Not a member?     Existing members login below:

Little Fuzzy

VII
Tuesday dawned hot and windless, a scarlet sun coming up in a hard, brassy sky. The
Fuzzies, who were in to wake Pappy Jack with their whistles, didn’t like it; they were
edgy and restless. Maybe it would rain today after all. They had breakfast outside on the
picnic table, and then Ben decided he’d go back to his camp and pick up a few things he
hadn’t brought and now decided he needed.
“My hunting rifle’s one,” he said, “and I think I’ll circle down to the edge of the brush
country and see if I can pick off a zebralope. We ought to have some more fresh meat.”
So, after eating, Rainsford got into his jeep and lifted away. Across the run, Kellogg and
Mallin were walking back and forth in front of the camp, talking earnestly. When Ruth
Ortheris and Gerd van Riebeek came out, they stopped, broke off their conversation and
spoke briefly with them. Then Gerd and Ruth crossed the footbridge and came up the
path together.
The Fuzzies had scattered, by this time, to hunt prawns. Little Fuzzy and Ko-Ko and
Goldilocks ran to meet them; Ruth picked Goldilocks up and carried her, and Ko-Ko and
Little Fuzzy ran on ahead. They greeted Jack, declining coffee; Ruth sat down in a chair
with Goldilocks, Little Fuzzy jumped up on the table and began looking for goodies, and
when Gerd stretched out on his back on the grass Ko-Ko sat down on his chest.
“Goldilocks is my favorite Fuzzy,” Ruth was saying. “She is the sweetest thing. Of
course, they’re all pretty nice. I can’t get over how affectionate and trusting they are; the
ones we saw out in the woods were so timid.”
“Well, the ones out in the woods don’t have any Pappy Jack to look after them” Gerd
said. “I’d imagine they’re very affectionate among themselves, but they have so many
things to be afraid of. You know, there’s another prerequisite for sapience. It develops in
some small, relatively defenseless, animal surrounded by large and dangerous enemies he
can’t outrun or outfight. So, to survive, he has to learn to outthink them. Like our own
remote ancestors, or like Little Fuzzy; he had his choice of getting sapient or getting
exterminated.”
Ruth seemed troubled. “Gerd, Dr. Mallin has found absolutely nothing about them that
indicates true sapience.”
“Oh, Mallin be bloodied; he doesn’t know what sapience is any more than I do. And a
good deal less than you do, I’d say. I think he’s trying to prove that the Fuzzies aren’t
sapient.”
Ruth looked startled. “What makes you say that?”
 
Remove