Chapter 4 - A Dangerous Road
The next morning, the group started moving quite early, as they all wanted to arrive at Emerald City as fast as possible, not to mention getting out of the forest would make it a much safer journey. Despite the group including a metallic girl and a lion (cowardly or not, he’d still scare away most animals), they were the first ones to admit the forest could be dangerous due to some outlaws and wild beasts.
“Sorry I’m eating this much, Lila.” Chuckie said to the girl as he ate a few churros. “I usually live on bugs and plants because I fear going to hunt, plus I don’t like hurting the other animals unless I have no other choice. This is the most I’ve eaten in weeks.”
“Oh, it’s fine, Chuckie. I’m ever so glad you are enjoying it. Mrs Maria gave me quite a good gift.” Lila replied while pointing at her basket. Besides her generous nature, always willing to share a snack with friend, Lila was also glad she had this basket since, even if Chuckie was cowardly and friendly, she felt much safer next to a well-fed lion than to a hungry one.
“My mom liked eating too. She was mostly vegetarian because she didn’t like hurting animals herself.” Jenny said while doing a little jump to avoid stepping on a bug. “I also try not to hurt anyone unless it’s self defense; since I have no heart, I have to be especially careful to avoid being cruel or insensitive without realizing it.”
Jimmy had been silent most of the time; the scarecrow was mostly enjoying his companions’ chat, and looking around the road as they continued walking. Since, before this journey, he was the one with the most secluded, isolated life, plus knowing close to nothing about the outside world, he was very eager to learn everything he could.
“Then, when the wizard gives me a brain, I’ll know what to do with the information I’m getting.” Jimmy had the closest thing he had to an inner thought.
After walking for a few hours, the group finally seemed to get out of the forest... but instead, they just found the road suddenly stopping because of a cliff.
“Hey, what happened? This can’t be Emerald City.” Jenny exclaimed.
“Look, the road continues over there.” Jimmy pointed ahead, and everyone noticed that this cliff was part of a chasm, with the road continuing on the other side.
“Guess that, since almost nobody uses the road, nobody thought about making a bridge... or there was a bridge, and fell down a long time ago and nobody noticed.” Lila sighed sadly while looking at the chasm. The distance between both cliffs was at least 25 feet long, too much to cover with a jump, and the chasm seemed to be quite deep.
“Mmm... we’ll need to look for another way to get past the other side.” Jenny groaned while looking around, trying to find a way to cross, without any luck. “But that will take us very far from the road... and we can get lost.”
“But we can’t jump this distance. It’s too much for any person.” Lila pointed out.
“Well... not everyone here is a ‘person’.” Chuckie said in a meek tone. The others looked back at him.
“Hey... you’re right. You are a lion; and lions can jump a very long distance.” Jenny said, remembering how Chuckie had jumped up to a very high tree branch when they first met.
“Y-yes... and now I regret making you remember it.” Chuckie gulped while looking back at the chasm. “May I remind you I have Acrophobia? Fear of heights? Especially quite high, dangerous ones?”
“But if you don’t help us get past this obstacle, we might need days to find a way to cross.” Jimmy reminded him. “Think (you are lucky enough to do it) about this; what scares you the most; the heights or being afraid for life?”
“Option three; falling... or more precisely, the sudden stop.” Chuckie took a deep breath. “B-but you are right... I no longer can think just about myself... I’m part of a group and I have to do my part... Well, okay… I’ll jump this, and take you the other side, one at a time.”
“Good... so, how are we choosing who’s going first?” Lila asked, now holding Spunky.
“Mmm... whoever takes out the longest straw?” Jenny shrugged.
“Good idea; I’m the one with the straw, so I’ll go first.” Jimmy, obviously taking the expression literally, pointed at himself, and before Jenny could explain him, he turned at Chuckie. “My body is nothing but straw and clothes, so I’m not that heavy; also, if I fall down, the ‘sudden stop’ will not kill me, unlike Lila or Spunky, and my body will not get dented, like Jenny’s.”
The others couldn’t deny this logic, and Chuckie allowed Jimmy to get on his back. The lion then stood on four and walked to the edge of the chasm, looking at the other side and doing his best to not look down.
“You aren’t going to... run and take impulse before jumping?” Lila asked Chuckie.
“No; this is how we lions do this thing.” Chuckie explained her, and then, before getting (even more) afraid, Chuckie made a spectacular jump over the chasm, with Jimmy holding himself from the lion’s mane and shoulders. The jump worked perfectly, with the lion landing safely the other side, and Lila and Jenny cheering at the duo.
“Hey, you’re right. You weigh pretty much nothing.” Chuckie, visibly relaxed, said to Jimmy as the scarecrow climbed down.
“Yes, there are advantages of being a scarecrow.” Jimmy chuckled a bit before Chuckie jumped back with the girls and Spunky.
The next ones to ride on Chuckie were Lila and Spunky; the girl was holding the dog with one arm while using the other to hold on Chuckie’s mane, while the lion held the food basket on his teeth. Lila weighed a bit more than Jimmy but still it was an easy jump for Chuckie.
The last ‘passenger’ was the real problem, since Jenny’s body was much heavier than the average human’s. Chuckie actually took a few minutes to rest after he returned from leaving Lila and Spunky the other side of the chasm, knowing he’d need all his strength to jump while carrying the metal girl.
“Okay... you think you can do it?” Jenny asked the lion, now getting a bit worried herself.
“Right now, I wish I was the brainless one so I wouldn’t think at all.” Chuckie gulped a bit, as Jenny’s weight made him doubtful about this last jump. “I... think I know how to do this jump... but I’m gonna hate the method.”
“What’s Jenny doing?” Lila asked, noticing the metal girl was morphing one of her hands.
“She’s changing her finger into a... needle?” Jimmy got a puzzled expression, as Jenny did exactly that while Chuckie took a deep breath.
A moment later, Jenny stuck Chuckie’s butt with her needle finger.
“YEEEEEOW!!!!!” Chuckie jumped over the chasm as if Jenny weighted nothing... and Jimmy, Spunky and Lila had to move aside, since his landing was far from graceful.
“Oh, my... Chuckie, Jenny, are you two okay?” Lila asked them as she and Jimmy helped their friends to stand up. Jenny stood first and then helped the others with Chuckie, the lion rubbing his butt with one hand/paw while rubbing his ribs with the other.
“Not dented at all... so yes, I’m okay.” Jenny said while checking her own body. “Chuckie, are you okay?”
“Don't worry… as another lion said… I knew the job was dangerous when I took it. And it seems I broke nothing… that was the last jump, right?” Chuckie looked at his nodding companions. “Great. I can faint now. Please, wake me up later.”
Right after saying this, Chuckie fainted. The others, after checking him and realizing he was pretty much okay, allowed him to sleep for a while to recover from both the effort of facing one of his fears multiple times (in this case, a very justified fear) and from doing so many jumps in such a short time.
Once Chuckie woke up, and Lila gave him a drink of tea to help him relax, the group went back to walking, and again, they got into a forest area. The lion, despite feeling a bit better now, was still in a visibly shaken state.
“Relax, Chuckie, we left that chasm a while ago.” Lila tried comforting him. “No need to be afraid now.”
“I... Sorry, Lila, but I’m now a bit nervous because I think this is the part of the forest where El Oso lives.”
“Who’s El Oso?” Jimmy asked the lion.
“He’s a large, violent, mean man that dresses up with a bear’s skin. He often attacks small villages and people he finds on the roads.” Chuckie gulped. “He’s supposed to be very strong... he probably has strong enough legs to jump that chasm we passed without any effort, so he can go back and forth from this part of the forest to anywhere else he wants. No surprise here, I’m kinda afraid of him.”
“Nobody’s blaming you; he sounds like an ever-so mean person.” Lila was now getting a bit worried too.
“Then, we better keep moving before we find that guy or any other danger...” Jimmy said as they finally got out of the forest again, but then the whole group froze on the spot.
“You. Have. To. Be. Kidding. Me.” Chuckie exclaimed when seeing another chasm in front of them; a much bigger one. “Before anyone proposes it... I REALLY know I can’t jump this one!! I’m a lion, not a kangaroo on steroids!!”
Again, the group started looking for options to cross the other side. Jenny proposed climbing down the chasm and then climb up the other side, but it seemed to be extremely dangerous, plus only Jenny and Chuckie were strong enough for that, and, of course, the lion was a bit too scared to even think about it.
Jimmy walked out of the road and then saw a large tree right at the edge of the chasm; it was quite old and apparently already dead since it had no leaves and most of the branches had already fallen/broken down. The scarecrow looked back and forth between the tree and the other side, and then got a little smile.
“Hey, guys, look at this. If Jenny takes this tree down, we can use it as a bridge.”
“That’s a great idea, Jimmy! You might have no brain, but you have the smartest straw I’ve ever seen.” Lila complimented the scarecrow while Jenny looked at the tree and then knocked the log a couple of times.
“Yes... this has the right length, and the log is resistant enough... Okay, stand back.” Jenny grinned while morphing her right hand into an axe, and started chopping the tree.
“Good thing your mom made you a woodsman... I mean, woodsgirl.” Chuckie said to the metal girl.
“She wanted to show everyone how technology can be useful for heavy works, so she gave me the knowledge and ‘tools’ for this job.” Jenny said while still chopping.
The rest of the group moved a few steps back so they wouldn’t get hurt by the splinters that jumped every time Jenny hit the tree; Jimmy, who wouldn’t get hurt anyway, returned to Jenny’s side when realizing it, to get a better look on how she worked.
As Jenny said, this tree was very resistant, so, even with her strength, it was taking her some time to take it down, plus she had to cut it the right way so it would fall following a straight line; otherwise, it would fall down the chasm and the plan would be ruined. After 10 minutes of continuous chopping, her job was almost done.
“Well, at least this time we’ll cross in a somehow safe way.” Lila pointed out before looking back at the chasm. “Unless we look down, of course.”
“Please... don’t say that.” Chuckie gulped a bit. “I’m already having second thoughts about this plan... one slip, and El Oso would be the smallest of our concerns.”
“Hey, I’m not exactly small, Mang!!”
The group turned back at the forest, and Lila and Chuckie gulped, while Jenny and Jimmy got alert stances and Spunky cowered behind Lila’s legs, when a huge figure emerged. A huge, muscular, black-bearded, long-nosed man with a thick brown mustache; he was covered in tan bear fur, with black tuffs on his arms, a bear hat with teeth covering his head, a skull necklace, claws on his hands and feet, and a metallic like belt similar to the cuffs on his arms.
“El Oso, right?” Jimmy said to Chuckie, the lion now shaking in fear while nodding.
“Jenny, I hate to... pressure you... but... you think you can work a bit faster?” Lila gulped and looked back at the robotic girl. Jenny was ready to battle El Oso but Jimmy stopped her.
“Lila is right. You have to finish taking down the tree. Maybe we can discuss this with El Oso so he doesn’t attack us.” The scarecrow told Jenny, who nodded and got back to working, this time even faster. El Oso, however, didn’t seem too eager on having a conversation.
“Heh, discussing this with me? But this is already settled down, Mang; you guys give me all your values, and I’ll only beat you up half-as-much as I’d beat you if you don’t give me a thing.” The huge man started approaching the group. Lila was now holding Spunky, and sweating more than a bit; now he was getting closer, Lila could see how big he really was; next to El Oso, Big Bob Pataki (Helga’s huge father) would look like a midget.
“I’ll try to distract him. You guys help Jenny with the tree.” Chuckie whispered at Lila and Jimmy while stepping ahead of them. As afraid as he was, Chuckie was aware he still was a lion, and El Oso would take him more seriously than the others. Lila and Jimmy nodded and they went next to Jenny, ready to help her the moment she needed it.
Chuckie extended his claws and roared at El Oso. Years of being intimidated and pretend to be intimidating himself had made the lion quite an expert when it came to roaring to scare away potential foes, and today wasn’t the exception. El Oso actually walked a few steps back.
“N-now... You, stay back!! If you try to hurt us, I’ll tear you apart!!” Chuckie growled at the villain. “And don’t think I can’t!! Just this morning, I beat up an elephant!!”
“An elephant, uh? Guess I’ll need some help then, Mang.” El Oso growled loudly, and a moment later, several bears started appearing from behind the trees and bushes. Chuckie paled at the sight.
“Eh... well... maybe it wasn’t an elephant... Would you believe me... a rhino?”
The bears got closer.
El Oso cracked his knuckles.
“A beaver with a bad attitude?”
All the bears growled at once.
“JENNY!!!!” Chuckie dashed back to his friends, now with the bears charging at him.
“It’s done!” Jenny said to Jimmy and Lila. “Now, a good push and... Chuckie, watch out for the...”
“... Ow... tree.” Jenny, Jimmy and Lila cringed after a very scared Chuckie collided with the tree. Luckily, the impact was hard enough to finish the job, and the tree fell over the chasm, reaching the other side without problems.
“Jenny, you go first, and start chopping the other side!!” Jimmy, now seeing the bears approaching, said to Jenny, who nodded and ran over the improvised bridge while Lila made Chuckie to react, as he ended quite stunned after the impact.
“Chuckie, wake up!! El Oso is coming!!!”
“El Oso... is... coming...” Chuckie, still dizzy, finally reacted when seeing El Oso about to grab Lila from behind. “EL OSO IS COMING!!!”
“And you are...” El Oso extended his hands to grab the girl but then Chuckie, surprising everyone, jumped over Lila and gave El Oso’s nose a very painful bite. “ARGH, MANG!!!”
The surprise made El Oso to fall over his back, and on top of some of his bears while making the others to back off a bit, as they were equally surprised. Jimmy and Lila used this chance to start walking over the ‘bridge’, Lila holding Spunky and Jimmy holding her basket. However, being no circus stars, Jimmy and Lila soon had to start crawling to conserve their balance.
“Chuckie, grab them!!” Jenny, who had finally arrived at the other side and had started cutting the tree’s log, yelled at the lion, who was still on top of El Oso. Chuckie then grabbed the man’s bear hat and pulled it over his eyes, blinding him for the time being; then, after giving the bears a second look, and noticing they were about to charge again, the lion dashed at top speed on the fallen tree, grabbing Lila, Jimmy and Spunky on his way to the other side.
“Whoa. You’re more a cheetah than a lion!” Jenny said, impressed, as Chuckie and his ‘passengers’ arrived at the other side.
“Fear is a great motivator!” Chuckie put his friends down and panted, obviously tired and shocked. Jenny then went back to chopping the tree while El Oso, quite furious by now, climbed on the fallen tree to follow after his potential victims.
“Nobody is gonna make a fool out of me, Mang!!” El Oso moved much faster than a normal human, and in a few moments, he was almost the other side. He only stopped to turn back and call his bears. “Come on, guys, get over here!! It’s safe!!”
The bears, however, shook their heads and cringed a bit. El Oso, puzzled, looked back at Jenny, and realized the log was now half-way chopped... and then started cracking under his weight.
“Seems that you aren’t smarter than the average bear.” Jenny smirked a bit and morphed her axe into a large hammer. El Oso gulped and started pleading.
“No... wait... Mang, have a heart!!!”
“Wrong girl to say that.” Jenny lifted her hammer and hit the log at full force. The tree started shaking and cracking, and El Oso just gulped and waved bye before the ‘bridge’ finally broke and he fell down with it.
“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH... MANG... AAAAAAARGH...!!!!”
“Ow... I’m gonna have nightmares with that.” Lila couldn’t help but feel bad for El Oso despite him being an enemy. Jimmy walked to the edge of the chasm and looked down.
“I... guess... yes, I see him...” Jimmy then yelled loudly. “Hey, Sir, are you alive?”
The group then heard a painful reply.
“I’m okaaaaay...” Then, a pause and a loud crack. “ARGH!! I LIED, MANG!!!”
The whole group cringed at this, just like the bears the other side of the chasm. The bears then looked at their attempted victims and, realizing they were now out of their reach, and that their ‘leader’ wouldn’t be in ‘leading conditions’ for some time, they went back to the forest.
“We better leave now.” Jimmy suggested while turning back at the yellow brick road, that was just a few dozen yards from where they crossed the chasm. “Luckily, we aren’t that far.”
“Yes, good idea; I hope El Oso gets better... even if he wasn’t exactly nice.” Lila said before turning at Chuckie, smiling kindly at the lion. “And thanks for saving Jimmy, Spunky and I, Chuckie.”
“Heh... you’re welcome. Guess there are some advantages on being a coward; running quite fast comes to mind.” The lion chuckled a bit.
“Wish I had a mind things would come fast to.” Jimmy rolled his eyes as the group returned to the road.
Chuckie spent the next hour eating the snacks Lila gave him from the basket as the group continued walking, as this helped him calm down his nerves after facing his fears so many times this morning; especially considering one of those fears was a huge, murderous guy in bear suit. Jimmy and Jenny noticed Lila and Spunky had started tiring down from walking as well, so offered to help them a bit; Jenny carried Lila piggy-back style while Jimmy held the basket and Chuckie carried Spunky, so the girl and the dog could rest without stopping the group. After a while, the forest started disappearing and it got replaced by a prairie, with small and disperse groups of trees and some little hills instead of the dense woods they had been since they got all together.
“Well, now we have open terrain ahead.” Jenny commented. “I guess now nothing can’t catch us by surprise.”
After the group walked around a small hill that the road partially surrounded, they all froze in shock.
“Surprise.” Jenny groaned while gently placing Lila down. The hill covered the view to a certain extent, so the group didn’t notice the next obstacle until it was right ahead; a very wide river. As it had happened with the chasms, the road continued on the other side.
“You know, if I didn’t want to be brave as much as I want to, my wish for the wizard would be to get this road fixed.” Chuckie shook his head while facepalming.
The group started looking around, trying to find any way to cross the river. Unfortunately for them, water, specially moving, deep water, was a very big problem for them all; Jenny, obviously, would get rusty and/or sink down if trying to cross; Jimmy’s light straw body would get carried away; Spunky was too small to swim such a big distance; Lila had never learned how to swim; and, of course, Chuckie had Hydrophobia, fear of water.
Jimmy looked up at the little hill they had just passed by and grinned a bit when seeing the many small trees on top. Maybe they were too small to use as a bridge, but even a brainless scarecrow knows that wood floats.
“We can use those logs to float the other side of the river.” Jimmy proposed. Jenny looked at the trees and beamed.
“Even better, I can make a raft with them. This might take a while but it’s not a problem for me.” Jenny changed both her hands into axes and went up to the hill to start chopping down the necessary trees.
As it had happened with the improvised bridge they used on the second chasm, Jenny did most of the work, but her friends helped a lot this time. Chuckie was strong enough to help her carry the logs downhill, as they couldn’t risk just rolling them down since it was very close to the river and some of the logs would fall in it; and once they had all the logs they needed, Lila and Jimmy helped Jenny to make up the raft while Chuckie and Spunky took a nap; Lila explained Jimmy and Jenny that cats and dogs usually sleep a lot more than humans, and surely Chuckie and Spunky needed a break by now.
A couple hours later, the raft was finished, big and strong enough to carry the whole group. Lila and Jimmy also got some long sticks that they could use to move the raft. The redhead girl, the scarecrow and Spunky got on the raft while Jenny and Chuckie pushed it to the river; then, to distribute the weight, the metal girl and the lion placed themselves on opposite sides of the raft while the others would remain in the middle.
“Okay, we’re ready now. Push.” Jenny said to her companions as they started pushing with the sticks, and soon the raft was moving and crossing the river without problems.
Unfortunately, by the time they were right in the middle of the river, where the current was much stronger, two floating logs appeared out of nowhere, and hit the raft at full force. This took the passengers off balance, and Jenny almost fell to the water; Jimmy and Lila had to hold on her for a moment until Chuckie reacted and grabbed the metal girl himself so nobody would fall, but this accident made them to lose their sticks, and now the raft was getting carried away by the river, and far away from the yellow brick road.
“Oh, no!!” Jimmy gulped, realizing the magnitude of their problem. “What are we gonna do now?”
“First... yelling in fear.” Chuckie cleared his throat. “AAAAAAAAAH!!!!”
“Chuckie, get a hold on yourself!!” Jenny shook the lion a bit; the last thing they needed was a panicking wild beast on the raft.
“Better get a hold on the raft!!” Lila gasped, pointing at the distance. “Rapids ahead!!”
The rest of the group realized the girl was right, and they immediately got a hold on both the raft and themselves, so the powerful, roaring water didn’t make them fall to the river. Spunky almost fell twice until Lila could get a good hold on him, while Jimmy got a good hold on the girl. After several minutes that seemed to be hours, the water calmed down a bit, but it still was very fast, and the group no longer could see the yellow brick road, both due to the distance and the small hills and large rocks at both sides of the river.
“Now I wish I didn’t need to eat... because I think I’m gonna lose my lunch...” Lila covered her mouth, hoping her stomach would cooperate with her.
“A brilliant plan!” Jimmy exclaimed, and the others looked at him.
“No, that’s what we need; a brilliant plan.”
“Jimmy, do that again, and you’ll get a bath.” Jenny frowned at the scarecrow. It wasn’t necessary to be a genius to realize the girl wasn’t kidding.
“This is ever so awful... how I wish I could swim.” Lila lamented while she started ‘rowing’ by using her hands, trying to be useful. Unfortunately, this made little difference.
“Yeah, I wish I could swim too.” Jenny groaned.
“And wish I didn’t fear to swim.” Chuckie started helping Lila with the rowing.
“And wish...” Jimmy paused. “Wait... Chuckie... you FEAR to swim... that means, you CAN swim?”
“Uh... well... when you have hydrophobia, you fear you’ll drown to death someday, so it’s better if you know how to swim.” Chuckie gulped. “But the most I’ve ever swum is, you know, a small pond, with a rubber ducky, and less than 2 feet away from the shore.”
“Well, right now, you’re the only one who can help us. Maybe you can swim out of the river and get help?” Lila said to the lion.
“By the time I get the help, you guys will be the other side of Nick.” Chuckie groaned before sighing and shaking his head. “And now I hate myself for the idea I just had.”
“Hey, I wish I’d get ideas; if you have one, use it.” Jimmy said to his companion and then added, “Unless your idea is to panic again.”
“Okay, that will be Plan B. Now... my idea is...”
A couple minutes later, Chuckie was swimming to the shore... and dragging the raft along with him; Jenny got a good hold on his tail and then, changing her other hand into a hook, secured herself to the raft, while Jimmy, Lila and Spunky stayed in the middle, all of them encouraging the lion.
“Just... to make things clear... I’m not... a sea lion...” Chuckie panted, making an obvious effort to drag the raft and beat the river’s current.
“Well, I ‘see’ no other lion around, so right now, you’re doing this.” Jenny half joked yet it was obvious she was impressed by the lion’s strength. “You’re doing quite well!!”
“Thanks... and... keep... encoura...ging... me... so I don’t... remember... the crazy thing I’m doing right now!!” Chuckie complained between his panting but he eventually reached the shore. Luckily, they were the side they were trying to get by on first place, but, unfortunately, they were now several miles away from the road.
“Dry... land... never... thought... I’d miss you... this much...” Chuckie dropped himself on the ground, taking very deep breaths, while his companions left the raft and congratulated him. The lion felt happy for being helpful and for having enough courage to beat this particular fear, but he couldn’t enjoy it too much since exhaustion made him fall asleep almost immediately.
“Poor Chuckie. You’ve had an ever so hard day.” Lila petted the lion, kneeling in front of him, while Spunky liked his face. Meanwhile, Jenny and Jimmy looked around to see if there were any other obstacle or danger; luckily, this side of the river looked safe enough.
“Well, now we must return to the road. The river carried us a very long distance away.” Jenny said but then looked back at the sleeping Chuckie. “Uh... but he’s gonna need to rest for a while.”
“Well, maybe we can carry him for a while, so he can sleep while we walk. He deserves it.” Jimmy shrugged.
A few minutes later, the group had to place Chuckie back on the ground.
“Okay, before you say it was a bad idea... brainless, remember?” Jimmy groaned. His straw body and Lila’s muscles didn’t have the strength to carry a lion, even a human-sized one like Chuckie; they only managed to move him because Jenny was doing most of the job, and even if she was strong enough to carry the weight, doing it without help would be very uncomfortable for both her and Chuckie. The group decided to wait until Chuckie woke up... something that took the rest of the day, and by the time he did it, it was already too dark. To make up for the lost time, Lila took some coffee from her basket and gave it all to Chuckie, and then they got back to the whole ‘carrying Lila and Spunky’ idea, so the scarecrow, metal girl and lion could walk the whole night if necessary while the girl and dog slept.
(Now, back to the notes. The scenes in this chapter, as many of you probably realized already, aren’t present in most of ‘The Wizard’ adaptations; we have included them here both for entertainment purposes, to keep up with the original story, and as a chance to show up Lila’s companions’ different abilities. Also, El Oso, from ‘El Tigre, The Adventures of Manny Rivera’, and his bears, take the place of the Kalidahs, tiger-bear hybrid monsters from the original story.)
(And for those who know classic cartoons, you probably got Chuckie referencing 'Super Chicken', who had a lion sidekick who 'knew the job was dangerous when he took it'.)