Coypucat - Chapter One

A strange creature is seen that no one can identify.

The television was on, but her attention had wandered. She sat, gazing out the window.She watched the branches of the bushes as they swayed in the breeze until something else caught her attention - a movement.  She looked at the close cropped Privet hedge which ran the length of her drive.She caught a glimpse  of something, but it was just out of her line of sight, obscured from her by the windowsill. She stood up and walked over to the window.

There it was, crouched down, hunked into the hedge as if to shelter from the breeze. She stared. She'd never seen anything like it before.She estimated it to be about two foot tall. She could see it's hind feet in the earth of the border.It appeared to be balanced on it's hind legs, as if squatting.It's left front leg, - or were they arms, she wasn't quite sure - rested on it's left haunch. The right one was rested on the ground, between it's hind feet, as if steadying itself. It's chest and belly were visible, the hair there appeared thinner than on the rest of it's body. It's short neck supported a round head with an odd looking face. As she watched it,  it's eyes seem to dart as if constantly watching for danger.

The workmen at the house across the road seemed unaware of it's presence, although it certainly appeared to be aware of them. It jerked and glanced over in their direction every time the sound of their drill started, or one of them dropped something that clattered on the ground.It glanced repeatedly at the top of the house, and at the bushes, presumably reacting to some sound which was inaudible from inside the house.

She saw it raise it's head, appearing to be sniffing the air. The skin along it's nose wrinkled and she caught a brief look at it's teeth. She stiffend slightly as she saw the row of small incisors, punctuated at either end by slightly longer, sharp looking canines. This was a carnivore. From it's outward appearence, the shape of it's body and it's small, jet blck eyes she had expected to see the long incisors of a rodent.

She reached down to the table to her left and picked up the telephone. She glanced briefly down at the list of direct call numbers which were listed on the inside of the receiver. Who should she call? As she looked down the list her eyes rested on one number, the local Police Station. She had put this on the list after having some  trouble with local youths who had persistantly driven their motorbikes up and down the road, treating it as if it were a racetrack. She pressed the button.

"Hello, Donnington Police Station" Said a disembodied, male voice at the other end.

"Um, yes, Hello" She said, stuttering slightly. She suddenly wondered what on earth she was going to say and how the person on the other end was going to react. They'd probably think it was a prank call. or they would think she was crazy.

"Sorry to bother but I didn't know who else to call" She said, then drew a deep breath before continuing "This is going to sound rather strange but there's something - an animal - outside my house and I don't know what it is"

There was a pause, then the man at other end of the phone cleared his throat.

"What sort of animal Ma'am?" He enquired.

"That's just it" She replied. Then, more quietly "I don't know" She stared back out the window at the creature outside. 

"What's it doing Ma'am?" The man asked.

"Well" She said, the sound of his voice drawing her attention back to the conversation. She considered the question, then said "It's just sitting under my hedge" But as the words come out of her mouth she could hear how lame it sounded. "But .. " Her words trailed off as her attention once again rested with the animal outside the window.

"Perhaps you should call the RSPCA Ma'am" The man at the end of the 'phone suggested. By the tone of his voice she could tell he was obviously trying to be polite, but she imagined he must have been struggling to understand why anyone would think an animal outside their window was a Police matter.

"Yes" She said, distractedly, "But I don't think they'd know what it is either. I've been a Veterinary Nurse for over twenty-five years and I've never seen anything like it before"

"Well perhaps it's some exotic species that has escaped. In which case you should definately contact the RSPCA  Ma'am. They might be able to catch it and get it back to where it belongs" Again her attention came back to the man on the other end of the telephone.

 "I'm sorry" She apologised, "I know this must sound really bazaar. What was your name?" She asked.

"I'm Sargent Davis, Ma'am, and your name.?"

"Frazier, Rebecca Frazier" She replied. "Well thank you Sargent Davis, you've been very patient. I'll try the RSPCA"

"Very good Ma'am" He replied.

She put the phone down. The creature outside was still sat, ever vigilant. She thought about calling the RSPCA. What would she say? She thought about what they could do, what they might advise. What would she advise if someone 'phoned her and said there was a strange creature, they couldn't identify, outside their house? It  wasn't actually harming anyone but the policeman had been right, it obviously wasn't a native species, so it obviously ought to be caught if only for it's own survival. They might even know someone who could identify it. She looked at it again, it did look scared. - Menacing, but scared.- She dialled the number. 

The End

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