|Samuel and his pretty eyes.|
Samuel the Salamander lived in the boggy part of the forest, beneath a great hollow log. There were animals all about, playing and carrying on, but Samuel did not play with them. Samuel was always hungry, and no matter how much he ate he could never stop his hunger.
The other animals did not notice when the little creatures disappeared, and nobody suspected that Samuel was involved. Whenever they looked into his eyes they seemed blank… and happy. Samuel’s eyes were very pretty. And they could make the animals do things like stay still and quiet when they wanted to scream and run.
Salamanders are not scary. They have no teeth, and are not aggressive to other animals. They just stay where it is dark and moist, and usually eat only worms. But Samuel is different. He found out he can eat anything, no matter how big it is. He started eating the field mice, and they were very tasty. Then he ate a bird, and then a squirrel. After eating a big juicy rabbit Samuel thought he finally satisfied his hunger. But it came back. He would need to eat something really big to stop being so hungry.
But in Samuel’s forest there are not many big things. The deer don’t come into the boggy part of the forest, since their feet sink too far into the mud. But sometimes people come. The people come to make the fish swallow hooks, a terrible way to go. They catch the toads and frogs, and sometimes they take salamanders. Samuel isn’t sure what happens to the animals when the people take them, but he didn’t want to find out.