Simba complains to his friend that he's bored and she sulkily agrees with him. He goes on to complain about his mother, Sarabi, who never lets him climb rocks or swim in the river. His intense boredom drives him to persuade her to let him play more roughly.
Simba goes to his mother and begs her to let him climb trees, but Sarabi tells him that it's too dangerous. She asks him if he'll play something else. Getting a sudden idea, she pulls out a gourd and tells Simba that the gigantic fruit would serve as an excellent ball. She demonstrates the gourd's movements by kicking it with her paw. Simba chases after the "ball" and realizes that this new game is just as fun as rough-housing. Sarabi compliments Simba on his playing techniques, then comments to herself that it was a perfectly safe game and neither cub would get hurt.
Nala kicks the ball and Simba catches it in his mouth. But when Nala kicks it again, the ball sails over Simba's head and lands on a log in the middle of the river. At first, Simba and Nala don't know what to do. Then Simba gets a great idea and begins to cross the river by jumping from boulder to boulder. When he runs out of stones, he looks around for another floating object. Spotting a trunk, he leaps towards it, only to find that it isn't a trunk, but a crocodile!
Simba manages to escape the vicious predator by jumping onto a floating tree trunk. Still holding the gourd in his mouth, he begins to drift downriver. But as he's floating peacefully, he realizes that he's hurtling over the edge of a waterfall! But as he's falling, a giant golden bird grabs Simba in its talons and drops him farther downstream. After being dropped, Simba comments that he was lucky he hadn't been made into birdseed!
Simba starts to get dragged downstream by the current. At first, he thinks that the situation is hopeless, but soon manages to struggle his way back to shore. As he makes his way back to the plains, he gets tangled in a thorn hedge and has trouble getting out of the prickly bushes. When he finally escapes the thorn thicket, he comments on his ragged appearance. Not long after this, he runs into a hive of hornets. Racing away with the hornets in pursuit, Simba makes for the Pride Lands.
Meanwhile, Simba's father, Mufasa, is asking Sarabi where their son is. Sarabi tells Mufasa that Simba is playing ball with Nala. She thinks that he's having a lot of fun, even though the game is harmless. But no sooner has she said this when she sees a bedraggled Simba limping towards her. When she asks him what happened, he tells her that he had only been doing what she had said. Flopping down, he asks her if she knew of a different game, for ball was just too dangerous!