The Old Shepherd's Chief Mourner
The two gravediggers watched the wretched mongrel nuzzle piteously against the old man’s coffin. It had fussed and fretted beneath their feet as they nailed shut the lid, licking at the corpse’s face til they shoved it aside. The taller man flung a stone at it. The dog yelped as it smashed against its haunch, but it did not abandon the coffin.
“We’ll never see our fee for this, y’know,” said the shorter man. “Damned pauper’s funerals.”
“Aye, and it’s not as if the old man had anything worth taking to make up for it,” the tall man replied.
“Aww come on, there must be something!”
“Not a penny,” the tall man spat on the dusty tiles in disgust. A cold light suddenly brightened in his eyes. “Hangabout, my cousin’s a furrier up in town. He’s been saying they’ll take any old bit of fur, most punters don’t know the difference.”
He picked up his hammer again and took a few furtive steps towards the dog.
“It’s not as if there’s anyone to miss the cur now,” the small man smirked. “Nice shade of black.”
The hammer fell.