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On a day like any other, all mammals suddenly gain human-level consciousness—and begin a systematic attack on human kind. Among the ranks of these animals are a bear in the Canadian Rockies, an elephant in a traveling circus in Texas, a pig on a hog farm in North Carolina, and a dog living with his beloved owner in New York. As these four contend with the realities of who they were before the awareness, and who they must now become after it, they are each called to battle. The animals must then fight two wars: the one outside between mammals and humans, and the one inside each of their minds.
where her head should have been. He didn’t know why he did this, but it felt right. Goodbye, friend. Then he decided to head back to his den to sleep. He was tired, but sated both in his stomach and his mind. He felt he had done what needed to be done. It seemed the forest was just as bright now, in the night, as it had been during the day. The white stars shone in uncommon abundance and the large white orb, the king of the white lights, seemed almost touchable. Moon, he said, softly, to
lived. She wanted to see the inside of their pens. Yes, the others said. They looked at the door and once more prepared to ram it down. They charged, but to their dismay discovered that, just as all pigs are not the same, all doors are not the same. This one gave almost no resistance, and the charging pigs were inside the house before they understood what had happened, piled upon each other in the hallway, struggling to right themselves. 323 walked through the opening as the pigs sorted
The salmon were jumping like fools there. I’ve had my fill. But no foraging. This is my land to forage.” The bear lowered his head in acquiescence. “Thank you for letting me see this place.” “I don’t know why I did it. Now leave, as you promised.” “I’m leaving. I won’t eat the wild berries.” The black bear whipped his head around. “What berries?” “Over past the fallen log and the dead bear.” “How did you know of that place? That’s my secret spot.” “I told you. This is where I grew...”
goat. “We’ve never done this before.” “Talk?” “Is that what it is?” “Can you understand the song?” The goat thought about her question. Then, very slowly, the goat shook his head. “I know you mean the sounds coming out of the cab, but I can’t quite understand.” Nancy guessed that awareness must be different for each mammal, that it might have something to do with how much direct interaction a mammal had with humans. But that was only a guess. She decided to help the goat along. “Tell me
worse, some better.” “I have nothing against you, bear. But that human is mine.” He took a step towards the human, who inched backwards, as did many of the other animals. “Please eat,” the bear said. One of the animals placed a dish of food before the newcomer. He sniffed it, but took none. “I’m not here to eat. I’m here to kill.” “We don’t kill in here.” “But he’s human,” the animal growled. “He’s no more at fault for being human than the mouse is for being a mouse or a bear a bear.” “I’m