puppies and monsters

I am walking through an unknown suburb with Alex and an unidentified old man who is a friend of Alex's. The old man has some difficulty with walking and I give him my arm for support as we go.

As we approach a park, a crippled, somewhat simplistic man asks us for money. His blunt manner frightens me and I hastily give him some spare change to get past him.

Alex and I arrive at the park - the old man has vanished - to find a commotion going on in the playground. The small, fenced-in area is full of young children and young border collie puppies. The sheer energy level of those two factors in a confined space is very impressive... I am charmed by the scene and I wade into the playground to find out who is responsible for this - and to play with the puppies, of course.

I notice that all the puppies are very similar - as if they came from the same littler, all two dozen of them - but I seem to be the only person concerned about that. I find a gentleman in the middle of the throng of children, parents and puppies, who is apparently the owner of the dogs. He is in his early fifties, with thinning gray hair and a thin face with sagging features. He tells me that the puppies are all clones, but that's nothing to worry about. I don't want to cause a panic in this crowded scene, so I let it pass.

The gentleman has a box of eggs at his side. The eggs are about the size of hen's eggs, but they are different colors. Some are mottled brown, some are green and red. They all look very alien. I ask the man what they are, and he looks uncomfortable and says something about a failed experiment. Just then, the eggs hatch into a batch of very strange, very small creatures.

The hatchlings resemble small dinosaurs, amphibians and some of them are quiet alien looking. My attention is caught by an olive-green ovoid creature with short stumpy legs and an extremely long, retractable neck. It's less than five inches long, all told, but the gentleman hastily shoos me - and several other observers - away from the box.

The gentleman tells us that these creatures all have vile tempers and poisonous bites. He was trying to breed a kind of house-pet dinosaur, but apparently the saurian temper is not good, and resists any genetic manipulation otherwise. But the gentleman could bring himself to kill them, one the eggs had been fertilized, and now he's at a loss at what to do.

I have a pencil in my hand, and I hold it in front of the ovoid creature that had caught my attention. It stretches out its remarkably long neck, opens is tiny mouth and buries its teeth- which are far too needle-sharp for a hatchling - into the pencil, splintering it. Daunted, I agree with the gentleman's statement as I back off, watching the tiny creatures smash and chew on the remnants of my pencil. I tell him he had better get the box out of the area, before the little monsters escape and cause havoc amongst the children.

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