Gormantaurus laid his knife and fork on the now empty platter and having expressed his satisfaction by belching loudly, rose from the table.
A cup of coffee and a brandy by his side he settled down in a comfortable chair to digest his meal.
Of course Gormantaurus did not known that what he was drinking was called coffee or brandy but he knew they were pleasant to the taste.
Gormantaurus was Head Chef de Cuisine at the Hotel Andromeda, the most prodigious hotel in the planet. Choas. He had worked his way to his present elevated position by years of devotion to his art.
As he relaxed his thoughts wandered back to the days when he had been a child. The only food that was available then was Yashmede. It was made from a species of fungus and while highly nutritious, had a rather unpleasant fishy flavour.
To be truthful nobody really liked it but there was no alternative. There were no herbs or spices and although Gormantaurus experimented with all kinds of broths and gravies, neither they, nor the different methods of cooking he tried made any real difference.
His attempts, although unsuccessful, did awaken io him an interest in food which had culminated in his present success..
It was the dawning of the age of discovery. New and more powerful space vessels were being designed enabling the exploration of distant planets.
The explorers brought back with them many specimens of flora and fauna, exotic fruits and vegetables, animals of all kinds and herbs and spices which, although unaware of their purpose, captivated them with their many varied aromas.
At first it was not appreciated that many of these things could be eaten but, when laboratory tests on prisoners were carried out with no ill effects, first the fruits and vegetables and then the meat of the animals were tentatively tried and enjoyed. They were all much nicer than Yashmede.
Wild and domestic animals of both sexes were intensively bred and before many years there were herds of cows, sheep and pigs together with wild animals of many species on the planet together with many acres of orchards and vegetable gardens, although the plants had to be grown hydroponically due to the poor soil content.
The latest delicacy, still comparatively rare and expensive, had been imported from a distant planet. Earth.
Many people were still doubtful about eating the meat. The animals were identical in appearance to themselves and this tended to make some people uncomfortable. It was silly really, although there was some distant relationship. it was no different to the relationship between them and apes, who everybody ate.
The creatures could not speak to them and made strange noises much like the bleating of sheep or the neighing of horses.
Gormantaurus had tried the meat from an adult animal before but had found it rather tough and stringy. This was his first experience of a baby and he found it delightful, rather like chicken but much more delicately flavoured and succulent.
On the farm, two of the creatures, named by the farmer to identify them as Joth and Myrna, sat eating the yashmede from a trough. It was only served as cattle food now.
Contrary to the belief of their Choasian captors, Joth and Myrna were both intelligent human beings with all a humans inherent feelings and emotions . Myrna had sobbed bitterly for days after their baby had been taken from them but no heed had been taken of her.
They were both well aware that the time for their own demise was fast approaching
. They knew they would be killed before their flesh was too tough to be commercially viable. Seeking consolation they huddled together on the damp earth and were soon temporarily at peace in the blessed arms of Morpheus.
Early the next morning they were rounded up with others and herded towards a large building nearby. There was no escape.
Hand in hand they walked through the open doorway to their fate.
Gormantaurus sat down at the dining table and perused the menu. What did he fancy for lunch today?
He saw there was kangaroo with herb dumplings.. He rather fancied that provided the meat had been carefully and slowly cooked until tender. He would soon find out if it had.