by Michael H. Payne
It is a different world. It's North America, but very little of what you know is the same. The sun still shines and the grass still grows, but there are no people. There are; or perhaps there aren't; twelve Curials: kit fox, dolphin, raven, lioness and the rest, who intervene in the lives of the inhabitants. There are the inhabitants, a myriad of animals: mice, otters, meerkats, buffalo to name a few. They live in their towns and cities, pursuing their various occupations, having occasional celebrations and now and then they live in fear. In fear of the Blood Jaguar, the thirteenth Curial, who returns from time to time and visits a horrible plague on the world, nearly killing it entirely.