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This question already has an answer here:

A ship crashes on a planet. A man survives.

Short version, all the species (no intelligent species) have developed Telepathy.

He is hunted and finally comes to the conclusion that he is being hunted telepathically. After some time, he gets the idea that the animals are like all animals and fear fire. So he focuses very intently on there being one heck of a big fire with him at the center of it and everything runs away.

He is then picked up by a rescue ship and they would have sworn he was in the middle of a fire.

marked as duplicate by user14111 story-identification Feb 14 '17 at 23:32

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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The Odor of Thought / The Odour of Thought by Robert Sheckley.

A ship crashes on a planet. A man survives.

Cleevy held on to conciousness, although he was certain that every bone in his body was broken. The sides of the ship were turning a dull red when he stumbled through the escape hatch, the mail sack still firmly strapped to his back.

He is hunted and finally comes to the conclusion that he is being hunted telepathically.

That did it. Without eyes or ears, there was only one way the beast could have detected him.

It had to be telepathic!

So he focuses very intently on there being one heck of a big fire with him at the center of it and everything runs away. He is then picked up by a rescue ship and they would have sworn he was in the middle of a fire.

“It was close,” the Postmaster said, standing beside Cleevy and looking down.“ We got the ship’s sprinkler system going just in time. You were standing in the center of the damndest grass fire I’ve ever seen.” Looking down at the unscarred green land, the Postmaster seemed to have a moment of doubt. He looked again, and his expression reminded Cleevy of the panther he had tricked.

“ Say — how come you weren’t burned?”

I'll stop there as I've just seen the comment linking to a duplicate. (I thought this one had been asked before but nothing showed up on my search for "odour").

  • 1
    You can read the story for free at archive.org. – user14111 Feb 14 '17 at 22:50
  • That would have saved me some typing... – Fruitbat Feb 14 '17 at 22:50
  • Wow, I can not believe I got an answer :) I have tried to get the answer for ... a lot of years and I like Sheckley's stuff. Being new to the site I am not quite sure of what to do about this, but without doubt this is the story. Been going through the not answered questions to see if I might have some answer or additional clues. Again I can not express my gratitude enough at the answer and the comments. – Enigma Maitreya Feb 14 '17 at 23:25
  • nothing showed up on my search for "odour" I had the same problem when I tried to find my old answer to the duplicate question. Tried "odour" and "odor", no luck because I'd spelled it "odo[u]r". – user14111 Feb 14 '17 at 23:30
  • @Fruitbat Actually we need good answers to confirm duplicates so it's fine. :) – Z. Cochrane Feb 18 '17 at 23:38

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