They said the passenger pigeons were dense enough to blacken the skies. They said the bison on the plains were more than the sand-grains on a beach. But these were as nothing compared to the human cattle that walk the earth today. Never have there been such herds: so pleasingly available, so docile, so very tame.

There have been those who would eat you, consume your flesh, the real life Hannibal Lectors. But that’s a stupid and self-defeating strategy: you humans didn’t get where you are today by tolerating predators. Such ‘cannibals’ are swiftly hunted down and don’t get to reproduce their kind.

You’re much, much worse at spotting social predators. The psychopaths betray your appealing altruism, bedazzle you with their empty charms, cajole favors with intimidating smiles, and never ever repay. They take your money, your virtue and sometimes even your lives. Yes, I think they must have been some of my forebears.

This thing about blood – it’s very nutritious. Before you all got used to sipping other species’ milk, your ancestors would slit a vein on their cattle and drink to their heart’s content. No wonder they were fitter, stronger and hardier than the stooped-down farmers they so easily conquered. In fact even today I believe that some of you cook blood into some kind of pudding?

You don’t miss it much either. Some of you even voluntarily give away a pint – one of your eight – in a good cause. All you get is tea, a biscuit, maybe some pennies and that nice warm altruistic feeling.

I’m sure I’m an equally good cause.

If we’ve met you certainly won’t remember anything too remarkable about me. I flatter myself I’m good-looking: suave and charismatic; my incisors are sharper than yours though, that’s one of the mutations.

You’ll be a girl of course. It’s not that I’m choosy but frankly I find that girls are more prepared to kiss me. To be honest, I’m most interested in the neck: a slight nuzzling, a gentle love-bite and then… a little lapping. I never take too much – I know some girls like the pale look and are prone to swoon but I’m into relationships: I never kill on a first date.

You would think my saliva strange if you could analyze it. There’s something there which stops blood clotting, I share that with the vampire bats. The other cute thing is a drug I secrete – it’s very close to Rohypnol causing short-term amnesia. And when I’m finished I lick your little puncture wounds and somehow that induces clotting. Really, there’s very little to show for our dinner rendezvous.

Perhaps I’m pleading for a little understanding. After all, what harm do I really do? You people feed me and my kind but we rarely bleed you to death and there are so very many of you. Do you want to know our greatest achievement? Deep-down, most of you don’t believe that we exist at all!