In Deep Water
Publication Information

Hakuna Matata


1995 – 1997



For coloring and informational errors, see here.

In Deep Water is a magazine story inspired by The Lion King. It was published in three issues of The Lion King: A Nature Fun and Learn Series as part of the Hakuna Matata magazine series.


Simba employs Tanglemane to help save animals from dying of thirst.


Part 1

In Deep Water begins by introducing Simba, the self-exiled prince of the Pride Lands, and his two friends, Timon and Pumbaa. At the start of the story, the three friends are trekking through a drought, desperate for water. The three eventually reach a lake, where they lap thirstily from the dwindling water. Once satisfied, the three are approached by a host of worried animals, who fear that the water supply will dry up soon. They encourage the trio to talk to Tanglemane, an old lion who might be able to help them.

Together, the three friends ascend a hillside to reach Tanglemane's den. Once there, they spot giant pawprints in the sand, and Tanglemane emerges from the shadows, dwarfing the three friends with his enormous shadow.

Part 2

As Tanglemane emerges from his den, Timon and Pumbaa try to flee, but Simba bravely appeals to the old lion for help. Furious at the trio for encroaching on his land, Tanglemane attacks Simba, but the young cub darts out of the way, and Tanglemane falls against a rock, knocking out a tooth. To the trio's surprise, the old lion laughs and reveals that his toothache is gone, a pain that has been plaguing him for ages.

With their fear gone, the three ask Tanglemane for help, and he explains his past to them. Long ago, he'd ruled a pride of his own, but two strong males had driven him off, leading him to a cave and an underground river. Tanglemane shows this river to Simba and his friends, who resolve to bring this water to the outside world.

Part 3

Under the direction of Pumbaa, a host of young warthogs begin to dig into the side of Tanglemane's hill as Simba directs a group of other animals to build a pipeline made out of logs from the hillside to the lake. The plan works, and water flows from the underground river to the dry lakebed below.

As the animals cry out with joy and relief, Tanglemane compliments Simba on his leadership before walking off to rest. Simba watches him go and suddenly gets an idea. With the help of the pelicans, he has the birds carry bills full of water to a dip in the land beside Tanglemane, which they fill up with water.