1657. The man-eater

(Thanks to Uma for the opening sentence).

In his dream he was a man-eater, hungry and dying. He was a tiger in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Already he had killed and eaten fourteen humans. Now he was ready for another. But he was sick. He had drunk salty water and this had made him violent and unpredictable.

He went on an all-day killing spree. He gave no care for his safety. He slaughtered fourteen children coming home from school. Eight adults were dead. He would eat one, he didn’t care which, for his meal. Humans were cruel animals. He could be crueller.

Life was hard. In the beginning he had hunted with his mother. She was a master man-eater. Then she was shot by humans coming from the village. Her son took on a life of revenge. It wasn’t simply food; it was a game. It was an all-consuming desire. Humans hunted animals for pleasure. Why couldn’t he hunt humans for the same gratification?

He stirred in his afternoon snooze. It was so boring being gawked at every day through metal bars by countless humans at the zoo.

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