"All I'm saying is that you're unfairly lucky!" Hyena whined. "I mean, everywhere I go, I'm either the hysterical idiot who laughs at everything, or the bloody murderer who can crack skulls in just a single bite!"
"It's not my fault," Lion snorted back, shaking his mane callously.
"And I never got the "King of the Jungle" crap anyway!" Hyena continued to mope. "You guys don't even live in the jungle!"
"Yeah, I don't know about that second one," Lion admitted, some of his callousness fading. He wasn't sure of what to make of that old phrase either.
"Well at leassst you're not a sssssnake!" hissed Snake. While he actually quite enjoyed life as a snake, the stereotypes weren't always fun. "We are almossssst alwaysssss the villainssss, even more often than Hyenasssss."
"Well, hey! At least you've got some positives!" Hyena continued to whine. "You're a symbol of medicine and protection in some areas! But everywhere I'm represented, it's never flattering."
"Ssssssome areasssss," Snake hissed back. "Unfortunately, the wesssst is very powerful and their culture sssstigmatizes me jussst like it doessss you. To them, I am a liar and a monssster. I am evil, a tempter. How do you think that feelsssssss?" he demanded.
"And don't you forget about me!" Rat butted in. "Even though we, and our mice cousins, have been used and tested in labs throughout history, helping make some wonderful contributions to science, we're still seen as greedy idiots with empty heads and full bellies! We're cowards, liars, cheaters, thieves and every other manner of dishonest traitor you can think of! And it's hardly fair!"
"Oh great, not you too!" Lion sighed as Rat began his own rant. He was always grouchy. The last thing Lion wanted was for him to go off.
"But rats are smart! Dontcha know?" Rat continued, ignoring Lion. "Yet for some reason, only the mice ever get the hero treatment. It's a rare day when you see a truly good, genuine, honest, friendly and righteous rat!"
"Same!" Bat agreed, waving a wing. "It's nothing but bloodsucking!" she said. "And even though, yes, some of us drink blood, not all of us do. And even those that do are not vampires in disguise, out to kill you and steal your soul. We just do it to eat. That's it! But Heaven forbid! The humans hate us! But I mean, come on! Has anyone here ever seen a human eat? Talk about savagery!" Bat screwed up her face in disgust.
"I've got the same problem," Fox agreed, swishing her tail. She didn't even need to say it for everyone to know. It was something she and Snake had both become friends over: their mutual stereotypes of inherent dishonesty, danger and theft. Snake was even curled up on her back during this little get-together. He quite enjoyed her warm, soft fur.
"And I know Weasel and Vulture would both have quite a lot to say if they were here today!" Fox added.
"Vulture! Now there's an interesting chap!" Raven cawed suddenly as Fox reminded him of his fellow carrion-eating friend. Vulture was actually very sweet. He was kind and gentle. But he did seem a bit… absentminded, which was what Raven was referring to.
"Oh, as if you're any better!" his mate, Crow, teased.
"Well listen! I at least have truly proven myself worthy of getting a little bit more respect than what I'm currently given!" Raven huffed. "I have counseled the great and mighty Odin himself, flown alongside Thor during a thunderstorm, and battled alongside Freya and her cat-drawn chariot!"
"And don't forget your campaigns in England, Ireland and Wales!" Crow grinned, egging his mate on.
"Ah yes!" Raven puffed out his chest even further. "I have fought alongside Celtic goddesses and they took on my form to fight and honor their heroes! So tell me why all I ever am to anyone nowadays is a symbol of death, destruction and despair!"
Raven looked so genuinely offended that the others couldn't stop a laugh. Raven was very theatrical to be sure, while his mate acted as the saner one of the two and often grounded Raven if he ever got too out of his own head.
"Oh, calm down, darling," Crow tried to preen his mate, but Raven continued to pout.
"How can I when owls and doves are seen as better and more desirable?" he demanded. "Owls aren't even as smart as people claim and doves are thicker than bricks, but they have somehow become a nearly universal symbol of peace!"
"Ooof, and don't forget about swans," Fox spoke up suddenly, remembering an angry pair she'd run into while hunting.
"Swans!" Raven agreed in disgust. Despite their beauty and grace, they could be terrifyingly vicious. The romanticizing of swans became comical when one saw just how angry they could get. They were temperamental, to say the least, and loved nothing more than to fight and peck.
"It's like deer!" Rat agreed. "Everyone thinks deer are so innocent, but they eat meat!"
"What?" Snake and Bat both looked genuinely surprised.
"Yes!" Rat nodded, almost frantic. "It is a rare thing, true, but it happens nonetheless! It kind of puts a wrench in any depiction that tries to make them these cute, sweet little creatures of innocence, beauty and nature, huh?"
"Just a little," Lion nodded, speaking for the first time in several minutes as he tried to wrap his mind around the idea of a deer eating meat.
"Yeah. How romantic would it be, to walk through a gorgeous forest path and run into a deer with a bloody mouth, meat and bones sticking out of its teeth?" Rat snickered. Some of the animals looked thoroughly disgusted, but a couple seemed mildly interested.
"Hmmmmm, sounds decent to me," Hyena and Raven both said. Rat gave them both disgusted looks.
"Ok, just because you guys eat carrion-," he began,
"Oh, calm down!" Fox swished her tail. "They know the point you were trying to make, Rat, they're just trying to get under your skin."
"Well it's working!" Rat grumbled, crossing his paws.
"Either way!" Hyena said loudly, trying to redirect the conversation. "My point is that some animals have all the luck!"
"Again, hardly my fault," Lion shrugged.
"I'm not saying it is!" said Hyena. "I'm just saying that you could be a bit nicer!"
"Or you could just shut up and stop complaining, since I didn't do it," Lion suggested. Hyena snarled at him.
"Alrighty, boys, that's enough!" Fox growled warningly. Even though she was far smaller than Lion and Hyena, she had a commanding tone that caused both of them to back down immediately.
Rat snickered in the background, amused that such a tiny creature could stay a lion and hyena. Bat, meanwhile, looked mildly concerned. Snake was still lounging lazily on Fox's back, clearly not at all concerned by the near fight that had just broken out. Raven and Crow had since entered their own private conversation, the two of them ruefully discussing how it felt to constantly be associated with death or ill omens. It was just another normal day in the Animal Kingdom.
AN: Just me pointing out some animal stereotypes via a silly argument between a bunch of unrealistic animal friends.
Also yes, the raven and crow are gay mates. They're a Gay-ven and a Crow-mosexual (I'm sorry, I'll see myself out now, LOL)