Simba struggles against the ropes that tie his hands. Or, at least, he pretends to. His kidnappers are nearby, discussing how best to get their ransom. Another hostage sits beside him: a young girl.
“What’s your name?” he asks. She looks at him, wide-eyed and afraid. He decides to try volunteering information instead. “I’m Simba.”
“Like the lion?” She almost smiles at this thought.
“Yeah, just like the lion.” He tilts his head to show his long hair. “See my mane?” She does smile, quickly. “Can you do something for me? You seem like a tough kid. Smart, quick. If I distract them, can you run for help?”
“I’m scared,” she whimpers.
“I’m scared too.”
“But, you’re a lion!”
“Even lions get scared. But remember when Simba went back to Pride Rock and faced Scar?”
“You have to be that brave. Because the secret is, you’re a lion too.”
“I am?” Doubt is audible in her voice, but there’s a tremor of hope beneath it.
“You are. When you see an opening, run.” Simba easily unties his hands. “I’m a magician. I know how to redirect attention.” He inches towards a lighter, lying nearby. Once he gets it, he runs headfirst at the kidnappers.
The struggle is brief. Simba is knocked unconscious, but kept alive. By the time the dust settles, the girl has escaped.