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The Bare Necessities

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Manami stretched and closed her laptop with a victoriously loud thud. She had managed to finish writing her article and get some of her research files in order without being interrupted by her two year old, which was an accomplishment, to say the least.

She wondered what Karma was doing to keep Mio entertained for so long. She thought she hadn’t heard them because of how focused she was, but even now that she relaxed, she still couldn’t hear a peep. And Mio was an artist at peeping loudly.

Curious- and a bit concerned- Manami walked out of her study quietly, supposing her son was asleep. However, the closer she got to the living room, the easier she could make out a buzz. It sounded like a television-no, like a song.

She cracked the door to the living room- which was more of a playroom for Mio- and froze in place.

Mio was awake. And quiet.

Her child was sitting in front of the television, watching in awe as the screen gave life to the Jungle Book’s colorful cast. Karma was there too, watching the Disney movie just as intently, bouncing Mio softly in his arms.

Manami felt a smile tug at her lips. Watching her husband and son so mesmerized by a child’s movie was truly hilarious, given that one was a schemer and the other inherited his father more than the man himself realized.

She unglued herself from the doorframe and walked over to them. Neither of them budged. Her smile grew wider.

“What are you doing?” she asked Karma, tapping him on his shoulder. He didn’t answer. “Karma!” she poked his cheek.

“Shhh!” Was the only answer she got, both from the father and the son who put their index fingers over their mouths. Stifling a giggle, Manami sat next to her husband.

In front of her, a dozen Disney movies laid scattered. She could tell they had a hard time choosing between Mulan, The Lion King, Bambi and Lady and the Tramp and what was now on screen. However, the Jungle Book came out as the winner.

Manami remembered how she and Karma had started their Disney movie collection when they moved in together. It was Karma that absolutely loved them and he talked her into watching them with him on their Friday Movie Night. After watching Tarzan and Atlantis, she was hooked. She had a hunch that Karma had chosen them because she could resonate with the researchers, but she didn’t mind it- they were just really well done.

Her favourite story, though, was Mulan. She found the main lead amazingly strong and the songs always made her crack. Karma’s favourite was The Lion King- he argued it was politically accurate.

While she was pregnant, she once made a Disney marathon with Karma. Watching Mio captivated by Baloo now, she had to wonder if that shaped his movie taste in any way.

That or the fact that “The Bare Necessities” was the best song Disney ever composed. No matter how witty I’ll make a man out of you was, there was a certain charm irradiating from Baloo’s life lesson.

As soon as the song kicked in, Mio got up from his father’s arms and starting bouncing up and down like Baloo did. Karma couldn’t help but sing along to the catchy lyrics either.

Look for the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities/ Forget about your worries and your strive.

Mio got closer to the TV, watching Baloo as he gave Mogli the best advice. Manami smiled at the nostalgic memories: Karma used to sing that song when she was pregnant and everything hurt, hoping to cheer her up.

I’ll tell you something true: the bear necessities of life will come to you.

But when?

They’ll come to you!

The song picked up from there. Soon, the bear starting scratching against a tree and Mio ran to the sofa, rubbing his back against it. Manami followed him with amused eyes, whereas Karma actually snickered, but he didn’t stop singing.

Baghera gave up on trying to stop his friend from acting irresponsible and then, Manami also gave in to the temptation of singing along. Karma had been eyeing her for a while now, and she swore she saw him smirk when she sang along.

Let me tell you something little fellow: If you’re trying like that bee up there, you’re working too hard.

Karma got up too and pulled Manami with him spinning her around for the last echoes of the song. She laughed, but let him drag her into his pace anyway.

So don’t spend your time looking around for something you want that can’t be found.

Mio tugged at her trousers and she picked him up, bringing him between her and Karma as they all sang the last lines:

I mean the bare necessities/ That's why a bear can rest at ease/ With just the bare necessities of life.

When it was all over, they all laughed along with Baloo and crashed back on the tatami carpets. Karma became an armchair for Mio once again, this time making place for Manami to cuddle next to him too. She let her head rest on his shoulder and he kissed the crown of her hair wordlessly, immersing himself in the movie once again.

Manami couldn’t focus on the movie though: her son and husband were much more entertaining. She quietly studied them, nuzzling Karma with her nose from time to time.

A few years ago, she couldn’t have imagined herself with a family like this, spending Sundays watching the Jungle Book. But right now, she couldn’t wish for anything more.

Baloo was right: the bare necessities of life really do come to you.