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This poor creature is taken aboard the spaceship and the humans do not know that it is intelligent. The alien can repeat what it hears, e,g, "pass the sugar". It is able to escape at night and it communicates messages to its fellow aliens. It directs that they turn up the heat of the atmosphere (somehow they can do this) so as to force the humans to leave. The alien protagonist states that it will die w/ the humans or leave with them.

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"Good-Bye, Ilha!", a short story by Laurence Manning, also the answer to the question Short story told from vegetarian alien's POV observing astronaut behavior, including laughter and an unaccepted answer to the question Letter from Ilya.

This poor creature is taken aboard the spaceship and the humans do not know that it is intelligent.

The story is told by the alien. He imitates his captors' sounds:

"LOOKOOSERE WEL-IL-BEDAM," I managed. Then I grew so dizzy I fell once again and wooshed all over the shelf.

There was an instant of portentous silence. Then they began barking like mad things.

"The little fellow's been at our coktal, HAW HAW HAW," Big-voice roared and pointed to the bowl. They all burst out barking with him—LAFF is their word for it. Deafened and desperate, I raised my probe and LAFF-ed, too.

"HAW HAW" I gasped. That set them off louder than ever. Curiously, I felt better. Laff-ing spreads from mind to mind like fire in a pile of sticks.

The alien can repeat what it hears, e.g., "pass the sugar".

I was hungry. Greatly daring, I imitated their signal as well as I could: "PASSASHUGA." And it worked. They HAW-HAW-ed, but in a surprised and kindly way, and Bill put a little heap of it on the shelf so that I actually shared in their amazing meal after all, and enjoyed it too. I did not eat much, but of course I had to have exercise at once to restore my energy balance. I began to roll tail-over-courtesy al down the shelf and back.

It is able to escape at night and it communicates messages to its fellow aliens. It directs that they turn up the heat of the atmosphere (somehow they can do this) so as to force the humans to leave.

You are so punctual, Ilha, that I know you will be here exactly one hour after dawn, as we arranged yesterday. I am leaving this letter to explain why I cannot meet you. You must report to World Resource headquarters. Be quick. Roll to the place we left the skid-plane; fly with throttle wide open; you should arrive before noon.

Claim emergency; get an immediate interview with the Director.

Before the afternoon is over he is to blanket the whole area, quad 73:61 on the map, with infrared heat. Not to kill, tell him. Raise the absolute temperature only about 10 per cent, just enough to make it thoroughly uncomfortable. These visitors endanger our whole civilization, but I think that will drive them away. However, it may not, so at noon the next day push the power up to full killing temperatures for a few minutes.

He will object, but what if a few miles of sand are fused? You know the area. It was so thoroughly blasted during the Age of Wars that no more damage is possible, and anyway, it will be centuries before the reclamation engineers touch this part of our planet. You can—you must persuade him, Ilha!

It is rude, I know, to begin with such urgency, omitting the traditional greeting phrases, writing without Limik calmness or philosophy. But you may as well get used to it, for the creatures I write about are totally un-Limik—utterly out of this world!

The alien protagonist states that it will die with the humans or leave with them.

I hope I can persuade them to leave this planet before noon tomorrow. But you must not risk our entire civilization merely because I have taken a liking to these monsters—and it is a real risk, for they are truly dangerous. Killing heat tomorrow noon, remember. All I ask is that you make the heat really killing; I have no wish to fry slowly!

For if they stay I shall stay (and die) with them. So, either way it is . . .

Good-bye, Ilha.

  • Thanks user14111! That's got to be it! I've been looking for this title for a looooong time! I'll a few more tough ones in a bit! Altdude – Altdude May 7 '18 at 10:41
  • Hey, user14111, where did you find that text above? – Altdude May 7 '18 at 12:48
  • @Altdude Yo're welcome! Keep 'em coming! As for the text, I'm sorry to say I didn't find it online, I copied it from my hardcopy of the anthology Beyond Human Ken. – user14111 May 7 '18 at 16:50
  • @Altdude The dead-trees anthologies in which that story appears, Merril's Beyond Human Ken and Conklin's Giants/Minds Unleashed, are readily available at reasonable prices. – user14111 May 7 '18 at 17:17
  • ISFDB record – Aaron Gullison May 13 '18 at 23:05

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