Simba laughed, saying, "Don't worry about me, Nala. Hey, I've had tougher
fights before. I faced down Scar, didn't I?"
Nala nodded then voiced her concern. She wanted to accompany Simba but he wouldn't here of it. "No, Nala, you need to be here for the cubs. And don't forget Timon and Puumba are here to help you out."
She sighed, knowing the antics of those two just might turn things topsy turvy. So, she said with a wry smile, "And I have your mother to make sure things go smoothly in your absence."
Jiminy smiled with relief; he wasn't sure Simba would take this job, knowing that the Lion King may come face-to-face with the fur-loving Cruella. "And don't forget we have a couple more baddies. Gaston and LeFou will be pushovers, but Frollo!" The very name sent shivers down Jiminy's spine.
Now Nala was really alarmed. She remembered Esmeralda's account of what
happened in 1482 Paris during the Feast of Fools, and how Frollo terrorized all
of Paris just to hunt down the outspoken Gypsy dancer. "Oh no, you have to deal
with him?" Nala grew quite agitated but understood the urgency of the
matter. Simba reassured her with, "Come on, Nala, Frollo is like Scar, and I'm
sure he has a weak spot." Turning to Jiminy, he said, "Who else do you have in
mind for this caper?"
The cricket, looking at his watch, carefully rambled off names, much to Simba
and Nala's approval. However, there was a catch – the medieval Paris connection.
"Uh, Jim, are you positive you want Quasi and Esmeralda in on this? The last
time I spoke with Quasimodo, he said he didn't want anything more to do with
Frollo. Just being in the man's presence for twenty years was awful
"Well," said Jiminy, "that's a chance we'll have to take. We'll make Paris our last stop. I just hope I can coax Quas and Esme to come along." Looking at his watch again, Jiminy told Simba to say his goodbyes to his family and friends. "If we want to get to the Nesting Grounds before sundown, we'd better hurry!"
Jiminy perched on a high rock so he could at least be eye-to-eye with the
huge dinosaurs, although it was a losing battle what with the cricket being so
small. But his one hurdle in this prehistoric paradise was finally making her
way to the lake.
It was Plio, Aladar's lemur mom. "All right, Jiminy. What's wrong? Why do you want Aladar?"
Jiminy answered in a flash, "We got trouble in Walroy, Plio, and I think Aladar here will be just the one we need to get rid of You Know Who." When Jiminy referred to the man that way, Plio knew exactly who he was talking about. Sighing, she told her adopted son, "Aladar, you go with Jiminy and Simba. Help those poor people get rid of Frollo! There! I said the name."
There was one more thing Aladar had to do: say goodbye to Neera. "It won't be easy on her, being without me for a few days..."
"Hey, I can take care of myself," said an approaching Neera. Then with a smile that reminded Simba of Nala's grit and spit, she said, "Go get 'em!"
Jiminy explained that since she, Simba, and Aladar have no personal
connections to the escaped villains, they would be perfect. Even Frollo never
had to tangle with a lion, dinosaur, or a mermaid. The cricket these three could
be of tremendous help. He looked at his watch, realizing he had a couple more
stops. "Well, Ariel, it's time to head for Walroy. You, Simba, and Aladar take
this key." He produced a golden key -- a magic key -- which would allow them
safe passage into Walroy undetected by Frollo or his minions. "You'll be staying
with Tina, president of the town council. She has her hands full these days what
with dealing with the likes of Claude Frollo, not to mention Gaston and
When he mentioned Gaston, then said where he was off to next, it gave Ariel pause. "I don't know, Jiminy. You think it's wise to ask Belle? She really can't stand Gaston, and neither do I."
"Oh," replied the cricket, "I think I can coax her into come along. It might be the jolt Gaston needs, seeing her again."
"Yeah," said a hysterically laughing Melody, "she could chuck him out the door just like she did in the movie!"
"Belle," the prince said, "are you sure you want to do this? After all,
Gaston nearly killed me; he could've had you as his wife, a far worse fate than
Belle, lovely in her pink gown that accentuated her dark hair and big blue eyes, thought over what Jiminy said. Is it true? Gaston and Cruella have taken over Walroy? And Claude Frollo is acting as its ruler? It did amuse Belle to learn that a boor as Gaston actually working for the refined, aristocratic Frollo. Imagine, Gaston and LeFou, getting tied to a pillory all because they're too "common" for Frollo. Actually, this was one adventure to which Belle was looking forward. For one, she would be reunited with her good princess friend Ariel. And working alongside formidable heroes as Aladar and Simba gave her joy unbounded. A naturally curious, intellectual woman, Belle thirsted for knowledge, and she always wanted to ask Aladar about life in the Cretaceous. Her only regret was that neither Nala nor Baylene were accompanying this special team of Disney heroes. But Belle was glad that Jasmine and Esmeralda were coming along.
"Uh, Jiminy, they are coming, aren't they?," she asked.
"Well," replied Jiminy, "Agrabah is the last stop on my list. I'm off to 1482 Paris to enlist Esmeralda and Quasimodo."
Belle was taken aback. Why would Quasi and Esmeralda want even to tangle with Frollo again? She knew she could handle Gaston, but Esmeralda most likely would refuse the job.
Not that I don't blame her...honestly, the way he carried with her on in
Notre Dame...grabbing her like that......threatening her...then he burns down
half of Paris to look for her...and how he tricked Quasi into finding the Court
Belle knew the time to leave was soon. She kissed her prince goodbye and
left messages for her father and the servants.
"All right, Jiminy, let's be on our way. If we don't get a plan in motion and soon, Walroy could end up just another provincial town if Frollo has his way."
OK, pondered Jiminy Cricket, this is going to be a tougher sell than I thought. I may need to enlist some reinforcements. This job demands Quasi and
Esmeralda's presence...and I know just the one who can finally convince them to
Quasimodo remained strangely silent throughout the confab. Well, being a part
of the outside world, thanks to Esmeralda, Quasi would normally jump at the
chance to help those in need. But this was Frollo we're talking about, the very
man who terrorized and brutalized the deformed young man for twenty years. Quasi
pondered a bit, recalling the final confrontation with Frollo. A newly empowered
Quasimodo, holding his master at knifepoint, declared, "All my life you've told
me that the world was a dark cruel place! But the only thing dark and cruel
about it is people like you!"
Well, according to Jiminy, wasn't Frollo making the pleasant little town of Walroy a dark cruel place? Why is this resistance to help his dear friends – and Quasi regarded the Walroyites as special friends – so difficult to fight? Part of him wanted to help, but another part said, "No way!"
He excused himself from his company, went out on the landing overlooking la
Place de Notre-Dame, just to think over Jiminy's request. Sure, he would have
much help; it's not as if he would be doing this alone. And it amused him that
the likes of Simba and Aladar were joining forces to oust Frollo and company.
"Quasi, Quasi. What's wrong? Wanna tell old Laverne about it?"
The gargoyle Laverne, a kindly, wise grandmotherly lady, tried to talk some sense into the bell ringer. It wasn't like Quasimodo to pass on a challenge. After all, it was he who found courage to defy Frollo and attend the FoF despite his master's orders to "Stay in here." Quasi defied to Frollo again when the judge threatened to destroy the Court of Miracles. Come on! He even waged a valiant effort to thwart Frollo's men after he rescued Esmeralda from a fiery death.
"It's just that," said Quasi, "I don't want to relive all those memories again, you know, dealing with Frollo's cruelty and all."
Laverne knew a pep talk was in order. "Quasi, listen to me. There are people who really need your help. Heck, you've faced down Frollo before and you can do it again. You can't let him win this time, and if you don't honor Jiminy's request, Frollo will win. Just think what would happen to those good folks if Frollo gets his way."
Quasimodo thought about what Laverne said, finally agreeing to take on the
challenge. "OK, I'll go! But I need one more person to help me..."
"Say no more, Quasi. I talked it over with Phoebus and Clopin. And I'll do it, for you, and for those good people."
Esmeralda, the lovely dancer, the first person who ever regarded Quasimodo with kindness and acceptance, appeared at his side. "We'll take Djali along, too, because I'll miss him so much."
Quasi was alarmed. "Are you sure, Esmeralda? With Cruella deVille doing Frollo's bidding, aren't you afraid Djali might end up a...er...a goatskin bag or something?"
Esmeralda shot Quasi an amused, sly look, replying, "Not if I can help it!" Then, "Besides, I like Tina, and I know that she's really suffering under Frollo's thumb. And I think I have a plan that we girls can use to get under his skin..."
"Oh no, Esme, you mean...?
The dancer smiled again, knowing the judge's peculiar weakness. "If Tina and I do this right, then Claude Frollo will find himself in a very bad way. Poor guy won't know what hit him."
Jiminy Cricket, in Agrabah's splendid royal palace, couldn't believe his
rotten luck. He surely thought that Jasmine, or at least Aladdin, would be the
seventh Disney hero needed to roust the baddies out of Walroy. And he was sure
Jasmine would bring along Rajah or at least
the Genie, but what the sultan said
knocked him for a loop.
Now what am I to do? Can't go back and tell the folks my team is short one
player. I gotta think of someone else, but who?
Aladdin, entering the throne room, said to his father-in-law, "Jasmine's
resting up. She's going be OK, but," he then turned to Jiminy, adding, "I'm
sorry, Jiminy, but Jasmine can't make it, not in her condition."
Jiminy was adamant on knowing exactly what this condition was. "Aladdin, you have to level with me...Why can't Jasmine come to Walroy? I could really use her help."
Aladdin and the sultan hesitated, but they knew the news would reach all the Disney characters in time. "Jiminy," said Aladdin, "Jasmine and I are going to be parents!"
The cricket nearly fainted! "What??!! She's expecting?"
"Oh yes!," the sultan said with pride. "It was all confirmed by our physician. Baby won't be born for another seven months, so..."
"Well, I completely understand," said Jiminy who, despite his sincere happiness for Aladdin and Jasmine, had no idea who else to enlist at the last minute.
"Now what will I do? I can't think of anyone else willing to take on the
Jiminy sat on the broad porch of Tina's sprawling Victorian farmhouse, pondering how to break it to the Disney Seven. "Well, it's the Disney Six for now." He sat with his head in his hands. Poor Jiminy! He assembled the oddest, quirkiest assortment of Disney heroes, but he was lacking one more. This seventh hero has to be extra strong, brave, a real go-getter. Just who....
Suddenly, as if by magic -- well, it was magic -- Tinkerbelle zoomed up to
Jiminy, whispered something in his ear, then hung around waiting for further
instructions. Jiminy couldn't have thought of anyone better! The little fairy
saved the day!
"OK, Tink, go get this one and tell 'em to get here fast, but...Wait! I have an idea!" He told Tinkerbelle his plan and the pretty fairy laughed at the cricket's suggestion. She simply nodded and flew off into the night.
There! Maybe with this one, ousting Gaston, Cruella, and Judge Frollo will be a piece of cake! I just hope the others go along with the ruse.
TO BE CONTINUED...Go To Chapter 4
Copyright©2004 by PRP.