Joka is chararacter that appears in A Snake in the Grass.
Joka is a massive, long-bodied python. He has purple scales, dark purple stripes, and a pinkish underbelly. His eyes are normally blue-green but change to an assortment of colors when he uses hypnosis, much like Kaa from Disney's The Jungle Book.
- “Ssso that'sss what I mussst do. I mussst get the little meerkat on hisss own. That meansss I mussst get rid of hisss fat, busssybody friendsss.”
- ―Joka about Timon and his friends
Joka is known for being cunning and manipulative. He is extremely intelligent and able to formulate complicated plans in a short amount of time. He has the power to twist his words into whatever he rightly wants and uses hypnotism to lure unsuspecting victims into believing his empty words.
A Snake in the Grass
- “Your little friend sssaysss to tell you that the warthog isss back. He alssso sssaysss to tell you they don't want to sssee you anymore. You're no longer their friend.”
- ―Joka lies to Simba
Timon is searching for grubs when he hears a rustle in the bushes. He stops fooling around and listens closely, but when the sound is not repeated, he shrugs and goes back to his hunting. The search continues, and he hears the rustling again, followed by hissing. Timon is a little uneasy but tries not to think much of it. Soon, he hears another rustle and turns to see the giant python, Joka, slithering toward him. Joka's tongue is flicking in and out of his mouth, and he is giving Timon a nasty smile.
Timon, frightened of Joka, tries to run but is hypnotized by Joka's eyes. Joka wraps himself around Timon and begins to squeeze. Just in the nick of time, Simba leaps over a fallen log and slashes at Joka's head. Joka lets go of Timon, who slumps to the ground, and turns to face Simba. Joka taunts Simba, then lunges forward. Simba twists out of the way and pins Joka to the ground with all four paws. Joka manages to wriggle free and slithers off into the grass. Timon, horrified at the catastrophic event, falls over in a dead faint. Simba, seeing this, rushes over to Timon and tries to awaken him, concerned for his frightened friend.
Pumbaa, who had been watching from afar, rushes up and begins worrying over Timon as well. But after a moment, Timon sits up, and begins feeling himself all over, appalled that he's still alive. After he is reassured by his friends, the three of them agree that they should never separate and should stick to each other day and night, just in case Joka decides to return. Unknown to the three friends, Joka is hanging from a nearby tree and has overheard the whole conversation. When they're gone, he continues to sit in the tree, trying to think up a good plan of how to get Timon on his own. Finally, in the middle of the night, an idea comes to Joka, and he decides to try and destroy Timon's friendship with Pumbaa and Simba.
The next morning, Joka approaches Pumbaa, who is waiting under a banana tree for some fruit to fall. Joka greets Pumbaa in a friendly manner, then starts to hypnotize him. Pumbaa tries to run away but is unable to do so and stays rooted to the spot. Joka then starts lying to Pumbaa, claiming that Timon had called Pumbaa "stupid" and said that he "smelled bad." After confusing the dazed warthog, Joka slithers away, leaving Pumbaa sluggish and dizzy.
Later, Joka finds Simba basking himself on a rock. Joka begins to tell him lies, claiming that Timon had told Pumbaa that he doesn't like hanging around with Simba and only wants him around as his bodyguard. Simba growls, and Joka slithers away. A little while later, Joka finds Pumbaa scratching his back against a tree. He tells Pumbaa that Timon had told Simba that he'd rather hang around with Simba than Pumbaa. Joka says it must be true, since they're always together. Pumbaa, glaring at Joka, trots off.
All throughout the day, Joka does things to get under the threes' skins. He rustles the leaves around Timon, making him cranky and jumpy with his other friends, which makes Pumbaa and Simba start to believe Joka's lies. Pumbaa, thinking that Timon only likes Simba, becomes jealous of Simba, and Simba, thinking that Timon only wants him around as a bodyguard, becomes jealous of Pumbaa, and Timon, thinking he is not being protected well enough, becomes exasperated with them both. By nightfall, none of the three friends are talking to each other.
Eventually, Pumbaa is sitting by himself beside a waterfall, brooding over his ruined friendships. But as he's thinking things over, he hears a rustle behind him. Thinking it's Timon coming to apologize to him, Pumbaa turns around, expecting to his friend coming out of the bushes. But it's Joka, hanging from a nearby tree. Pumbaa tries to order Joka away, but the python refuses to leave. He says that he has news from Timon, but Pumbaa asks if he can really believe what Joka tells him. Joka tells Pumbaa that it's up to him whether he believes it or not. He then continues by saying that Timon doesn't care whether Pumbaa comes back or not because his new best friend is Simba. Joka then slithers up into the branches of the tree, leaving Pumbaa alone.
Meanwhile, Simba had been searching everywhere for Pumbaa, looking in all his favorite spots. But he still can't find the missing warthog. Tired, Simba begins to climb a tree to take a short nap, so he can wake up refreshed and continue his search for Pumbaa. But when he climbs into the tree, he runs into Joka. The python brings him a false message from Timon, saying that "the warthog" has been found and that neither he nor Timon want to see Simba again. Joka then leaves, Simba roaring after him, and slithers off into the jungle.
Simba begins to feel sad over the loss of his two best friends. But as he continues brooding over what has happened, he thinks over all the odd things Joka had said. He finally comes to the conclusion that Joka had been lying, since Timon would never call Pumbaa "the warthog." He would call him Pumbaa. Simba then realizes that Joka is setting a trap for Timon and that Simba had helped set it.
Meanwhile, Timon is gathering a pile of sticks, planning to throw them at Joka if the python appears. He mumbles to himself that it may be better to hide under the pile rather than throw the sticks at Joka. He then decides to climb a tree, but as he approaches the tree, he's horrified to find that Joka is hanging from one of the branches. Timon backs away but falls into a mud hole. Joka slithers down the tree and approaches Timon.
Afraid of getting hypnotized again, Timon refuses to meet the python's eyes. He instead tries to run, but Joka cuts him off every which way he tries to go. Unable to think of anything else, Timon begins to dig a hole in the ground, but Joka is faster and wraps himself around Timon, beginning to squeeze him tightly. Just in the nick of time, Pumbaa bursts into the clearing and demands Joka drop Timon. The python refuses, and Pumbaa rushes at him. Pumbaa tries to help free Timon, but every time Pumbaa tries to spear Joka with his tusks, the python moves Timon in the way of the dangerous horns. Pumbaa begins to get worried that he may accidentally spear Timon, so he stops the attack.
But just as Joka continues to squeeze Timon again, Simba leaps into the clearing, demanding that Joka drop his friend. Again, Joka refuses. Pumbaa then takes Joka by surprise and pins him up against a tree. Simba leaps in and claws at Joka, freeing Timon, who collapses to the ground and drags himself away from the battle. With Timon out of the way, Pumbaa begins to spear Joka with his tusks, but Joka begins to wrap himself around Pumbaa and squeezes him tightly. Simba leaps forward and snaps at Joka's neck. Joka immediately lets go of Pumbaa and cowers to the ground, realizing that the battle is lost. He tries to make it up to the three and get away without any scratches, but the three decide to throw him into a ravine so he will never return.
- Joka makes a possible cameo in All Mud and Motor Mouth. A python who bears a striking resemblance to him and speaks in the same manner as he only narrowly misses eating Timon.
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