It started with the birds.
Yellow finches, blue jays, your common grey pigeon. No one noticed the decreasing avian life besides the old ladies at the park who suddenly found themselves with an oversupply of breadcrumbs and less and less beaks to feed.
Next, she preyed on the cats. Street thin, or household pudgy, she didn’t discriminate. Crack open a tuna can and any tabby’s as gullible as the next. Meat is meat. Bones are bones. If good ol’ Baxter went missing, a day or two usually went by before the owners thought to put up the signs.
Soon, the neighborhood lampposts were fluttering with posters and not a night went by without this or that family out searching for their wandering feline.
People started locking their doors, bolting the animal hatches shut. The shelters were emptying out with all the adoptions and zero fresh inmates.
Dogs were disappearing. Pet bunnies and turtles and lizards. Everything from the smallest chihuahuas to Alsatians. One morning you’d wake up and Fido would just be plain gone for good.
“Where are all the animals?” Blared newspaper headlines.
Not a clue, she’d think as she shoveled the last bit of soil on a snout or a paw. I have no idea what happened to your dog.
This as she patted the mound down.
She’d need a new spade soon. Maybe one of those shiny green wheelbarrows.
There wasn’t as much thrill now though and business was getting harder what with everyone walking their pets on a leash or harness. Her hunger was building for bigger game. She wanted something that really squirmed for life between her hands. Something smarter than your average labradoodle.
Yes, perhaps with more meat too, she thought as she rolled a tailbone between two fingers. Maybe tomorrow she’d try a kindergarten. Or a bus stop.