Post by abalancedbreakfast on Aug 11, 2015 1:12:27 GMT
Ukan sniffed around the air, noticing at last the faint smell of markings. Lion markings. Something very odd to find this deep in the Jungle, certainly, but perhaps a welcome surprise. It had been a month and a half since his last encounter with a pride in the Sahara desert, and he was ready to finally make some conversation with somebody, anybody who would have him.
He had been traveling for a full year now. Still in his adolescence, he left his home feeling an urge to find something new and fresh. What that was, nobody knew, not even Ukan himself. All that anybody knew was that he was searching.
The late adolescent honey badger continued forward, knowing that lions didn't tend to care too much if he entered, considering he wasn't leonine. Still though, he wondered if the pride he encountered here would be one of bountiful harvest with a wise king, or another starving mass with tyrants ruling over them. Would he have to fight and beat yet another lion? Would it even be a full pride, or just a singular rogue?
No matter, he thought. He took the first step forward into these odd jungle lands where lions roamed...
Figgy slept, snoring softly, oblivious to the world. It had been a big day for him, wandering around, setting traps as far and as wide as he could travel in this vast forest. About a year ago mother had kicked him out of his home for growing too fat and lazy. She wanted him to learn to hunt for himself. Well! He was going to show her. For the past year he had been hunting HIS way. He used rocks and ropes and loops of vines to make snare traps wherever he went, and his cleverness had meant he'd eaten a bounty every night. Of course, it didn't do much for his waistline. He had been chubby when he left but now he was downright fat - the fattest lion he'd ever met, if he was honest with himself (which he never was, not while he was awake, anyway) - with a donut around his middle that would put a hippo to shame. The fact that his coat was quite thick for a lion, and his underside was a light cream did nothing to hide its enormity (he had been told, however, that it made him darn good to cuddle with). He had chubby cheeks and a thick neck too, though thankfully that was hidden by his dark mane. He dreamed about returning home, to his pride, and showing off his traps to mother. Oh, what she'd say! She'd be so proud of him. My son, you've done so well. Welcome back and thank you! How did I ever send you away? "How did you ever get so fat?" a voice said. Figgy raised his head, glancing around, blinking the blear from his eyes. But the forest was empty, save for bird and baboon calls from high above. He groaned, rolling onto his back. "Just my imagination again, eh?" He sniffed, hoping one of those baboons would come down and inspect his trap. But there was something else in the air. Something he hadn't smelled since he sat with the king and queen of pride rock and shared in their banquet. Something only expert hunters could catch. Instinctively, his mouth watered, and his enormous stomach gurgled. Was that... honey badger?
Post by abalancedbreakfast on Aug 18, 2015 0:32:56 GMT
"No... not your imagination" Ukan replied. "You have got to be the fattest lion I have ever seen. Seriously, have you tried doing some cardio?" Noticing the gurgling coming from the fat lion's stomach, he made the connection. "Oh, you think you want to eat me? Well, I was just going to ask for safe passage. How about I pass through your lands without adding to your weight, and you end up something other than dead. That sound like a deal?"
Figgy blinked. He kicked his legs, rolling upright with a grunt, sitting as comfortably as his spare tyres would allow. "My lands? Aherm... I mean... yes. My lands." He raised his paw, then slapped himself sharply across his chubby cheeks. Then he blinked at Ukan. "Nope. I can still see him," he said. Then, much faster than his bulk should permit, he leapt forwards and seized Ukan's paw with both of his, grinning broadly. "Pleased to meet you! My name is Figgy, adventurer and inventor extraordinaire." He shook the badger's paw, then stepped back. "And though it was rude of you to ask, if you must know: I wear this fat as the result of the triumph of brains over brawn. Which animal can provide for himself as well as Figgy? The answer is none. In fact I can single-handedly feed entire prides, what with my clever braininess." He grabbed the smaller of his fuzzy spare tyres and lifted it proudly - the biggest one was too heavy, these days - and let it drop back down with a plop. "And my stomach is growling because I'm hungry. Of COURSE I want to eat you. Well, my stomach wants to eat you. But I NEVER eat an animal I've exchanged words with first. Well... almost never. Please don't be offended. There isn't much I don't want to eat," he said, looking around as if for something that might not suit his appetite, but only shrugged. "But I'll make you a deal: I won't TRY to eat you, if you help me catch some dinner, eh?" He looked up at the trees above, at the baboons laughing and howling and fighting. With one hand to his mouth, he whispered, "Help me to catch a baboon or two. Each one's bigger than you anyway, and afterwards I'll split the meal with you. Fifty-fifty, or however much you can eat right now. How's that sound?"
Post by abalancedbreakfast on Aug 19, 2015 2:33:12 GMT
The Honey Badger considered his options. Yeah, he could certainly beat Figgy in a fight, but he didn't really feel like getting into another scrape (because at this point, they had become somewhat boring). "You know what, Piggy? That's your name, right? Whatever. Point is, I'll take you up on the offer. I'll get you your damn baboon, stay here for the night, and then leave in the morning to keep searching for... whatever it is, I don't know. All you need to tell me is where exactly to find these baboons."
Figgy flicked his heavy tail with annoyance. “Figgy. My name is Fig-gy. Like the fruit from a Fig. Tree.” He spoke as if he was explaining it to a child, but he couldn’t keep his smile at bay for long. “Glad you’re happy to help. There’s baboons in the trees all above us. Surprised you haven’t had them throw any fruit at you yet.” He looked up with a maleficent glare. “Or worse. Anyway. Climbing the tree might work if you’re slow and quiet, but I have devised an express delivery method. Originally it was designed for rocks, but it’ll launch a badger of your size skywards too. Follow me! I’ll take you to it.”
With that, Figgy heaved his enormous behind off the forest floor and began shuffling into the jungle. Of course, being so large he was very slow. The fur on his enormous paunch rustled the leaves on the forest floor as he walked, and when he came across logs or large roots he preferred to walk around than try to go over. Eventually they came across a large log that blocked the path entirely. Figgy sighed, placed his forepaws on it and heaved. His strength proved just enough, and he dragged his bulk up and on top of the log, grinning at himself proudly. “Heh… hehhh…” his voice trailed off when he saw his new partner wasn’t nearly as impressed as he. Rolling his eyes, he gingerly stepped down the other side, but slipped at the last minute and went head-over heels, landing on his back.
“Great,” he said, kicking his legs again and sending his stomach jiggling as he rolled over and climbed to his feet with a sigh. “Here we are,” he said. Shuffling to the side of the clearing, Figgy pulled on a vine with his teeth, passing it to the little honey badger. “Hold vis,” he said, then went and collected another vine, and another, and another. He tied them all together and made a loop to pin it to the ground, then made knots in each vine until the tension was just right. “Hop up here,” Figgy said, patting the part where the vines all met in the middle. “As soon as I release this latch, then WHOOSH! Up you go, into the tree above.” He pointed upwards, where the baboons where cackling in what had to be one of the tallest trees in the jungle, oblivious to the duo below. “Don’t worry: I’ve practiced many times before. With rocks. Almost hit a baboon once, but it grabbed a branch on the way down. If you can wrestle a few down here then I’ll grab them as they fall. Tonight we will eat like kings!” He grinned, barely able to contain his excitement.
Post by abalancedbreakfast on Aug 19, 2015 23:51:19 GMT
Ukan looked up to figgy with a quizzical look. "You know, Fig, you put quite a bit of effort into not making an effort at all." With that, he sighed and stepped onto the plate, getting into a ready fighting stance. "All right, let this thing go."
"A different kind of effort," he said, then unlatched his device, adjusting the vines for maximum springiness. As he did so, with his left claw, he teased out a little vine. It was only small, but it was important. If he looped it around Ukan's foot, it would turn the catapult into an elaborate trap, and bind Ukan so tightly that even he would take hours to climb out of. But as he looked at the little badger perched trustingly on his device, he couldn't help himself. Despite the protest of his nose and stomach - he was SICK of eating baboon - he wasn't going to eat someone who trusted him. So he put the vine back and aimed for the biggest group of baboons in the tree above, all dancing about. "Remember, knock down as many as you can," he said. With all his strength he pulled back and fired.
Then he looked up, squinting as the badger launched into the tree. The baboons were making a raucous, and suddenly he thought he could see why. A huge python was unwrapping itself from one of the branches, assaulted on all sides by the baboons.
"Hey, watch out! Snake! Figgy called, but knew it was too late. Ukan was going to land right in the thick of it.
Post by abalancedbreakfast on Aug 20, 2015 2:39:47 GMT
As he launched up into the tree branches, Ukan managed to catch a glimpse of the venomous python that coiled around the branch. This was a great joy to him. He hadn't eaten python in an entire month, and he felt that he was beginning to get very low in the dose of venom in his diet. As he landed on the tree branch, things got interesting. The Baboons, distracted by the python, had unwittingly forgot to account for the honey badger that now planned on making them his "friend's" diet. Swiftly, he managed to knock one down, then another, and before he knew it, five baboons had fallen from the tree branch, leaving the ultimate prize. "Now, look what we have here! Python! Absolutely delicious." Before Ukan knew it, the python struck out and landed a bite on his arm. Figgy, down below, was obviously in shock, unaware of Honey Badgers' immunity to venom. With the python still latched to his arm, he looked down below. "Hey Figgy! Check this out!" Before Figgy knew it, Ukan had popped the python's fangs out of his arm and grasped the head to his mouth. Then, he squeezed down on the head, making the venom of the snake squirt out directly into Ukan's mouth. Tasting it for a moment, Ukan made his observations. "Hmm... tastes like you're about three years old, you drink mostly from a river source, but... what's this?" Ukan smacked his lips, tasting the venom a little more, the still alive python gazing in shock. "You seem to have some sort of food deficiency! You haven't been getting enough rodents, have you?" The snake paused, unable to move, paralyzed by how shockingly accurate Ukan's observations were. "How did you know all this" The python asked. "Venom doesn't lie." With that, Ukan bit the head off the python and claimed his meal, jumping down from the tree and landing directly in front of Figgy. "So, how'd I do?"
Figgy was almost too shocked to take care of the baboons. Almost. As they fell he paused, but then quickly subdued them. His trap also acted as a net, with thin webbing between all the main vines. As the baboons fell they became stuck, and he waddled around, finishing them off. Soon it was silent - even the birds had fled, along with the rest of the baboons - and he could hear every word the honey badger and snake exchanged. When the badger jumped down and asked Figgy how he went, Figgy was speechless. But only for a second. "Phah!" he said. "You did quite well with the baboons. I'll give you that. Those three are males. Those two are females. One of the males is an alpha, probably their king - he's quite big! I estimate we have about... oh, three hundred pounds of baboon there. Well done! "And yes - you did well with the snake. Impressive you can tell all that just by tasting its venom. But I doubt the snake is three years old." He waddled over, picking it up by the tail, being careful to avoid the head. "This has got to be twenty feet long. He must weigh... about a hundred and fifty pounds. There's no way this snake is only three years old. Closer to thirty." He grinned, his eyes flashing merrily. "But you were only being polite, right?"
Post by abalancedbreakfast on Aug 20, 2015 23:50:02 GMT
Ukan looked at Figgy for a moment. Something told him that he'd had quite a bit of Baboon over the past few months, and the expression on his face seemed to convey that he was quite tired of it. Ukan decided to offer up the rest of the snake to him. "Here, Figgy. The rest of the snake ain't poisonous. You can have that and the rest of the baboons, I'll spend a night here, and then I'll be on my way. Sound good?"
Figgy's mouth watered at the very thought of eating snake. He hadn't caught them very often, but that only made them more delicious. They were oily and fatty and their bones were nice and crunchy. He shuddered, bit his tongue, but said instead, "That's very generous of you, but the snake is your catch. Eat what you like and have a little baboon if you want. You're entitled to two-and-a-half. Not that you'll be able to eat THAT much, right?" he said hopefully. "And you know," he said, wandering over to the first baboon, "You don't need to be off so soon if you don't want. I think you and I make a pretty good team! It's not every hunting duo that can bring down five baboons and a giant python. Unless, of course, you've got somewhere to be?" He said the last bit as if he hoped it wasn't true. "Also, I don't think I got your name...?"
Post by abalancedbreakfast on Aug 21, 2015 1:22:25 GMT
"Ukatili" The honey badger replied. "But most just call me Ukan. And, yeah, I do have somewhere to be. I... just don't really know where it is yet." The honey badger looked back up at Figgy, as his gaze had shifted a bit at that last sentence. "Like I said, Fig, I'll be staying here one more night. I think two and a half baboons is more than enough for me, and I can easily catch another snake on my journey.. Besides..." He added, shaking the snake. "The venom's already gone. Here, take it." He threw the snake over to Figgy, giving it to him as a gift. "Now, is there some sort of den around here to spend the night in?"
Figgy grimaced when Ukatili said he’d be going in the morning, but then shrugged. “A wise man once said: if your only destination is somewhere, chances are you’ve already made it! At least I think that’s how it goes.
“No den. But I’ve made a nest of sorts. It’s by the base of the tree over there. Really, just a few leaves on the ground. Make yourself at home. And thanks for the snake.” He knelt down, resting on his huge stomach which bowed out to either side, munching through the snake tail-first, just to be safe. “Vis if very goob!” he said while he chewed, then grinned.