Please tell me this could be the work of squirrels.
Early this spring I planted two pansies right in the front of my front lawn. I thought that they were gorgeous- one was yellow with a maroon center and one grew two different colored flowers- white with a red center and red with a yellow center. Two days after I planted them they got smashed. Ground into the ground. Trampled. I felt for sure they would die. But they didn't. Those guys were tough! In early summer, I added two types of marigolds and petunias to make a solid boarder. Everything was growing along just fine until this morning. I notice there are two big gaps in the boarder. We had thunderstorms all yesterday and I thought maybe a few of the plants got beaten down. Closer inspection reveiled that the pansies are gone. There is just dirt where the pansies used to be. I'd hate to think that I have a pansy hating neighbor who'd trample then steal my plants. I'd much rather believe squirrels (or raccoons or birds) just love pansies so much they decided to make a rainy day meal out of them and would eat the whole entire plant-- roots and all. Thanks for all the replies. I took a pic of one of the spots where a pansy used to be: