The next morning we heard the sound of deep snoring coming from the pen. Tigran, now in a dog form, was sleeping with his jaws clamped on the limp form of a weasel—yes, it was a long, muscular, snake-like brown creature. Its mouth hung open, revealing long, white teeth. When he heard us approaching, Tigran shook the dead creature once again, I suppose in an attempt to show us his kill.
“How could such a small creature be so deadly?” my host asked.
“My dear foolish Forrest,” I began. “Why not?”
“It seems so wrong,” Forrest said. “I always thought that animals killed because they had to eat. This thing killed for sport. It never ate much of anything. It just enjoyed murdering things. People do that, not animals. Besides, weasels are supposed to kill rats. We have so many of them. Why not murder all of them?”
I had to laugh. “Fool! Humans are animals! As animals are savage, so are we. The only thing that changes this is human culture. It teaches us that killing for sport is wrong—not that this stops wanton killing, but at least it keeps the bulk of people in check. Do you not observe how human children are so savage? If they could, they would inflict great harm on their peers. They do quite often. When I was a skinny scrap of a boy I was bullied mercilessly. Day in and day out, children from my village beat me, inflicted upon me cruel verbal abuse, and caused me to live in perpetual fear. Animals are made of the same stuff as we are. Some animals, like some humans, are not vicious. Some, like the worst of our kind, are monstrous.”
Tigran began to crunch on the creature’s head. I pet his soft fur, and he dropped the headless corpse at my feet, perhaps inviting me to eat of the kill. I found it to be rather pungent. It was no doubt a male.