The smell of roasted meat drifts toward me from the picnic table. Hunger gnaws at my stomach. How long has it been since I last ate? Days? Weeks? My tongue hangs from my muzzle, but I only slink further under the bush and tremble. I stole food from a table once. Master was so angry that my hip still hurts when I run. People are mean. They bring pain, even when you try to please. Master left me tied to a tree far from home. Today is the first I have seen people since then.
The meat smells so wonderful I can’t resist. Heart pounding with fear I dash to the table when no one looks. Hot juices sear my mouth as I snatch a brat and scurry back. I practically swallow it whole, and then shake in remembered punishment.
My appetite is only piqued, but the man returns to the table with more meat, calling his family. One of the younglings points my way. I flatten myself to the ground and lay my ears back. Did he see me? The man walks in my direction. I am too afraid to move. Halfway from my hiding place he stops and places something on the ground.
The family has finished eating and put away leftovers before I dare investigate. On a plate, neatly cut, is a mound of meat. I lick the plate clean and wonder; maybe some people are nice after all.