The small boy is born with the ability to teleport to other realities. His parents have been killed in a war.

In another reality there is an elderly female bison like animal also telepathic. Her telepathy has always helped her care for her calves. This year she is elderly, she has not mated and will have no calf, she is sad. The small boy teleports in from our reality. She tries to take care of the 'strange calf'.

She tries to teach the boy how to eat grass. He telepathically teaches her that human children cannot live on grass. The boy wants to teleport home. Bison wraps him in her mind, makes him know how much he is loved.

The boy teleports both himself and his telepathic bison mother back to the orphanage farm where he lives. There she also loves and adopts all the other orphans.

I think I read it in the 80s or 90s. May have been quite old at the time.


1 Answer 1


Riya’s Foundling by Algis Budrys.

It can be read on the Project Gutenberg web site.

The boy is Phildee and as you say he can teleport between realities:

His chubby features twisted into a scowl of concentration as he visualized reality. The scowl became a deeper grimace as he negated that reality, step by step, substituted another.
F is for Phildee.
O is for Out
R is for Reimann.
T is for Topology.
H is for heartsick hunger.
Abruptly, the Reimann fold became a concrete visualization. As though printed clearly in and around the air, which was simultaneously both around him and not around him, which existed/not existed in spacetime, he saw the sideslip diagram.
He twisted.

The bison like creature is Riya.

Except for her age, Riya presented a perfect average of her people. She stood two yards high and two wide at the shoulders, a yard at the haunches, and measured three and a half yards from her muzzle to the rudimentary tail. Her legs were short and stumpy, cloven-hooved. Her massive head hung slightly lower than her shoulders, and could be lowered to within an inch or two of the ground. She was herbivorous, ruminant, and mammalian. Moreover, she had intelligence—not of a very high order, but adequate for her needs.

The story ends:

Riya shook herself. She stood in the furrows of a plowed field, her eyes vacant with bewilderment. She stared uncomprehendingly at the walls and the radar tower, the concrete shoulders of the air raid bunkers. She saw antiaircraft quick-firers being hastily cranked around and down at her, heard Phildee’s shout that saved her life, and understood none of it.

But none of it mattered. Her strange calf was with her, standing beside her with his fingers locked in her fur, and she could feel the warm response in his mind as she touched him with her caress again.

She saw the other little calves erupting out of the low dormitory buildings, and something within her crooned.

Riya nuzzled her foundling. She looked about her at the War Orphans’ Relocation Farm with her happy, happy eyes.

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