|Pumbaa Runs Away from Home|
Grolier Enterprises, Inc.
Disney's Wonderful World of Reading
One day in the jungle, Simba and Timon are playing with large nuts. Another nut falls to the ground near Pumbaa, and Timon instructs the warthog to play too. When Timon and Pumbaa are unsure how to handle their nuts, Simba explains that they must roll it between their paws. Suddenly, Timon accidentally kicks the nut right into Pumbaa's head. Pumbaa whines angrily, but Simba refuses to believe that he is actually hurt. Annoyed, Pumbaa marches off to find something to eat.
Down by the river, Pumbaa locates a large grub under a log, but before he can eat it, Timon snatches it and gulps it down. Furious, Pumbaa accuses Timon of stealing his grub, but the meerkat coolly replies that Pumbaa hadn't found it, he had merely lifted the log. Luckily, Simba breaks up the pair before they can launch into a fight, and Pumbaa proceeds to lay down in his favorite shady spot. No sooner has Pumbaa reached the spot, though, when Timon dashes in at the last second and makes himself comfortable. Before Pumbaa can explode, Simba quickly orders Timon to leave the spot, explaining that it's only fair since the meerkat got the grub. Timon agrees and he and Simba begin to play a game of "What am I?", while Pumbaa rests.
For his first turn, Simba lifts his paw to his nose and pretends to be an elephant, but Timon quickly guesses his animal. Then, Timon gets down on all fours, pushes out his stomach, and stumbles around making slurping noises. Soon, Simba realizes that Timon is imitating Pumbaa, but Pumbaa catches on too. Stating that he has had enough, Pumbaa stalks off to find some new friends who like him, leaving a dumbfounded Simba and Timon in the dust.
Having walked for a while, Pumbaa comes across three young giraffes, who agree to let him run with them. Pumbaa soon realizes, however, that the giraffes could run much faster than he on account of their longer legs. They could also eat low-hanging leaves from trees, while he had no access to any food. Presently, the giraffes leave after being called by their mother, so Pumbaa goes off in search of other friends.
Soon Pumbaa meets a small herd of gazelles, but they bound away from him, asserting that they would never want to be seen with a warthog. Suddenly, he hears a yipping sound and goes in search of its source. Presently, Pumbaa finds a baby hyena. But just as Pumbaa is about to ask it to play with him, the father hyena appears, and the warthog quickly makes himself scarce.
After walking along for a little while, Pumbaa realizes that the sun is setting. He admits to himself that he wants to go home, but doesn't know the way. Pumbaa decides to make camp under a tree and soon falls asleep. At the same moment, Simba and Timon are getting ready for bed. Timon admits that he misses Pumbaa, and Simba says that in the morning they will find their friend and bring him home.
The next morning, Pumbaa wakes up to loud chattering above him. Looking up, he sees a group of monkeys and asks to play with them. They happily agree and proceed to use Pumbaa's stomach as a trampoline, but the warthog doesn't mind. About the same time, Timon and Simba also wake up and head off to search for Pumbaa. Following their friend's hoofprints, Simba and Timon encounter the three giraffes, who tell them about the warthog they had met the day before. Meanwhile, Pumbaa, seeing the monkeys swinging from branch to branch, proceeds to climb their tree. Although not easy, Pumbaa makes his way up, inch by inch. Continuing their search, Simba and Timon meet the gazelle herd, who ignore them, and the hyenas, from which they flee.
Back in Pumbaa's part of the jungle, Pumbaa reaches the top of the tree. Grabbing a vine, he jumps and swings around the tree. Suddenly, the vine snaps and Pumbaa plummets toward the ground. Luckily, just before he hits the earth, Pumbaa is caught by a tangle of vines. Although relieved, Pumbaa realizes that he is now stuck, and the monkeys are unsure how to help him. In the distance, Timon and Simba hear Pumbaa's cries for help. Running toward his voice, the pair find their friend. Timon stares in shock at Pumbaa's predicament, but Simba has an idea. The lion cub instructs the monkeys to pull away the vines, one by one. While Pumbaa is being untangled, Timon promises him that he will never steal his grubs or his shady spot again.
Presently, Pumbaa lands on the ground and his friends embrace him happily. As the trio take their leave, Pumbaa invites the monkeys to visit them sometime, and they chatter agreeably. Pumbaa tells Timon and Simba that he will never leave again, and they retrace their steps back to their home. After a pleasant afternoon of jokes and play, the friends fall asleep, happy to be back together once more.