You’re too tired to follow them, and besides, eavesdropping is rude. So instead you fall asleep in a bush. Which may sound uncomfortable.
The next morning! Baloo wakes you up, his face and voice somber. He says he has something important to tell you: he’s going to take you to the human village. Oh no! You thought you’d finally be able to stay in the jungle. Bagheera must have convinced him. Or maybe he blackmailed Baloo. That must have been what they were talking about last night.
You refuse to go to the village. You run off, saying you can make it on your own. You may shout something about showing them all, but maybe you don’t. Emotions run high.
Eventually emotions run low as you mope through the jungle alone. Nobody actually seems to want you in the jungle, they either want you to leave or just want something from you. Nobody wants you just for you.
With a tired sigh—you walked for a while and the air is thickly sweet around here—you sit at the base of a tree to consider your options. Maybe you should go to the village, at least there you might be accepted. It’s no fun being where nobody wants you. On the other hand, if you strike out on your own in the jungle and prove you’re cool you’ll get lots of new friends who will want you to hang around!
These ruminations are interrupted as something soft and cool wraps under your legs and around your waist. Before you realize it a scaly seat lifts you up the tree, too high to jump off without hurting yourself. The seat lifts you above the leaves and to a branch where you jump back in surprise. There’s a human up here! Except—she’s not? She looks human, with sparkling eyes and wavy long hair down her bare arms, but her smooth human skin changes past her waist to the scales of a thick snake tail, the pattern matching that around your waist.
She smiles at you, at first hungrily like she could eat you up, but then pityingly like you’re a wayward soul. But hey, what is she, anyway?
-16a You have no idea, but she’s pretty.
-16b Wait, no, she’s a lamia, isn’t she?
-16c She is a lamia and you know not to trust lamias!