The Race
The Race 1
Publication Information

Hakuna Matata


1995 – 1997



For coloring and informational errors, see here.

The Race 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 foolishly challenges an arrogant cheetah named Swifty to a race.


Part 1

The Race 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 and his friends are drinking at a river when they encounter Swifty, an arrogant cheetah cub. When the cheetah brags about his speed, Simba stiffly replies that he's seen a lot of animals run faster than him, but Swifty replies that he's much faster than a lion cub, a meerkat, and a warthog.

Furious, Simba springs at Swifty, but the cheetah darts away, taunting Simba. In his haste, he crashes into Pumbaa, who falls into the river and snaps at Swifty to be more careful. Even more angry now than before, Simba challenges Swifty to a race, much to the horror of Timon and Pumbaa, and Swifty laughingly agrees to meet them again that afternoon.

Once the cheetah cub is gone, Timon angrily blames Simba's pride for getting them involved in such a mess. Despite this, Simba insists that they train in order to beat Swifty, and he forces Timon and Pumbaa to run to a grassy mound with him. Since Pumbaa is the last to reach the mound, he is forced to run to the very top, but in the middle of the exercise, he slips and falls, toppling down the mound. Timon groans that they will never win the race.

Part 2

That afternoon, Swifty meets the trio at the river and mercilessly mocks them for taking so long to show up. As Simba fumes over Swifty's insults, Timon warns the cub that a storm is brewing, and Simba suggests that they postpone the race. Laughing, Swifty accuses Simba of being scared, and the cub, enraged over the cheetah's remarks, agrees to go ahead with the race.

Swifty draws a line in the dust, then tells the friends that they will race to the cave wall and back. Whoever crosses the line first is the winner. Though Timon and Pumbaa attempt to opt out of the race, Simba and Swifty force them to participate, and the four line up behind the starting line. Swifty then shouts for the race to start and takes off, leaving Simba and his friends in the dust.

Bumbling after one another, the three take off after Swifty. As they run, the storm breaks over the land, with lightning flashing and thunder rumbling. Timon and Pumbaa suggest they take shelter, but Simba stubbornly insists on catching up to Swifty until lightning strikes the ground next to him. Frightened, Simba leads his friends into a small cave, but Swifty forges ahead, dashing into the cave to touch the wall. As he turns to leave, lightning ignites the grass at the entrance to the cave, and the cheetah finds himself trapped by hungry flames.

Part 3

Once the storm passes, Simba and his friends hear Swifty's terrified cries for help, and they rush to his assistance. The three survey the cave but can see no way of freeing Swifty, so Simba sends Pumbaa to heave rocks into the flooded river. He then calls down to Swifty through a hole in the cave roof, promising to save him from the oncoming flames.

As Pumbaa dumps rock after huge rock into the river, Simba clings to the rocks and offers Swifty his tail. When Swifty grabs it, however, he drags Simba down into the cave with him, and both cubs huddle away from the flames. Just in the nick of time, the river floods, putting out the fire, and Simba and Swifty are saved.

Timon and Pumbaa rush into the cave and find the cubs in a heap on the cave floor. In a panic, they wonder if Simba and Swifty are dead, but the two reassure him that they are fine. Simba then compliments Swifty for being the fastest animal on the savanna, and Swifty counters that Simba is the bravest.