Little Fuzzy – Day 26 of 77

“Well, Dr. Kellogg, mentation levels isn’t my subject,” Jimenez took it up, “but they do have all the physical characteristics shared by other sapient races—lower limbs specialized for locomotion and upper limbs for manipulation, erect posture, stereoscopic vision, color perception, erect posture, hand with opposing thumb—all the characteristics we consider as prerequisite to the development of sapience.”

“I think they’re sapient, myself,” Gerd van Riebeek said, “but that’s not as important as the fact that they’re on the very threshold of sapience. This is the first race of this mental level anybody’s ever seen. I believe that study of the Fuzzies will help us solve the problem of how sapience developed in any race.”

Kellogg had been laboring to pump up a head of enthusiasm; now he was ready to valve it off.

“But this is amazing! This will make scientific history! Now, of course, you all realize how pricelessly valuable these Fuzzies are. They must be brought at once to Mallorysport, where they can be studied under laboratory conditions by qualified psychologists, and—”


Jack lifted Baby Fuzzy off his head and handed him to Mamma, and set Mamma on the floor. That was reflex; the thinking part of his brain knew he didn’t need to clear for action when arguing with the electronic image of a man twenty-five hundred miles away.

“Just forget that part of it and start over,” he advised.

Kellogg ignored him. “Gerd, you have your airboat; fix up some nice comfortable cages—”


The man in the screen stopped talking and stared in amazed indignation. It was the first time in years he had been addressed by his naked patronymic, and possibly the first time in his life he had been shouted at.

“Didn’t you hear me the first time Kellogg? Then stop gibbering about cages. These Fuzzies aren’t being taken anywhere.”

“But Mr. Holloway! Don’t you realize that these little beings must be carefully studied? Don’t you want them given their rightful place in the hierarchy of nature?”

“If you want to study them, come out here and do it. That’s so long as you don’t annoy them, or me. As far as study’s concerned, they’re being studied now. Dr. Rainsford’s studying them, and so are three of your people, and when it comes to that, I’m studying them myself.”

“And I’d like you to clarify that remark about qualified psychologists,” Ruth Ortheris added, in a voice approaching zero-Kelvin. “You wouldn’t be challenging my professional qualifications, would you?”

“Oh, Ruth, you know I didn’t mean anything like that. Please don’t misunderstand me,” Kellogg begged. “But this is highly specialized work—”

“Yes; how many Fuzzy specialists have you at Science Center, Leonard?” Rainsford wanted to know. “The only one I can think of is Jack Holloway, here.”

“Well, I’d thought of Dr. Mallin, the Company’s head psychologist.”

“He can come too, just as long as he understands that he’ll have to have my permission for anything he wants to do with the Fuzzies,” Jack said. “When can we expect you?”

Kellogg thought some time late the next afternoon. He didn’t have to ask how to get to the camp. He made a few efforts to restore the conversation to its original note of cordiality, gave that up as a bad job and blanked out. There was a brief silence in the living room. Then Jimenez said reproachfully:

“You certainly weren’t very gracious to Dr. Kellogg, Jack. Maybe you don’t realize it, but he is a very important man.”

“He isn’t important to me, and I wasn’t gracious to him at all. It doesn’t pay to be gracious to people like that. If you are, they always try to take advantage of it.”

“Why, I didn’t know you knew Len,” van Riebeek said.

“I never saw the individual before. The species is very common and widely distributed.” He turned to Rainsford. “You think he and this Mallin will be out tomorrow?”

“Of course they will. This is a little too big for underlings and non-Company people to be allowed to monkey with. You know, we’ll have to watch out or in a year we’ll be hearing from Terra about the discovery of a sapient race on Zarathustra; Fuzzy fuzzy Kellogg. As Juan says, Dr. Kellogg is a very important man. That’s how he got important.”

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