The mink, moonlight dancing off his dark fur, pressed the cold blade against Colonel Collin Mulberry's throat. The elderly hare gave a grunt, trying to pull him off, and the mink's smile widened, displaying stunningly white fangs.
Putting all his weight upon his victim, immobilizing him, the mink chuckled. It was a cheery, carefree kind of sound, reminiscent of fine wines and the company of friends. It could not have been farther from the truth.
"Ye look tired, matey. Ye've fought long an' 'ard, widout food. Lemme give ye yore rest."
With a flick of one muscular paw, he carved a straight line across the hare's throat. With a cold shudder, the last hare of the Long Patrol lay back against the cold beach rock, and died.
Licking the blood off his blade, the mink looked up at the Mountain looming above him. Returning the wicked knife to his belt, he threw back his head.
His roaring laughter echoed across the empty beach for miles around. But there was no answer from the Mountain.
Hollow and gaunt, its windows like the eye-sockets of a long-dead giant, Salamandastron stood silent.
It had no hares.
And it had no badger.