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The title might have started "If you were a M*"

I read this story about 2015 but it seemed to be written some decades earlier. A small number of human men are living on a planet inhabited by an intelligent alien race.

After the humans arrive many of the alien children born look very like the individual humans on the planet. If an alien mother comes to visit a human with a child resembling him, the mother is given a gift by him.

Authorities from Earth are angry because they assume the humans have been fathering children with the female aliens. They believe that the aliens are being exploited.

One alien little girl even has a moustache like the human she resembles. At one point in the story, there is an intelligent tree.

Spoiler

The eathmen had not been sleeping with the aliens. The aliens had the ability to use their minds to alter their unborn offspring.It became very fashionable amongst the aliens to make a child resemble a human they liked. The humans took this as a compliment on their appearance so gave a gift to the family of each such child.The authorities on Earth realised they had misunderstood the situation when they sent a woman to the planet to investigate. An alien baby was born looking like the woman. At the end, one of the human looking aliens has grown up and leaves the planet on a human spaceship. He pretends he is the human his appearance was copied from.

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  • Can anybody please tell me how to hide a spoiler so people can avoid it by not clicking on the blank area please? Mar 9 at 15:47
  • Start a line with >! to add a spoiler.
    – DavidW
    Mar 9 at 15:50
  • 2
    –1 for gratuitous use of spoilers in a story-identification question.
    – Lexible
    Mar 9 at 20:58

1 Answer 1

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If You Was a Moklin by Murray Leinster. Published in 1951 so it is indeed an old story. I read it in his anthology First Contacts.

The authority from Earth is Inspector Caldwell. At one point the Moklin produce babies looking just like her (it also mentions the girl with the moustache):

Three Moklin girls come in, giggling. They are not bad-looking at all. They look as human as Deeth, but one of them has a long, droopy mustache like a mate of the Palmyra—that’s because they hadn’t even seen a human woman before Inspector Caldwell come along. They sure have admired her, though! And Moklin kids get born fast. Very fast.

They show her what they are holding so proud and happy in their arms. They have got three little Moklin kids, one apiece. And every one of them has red hair, just like Inspector Caldwell, and every one of them is a girl that is the spit and image of her. You would swear they are human babies, and you’d swear they are hers. But of course they ain’t. They make kid noises and wave their little fists.

The story can be downloaded from Project Gutenberg here.

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