|The Ghost Elephant|
1995 – 1997
- For coloring and informational errors, see here.
The Ghost Elephant 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, Simba is watching as his friends bicker over a grub, and he notes how irritable the two have become in recent times. Eventually, Simba manages to convince his friends to stop squabbling, and the three agree to hunt for bugs in a different part of the savanna.
On their way across the grasslands, the three encounter animal after animal fleeing in a panic, with a stork even yelling at them to retreat. Overcome by uneasiness, the three push forward until they reach an enormous wall, so jagged and steep that only an animal with wings could pass over it. Seeing the gigantic wall, Simba admits defeat, and the three turn back, but they are almost immediately caught up in a horrible thunderstorm.
Desperate for cover, the three scramble for higher ground, struggling to fight the rain and wind. Suddenly, a blast of lightning lights up the savanna, and Timon makes out the figure of an enormous, pure-white elephant standing above them.
Terrified, Timon loses his hold on the slope and is pushed to the ground by a wild wind. Simba happens to see his friend fall and jumps to the rescue, scooping Timon up in his jaws and bearing him to safety. Once tucked away in a shelter, Timon recounts what he had seen to his friends, and Simba asks him to show them where the elephant had last been. Timon retraces his steps to the top of the slope and finds, to his astonishment, giant elephant tracks that lead right to the base of the rock wall.
Simba follows the tracks and discovers a break in the rock wall, hidden by a clump of vegetation. The three friends squeeze through and discover a jungle paradise on the other side of the wall. In awe, the friends begin to explore the kingdom, but when Pumbaa attempts to jump in a pool of mud, he is sprayed backward by the enormous white elephant.
For a long moment, the four have a standoff, with not a word being spoken. Then the elephant picks up a giant boulder and holds it threateningly over the three. Bravely, Simba jumps in front of his friends, yelling at them to leave, but Timon and Pumbaa refuse to abandon their friend, and the three stand side-by-side, defiantly facing the giant elephant.
The boulder still in his trunk, the elephant advances, but just before he can strike the friends, he heaves the boulder into the mud, and it is immediately swallowed up by goo. Incredulous, Pumbaa realizes that the elephant has just saved his life. With the danger abated, the friends are introduced to the elephant, Giganta, who warns the three not to give away the location of his hidden kingdom. The three easily agree.
With his secret safe, Giganta shows the three around the kingdom and reminds them that his land maintains a special peace, as there are no predators to chase away the weaker animals. In the midst of his explanation, a branch breaks and traps a small monkey, but Simba graciously lets the little creature go. Seeing Simba's kindness, Giganta offers him the crown of the kingdom, but Simba politely declines.
Overhead, the storm begins to blow back across the savanna, and Giganta leads his visitors to the crack in the rock wall. As the four approach the wall, loose rocks begin to fall, pounded relentlessly by the storm, and Giganta rears forward, holding up the loose stones for his visitors. Quickly, the three dart through the opening, and just as Giganta steps back into his kingdom, the rocks crash to the ground, sealing the kingdom off from the outside world.
|The Hakuna Matata Magazine Series|
Simba Rules, OK? • One Good Turn • The Elephants' Graveyard • Timon in Trouble • All Mud and Motor Mouth • Snake Attack • Monkey Mountain • Hunt for Help • Falling in Love • Staying Alive • Mummy Pumbaa • The Race • Follow that Rainbow • In Deep Water • Pumbaa's New Friends • Simba Meets Silverback • Two-Legged Creatures • Mr. Perfect • The Ghost Elephant • The Missing Monkey • Pretty in Pink • Saving Simba • Home, Sweet Home • Blockhead! • The Shiny Stones • Mabu's Mischief • The Mystery Zebraffe • The Great Detectives • It's Simba's Anniversary! • Prickly Problems • Wiseguy the Owl