... what?" Bambi was taken aback.
"That was your breakfast. Why didn't you eat it?" Scar was very insistent.
"Uh... I uh... wasn't hungry." It was the only thing Bambi could think of.
"Hm..." Scar stared coldly at his protege. "Fair enough," he said at last, "I want you to practice whenever you can."
With that, Scar left Bambi on his own. The new lion's thoughts began to swarm. He was willing to be a lion and understood that lions hunted for food. But something wasn't clicking with him.


Simba he no idea what to do now. He tried to wait to see if the pond would return.
After a while, it was clear that it wouldn't. "I just had to practice pouncing," he thought, bitterly, "Look where it got me. Look what it made me! I'm..." His thoughts were suddenly interrupted by a growl. He jumped suddenly. Then realized it was his stomach. By now, he was tired and hungry. He remembered Bambi had said something about grass and leaves. He was very tempted. He knelt his head down but stopped.
He was ashamed that he jumped at a growl and that he even thought about eating grass. "I am not prey!" he said out loud. He was determined to prove it, if only to himself.
He took a good look around him. The forest seemed thick with trees yet maneuverable. Nothing was going to happen if just stayed there. With that in mind, he began to explore.
He wandered around for a while and didn't find much. Suddenly, his ears flicked and he stood to attention. Through the trees, he could make out a familiar outline of deer.
He smirked. "That'll do," he said to himself. He crept up as close as he dared and tried to crouch to pounce. It was difficult with his new form and eventually, he gave it up.
"Oh well. I can still catch it, easily." He charged towards the deer. It looked at him but other than that, it barely flinched. Simba was just about to tackle the deer when it jumped out of the way. Simba skidded to a stop.
"What are you doing?" asked the deer, clearly a female. Realizing this, Simba felt something... odd inside. He brushed it off and charged her again. He tried roaring at her but all that came out were strange bellows. It broke his concentration; he stumbled over himself and fell on his face right in front of her.
The doe cringed. She opened her mouth for a retort but quickly closed it and dashed away. Simba watched her go and stood up some-what proudly. He thought he had scared her off.
Then suddenly, an unsettling feeling washed over him. It was as if he wasn't alone. He glanced all around him but couldn't see anyone. No one obvious anyway. He didn't want to admit it but it scared him.
"Who's there?" he called. A rustling was the only reply.
A small voice began to echo in his head. "Run," it said simply. Simba tried to ignore it. He stood as confidently as he could.
"I am not..." His breath caught in his throat.
He was still trying to see if anything was around. The more he did, the more his fear grew. The more his fear grew, the louder the voice got. "Run! RUN!"
At last, Simba listened and fled, trying to make sure whatever was out there wasn't following him.
He ran until he felt like he was no longer in danger. Why would something be stalking him like that? Why did it make him feel so unsettled? Where did that voice telling him to run come from? All sorts of questions kept popping up.
He took a step forward. The ground wasn't as level as he thought and stumbled slightly. He looked down and saw a hoof-print. His hoof-print. He mulled this over and slowly gave his body a proper look for the first time. The more he looked the more upset he got. He had thinner proportions and a small diminutive tail. He felt his teeth with his tongue; they were dull. He tried to roar again but the only thing that came out were strange bellows. He got his answer.
"I'm a deer..." he said sadly. Tears in his eyes, he laid down and curled up. Then the new deer went unhappily to sleep.

Exchange, Part 3

stuffalso

8 July 2019 at 12:10:18 MDT

Characters belong to Disney
Original art and concept by Sirzi (https://www.deviantart.com/sirzi)

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