The creature was paddling in its awkward way, back to the surface again. He struggled to decide what it was.
Pale as a bleached carcass in the shallows, it was like a fish with a belly on both sides. Its skin was as slick and scaleless as a salamander’s, even though it was nearly as large as he was. It had no tail, though. He’d lived in the lagoon forever, and never seen creatures like these things. Pale fish-belly salamanders who lived in a noisy beaver dam broken loose from its bank. The broken beaver dam reeked of some poisonous vapor, and sometimes it put out strange whirling roots.
Clearly, the smallest, lumpiest one was the leader. It looked different from the others, whose behavior seemed a competition to impress the diminutive but aggressive alpha.
They had been here three days. His attempts to frighten them off had failed. The smaller residents of the lagoon were growing frightened. He’d have to try something else to get rid of the strange creatures. At best, they were nuisances that would drive away food. At worst, they were new predators waiting for the best moment to attack.
He couldn’t fight them all. Perhaps if he took the leader, while they slept? Surely they’d scatter and return to whatever strange river they had come from. When they left, he would wait a few days and release the little alpha.
It would be a shame to destroy such rare and mysterious creatures.