A large, ruffled-looking dog slipped in and out between shopper's legs in it's journey to the end of the highstreet. The road and footpath were both uncomfortably busy today, making the trip over even more unbearable. But it was necessary, the dog conculded quietly in it's mind. Pungent smells wafted across the concrete floor of the path, tempting other animals and humans into finding the source of the scent.
The dog turned a blind eye to distractions, focusing only on it's quarry. It was true the dog became easily distracted, at times when it was idle and had nothing to do, but this was not one of them. It was hunting, and a small poodle with no owner by it's side would be sufficient for that day. The poor dog only had enough brains to fill half a teaspoon, but would prove quite a meal once the curly fur had been stipped away from the meat. The dog didn't like eating very distant relatives, but, overall, the hunter wouldn't mind killing a poodle or two.
Suddenly, as if it could sense it's impending demise, the poodle changed course down a dusty side-street. The dog followed as soon at it was able; breaking into a short canter to catch up. But now the poodle was alert, slightly aware that it was being chased. It would need a lot of brain cells to get out of this one. The poodle could see the light of another main street up ahead, and bolted. But so little did it know about it's captor.
The dog behind bared it's teeth hungrily in a rasp, eyes feeling the energy radiating from the thrill inside it's head. It's long legs stretched out as it pelted towards the poodle in front. Spit flew from the corners of it's panting mouth. Large paws pounded the ground eagerly. The mutt was moments away from escaping hunger.
Just as the tail end of it's prey was in reach, they were coming closer and closer to the end of the alley. The poodle was almost crying in desperation to reach the brightness, if that were possible. The same second that sunlight burst upon them, a small, baby-faced girl jumped out at them, the poodle miraculously dodging her, but it's hunter screetching to a halt on it's hind legs, eyes wide and shocked.
"Mummy! Look! A giant doggie!!" The girl screamed, hopping from foot to foot as she reached out. Poor thing was completely oblivious to the danger. The gray dog growed, trying to scare her and prevent her from getting hurt. The hunger still burned away inside, searching for a new target, angry this time that the death had been prevented. The dog clenched it teeth, still growling, and battled with it's self-control.
Humans and not food, Humans are not food!, the dog roared to itself. The little girl was coming closer, not in the least bit phased by the dog's distress. She was reaching with one hand and pulling a packet of soft mints from her pocket with the other.
"Nice doggie. It's ok, Cass won't hurt you..." She hummed musically. The dog shook it's head furiously. Now was not a good time to be offered a free, easy meal. The girl stopped reaching and pulled a mint from the packet.
"Here, see..." She mumbled. The dog knocked the mint from her hand and barked really loud. The girl's lip trembled i that childish way and tears welled up in her eyes. The dog sniffed round, finding the mint, and swalloed it hard. The white sweet burned it's tongue and throat, giving the dog something to swing it's attention to, instead of the thirst and hunger deep inside.
"Cassie, some away from that dog! It's probably a stray!" The girl's mother had finally caught up.
"Mummie, the doggie barked at meeee..." The girl wailed, grabbing her mum's skirt for support. The lady picked her up, gave a strangled, half-sad, half-disgusted look at the dog, and strode away, girl in tow.
The dog was left, writhing in pain on it's back. It was being forced to change again. The dog pulled itsef up, looking as though it had weights tied to it's back, and with an 'umph' noise, became the ususal, grey-haired female human. The burning from the mint ceased, thankfully, and the girl slumped exaustedly against the corner, ignoring the filthy looks from passers by.
The girl sighed. She was very, very hungry at this point, and had used energy reverting back to human form. Her buckled boots cluncked and jangled as she stood up, leaning against the wall. Time for something to eat, she thought.