I - Parakeet
I looked down from my tree and saw a large, furry animal feeding upon the remains of a smaller but equally furry animal. At first I felt sickened but quickly mastered the urge.
“Nature must run it’s course,” I declared.
“Cobblers!” the green and red parakeet I shared my perch with exclaimed Silence enveloped us once more and we watched the red sun sink slowly beyond the distant horizon.
“Night,” said I, once twilight had come and gone. “At last.” Perhaps, I thought on, it will get cooler now.
“Cobblers!” the parakeet decried, flapping its wings loftily.
“Of course it’s night!” I told it, somewhat testily.
“Cobblers!” the parakeet insisted.
“Deny this then!” I said softly, calmly shooting the bird with my revolver.
Once the cloud of feathers that action provoked had settled, I lay back and slept. But my sleep was uneasy, for the branch I lay upon was far from soft and smooth.
II – Caveman
I stood at the top of the gentle incline and studied the grazing herd. I had been tracking them for several days and was now tired and very hungry. My furs were damp and muddy, leaving me feeling cold and uncomfortable.
“Well, here goes nothing.” I raised my club above my head. Then I screamed as loudly as I could and launched myself down the slope. The club began to whistle as I whirled it through the air.
Several of the beasts looked up but, showing supreme disinterest, returned to their feeding. I was outraged that they could ignore me so.
“Swine!” I bellowed at them and forced myself to charge faster.
One of the animals, standing on the periphery of the herd, lifted its horned head and snorted in my direction. It tossed its head then turned in towards its companions.
“It’s all right,” I clearly heard it say. “It’s just that damn fool caveman again.”
The assembled beasts began to laugh.
III - Rats
A dozen pairs of gleaming eyes reflected the beam of my torch as I swept around the cellar. Their feral brightness startled me and the hairs on my neck bristled.
“So what if we are?” a high pitched voice squealed in challenge.
I inhaled sharply. “Rats can’t talk,” I muttered as I peered along the beam. “Who’s there?”
“They can too talk,” a second voice squeaked back.
I gasped again and paused and re-evaluated my earlier statement. My long held beliefs on the nature of things had just been dramatically shaken and I could recall nothing from the training manual that would have prepared me for this.
“Okay,” I stammered eventually,” where did you learn to talk?”
“Hmmph! Where do you think?” was the indignant reply. Obviously I was going to receive no cooperation here.
“How the hell should I know?” My temper was fraying rapidly – I was not handling this well at all.
“Ooooh. Touchy, touchy!” several high-pitched voices chirped in chorus.
“FUCK OFF!” I flung the torch at the speakers.
Suddenly a voice rumbled and the floor shook. “Oi! You vicious bastard! Leave my friends alone!”
“What…?” It was my turn to squeak in the two seconds it took for me to lose consciousness. That can happen to a guy when the floor speaks…