• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 05

The Claws

It was like nothing you'd ever seen.

The table was almost smothered. Across it, strung on fat vines and wrapped by bright leaves, were bushels and bushels of varied fruits and plants, practically bursting with sap. Grapes and berries of all colours, apples, pears and different unknown beauties extended over each other in every direction. The smell of citrus tinged the air.

And in the centre, on a large silver platter sat The Claws. The dog watched them intently, quite unable to understand. They were bulbous and red and iridescent. From their trunks a fat body stemmed backwards, also iridescent, and nestled in coiling legs and different armoured plates that shimmered.

But its smell was most fascinating. It skewered through the entire cornucopia like a sunbeam, and the dog was breathless under its sheer aromatic weight. Small platelets of saliva patted the floor by his feet.

“Ya better watch ya'self, littl’un.” The dog jolted from his stupor. Below the table, caressing a dangling vine with its tail, sat the monkey. The dog stared blankly back for a moment.

“I said ya better watch out. You'll end up jus' the same,” the monkey repeated.

“I ain't gonna go for 'em... I's just looking.” The dog glanced up again at The Claws, almost intimidated by their delightful presence.


The Claws

“Ya don't have to go for 'em. It's enough for a human to jus' believe ya will. And the way you’re lookin’ at ‘em, they'll have ya outta here in a flash. Trust me, you'll be on a platter by morning.” The monkey scrunched a berry lightly in its hand, testing the pressure, but taking care not to damage the flesh.

The dog looked indignant. He licked the saliva from his mouth. "I don' know why you talk about humans like that,” he said. "Like they's got it out for us. To eat us. They treat us darn good, n' I don't like your constant moanin'."

“It’s cos you’re in the good books.”


The monkey studied the dog, eyes glinting.  It removed its hand from the berry and crept forwards slightly with all fours. “You see that, up on the table?” The monkey flicked its thumb up at the platter, eyes fixed on the dog.

“What. Ya mean them claws?”

“They call it lobster. Ya know what that is?”

The dog shook his head uneasily.


The Claws

“It’s like crab. But much, much tastier. But ya see, they gotta cook it right. Else the meat gets ruined.” The monkey slinked on its front fists. “So they wrap up the claws with wire, to take the fight out of it. N’ then you know what they do?”

The dog looked down at the monkey, now right in front of him. Its eyes were fierce, but the monkey smiled. ‘They boil ‘em. Alive. So who’s to know? You could be next.’

The dog glanced up at the table. His mouth was suddenly dry. The lobster sat, lifeless and delicious. It would soon be time for dinner.