I read a story in a sci-fi short story collection (about 35 years ago) in which the POV character is fleeing invading aliens with his child in his arms (I think the wife is dead). He knows he's about to be caught and killed by these rapacious, violent aliens who just want to destroy. Finally, the alien emerges from the trees and the story describes how the hero looks - feline, with a tail. The hero confronts the killer - man! It was a cool story that blew my 8th grade mind. BTW, its not Frenzy.

  • By Frenzy you mean the 1972 Hitchcock film? I haven't seen it. Is it about Earthmen invading another planet?
    – user14111
    Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 5:39
  • This is an infrequent but not unusual plot, so I would expect multiple answers of similar plots. Though you may have enough details to identify to one story. Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 10:23
  • @JamesJenkins I only know of the one, so if you know of other stories with the same plot, please post them as answers or comments. What is the difference between "infrequent" and "unusual"?
    – user14111
    Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 21:06
  • @user14111, I have probably read half a dozen short stories, where the evil aliens are the humans. I am not recalling any titles at the moment. Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 23:46
  • @JamesJenkins Oh, lots of stories where the evil aliens are the humans, some of them told from the aliens' point of view. I thought you meant stories where the-evil-aliens-are-humans was the surprise ending.
    – user14111
    Commented Sep 28, 2013 at 0:48

2 Answers 2


Perhaps "The Hunters" by Walt Sheldon, first published in Startling Stories, March 1952, available at the Internet Archive. You may have read it in the anthology Fifty Short Science Fiction Tales edited by Isaac Asimov and Groff Conklin. It doesn't match all the details you provided: husband and wife are about to be killed but both still alive as the story ends; no child is mentioned; the viewpoint characters are not described as "feline with a tail". Here is the end of the story:

He stumbled, and she fell with him. They lay there, at the roots of a white-barked tree, in each other's arms, and they looked into each other's eyes and knew they couldn't go on.

They heard the shouting voices.

She said, "I don't feel anything. Funny. I'm not angry or afraid or anything."

They clung to each other suddenly. He ran his lips along her cheeks and hair and he wiped the tears from her cheek with his own and he murmured things without really hearing them.

"I'm glad we're together," said Jeni.

They heard the breaking of the underbrush.

Abruptly, he stood. He faced the approaching sounds and made fists at his sides. His eyes were wild. "Damn you! Damn you! Damn You!" he cried.

"It's their way," said Jeni. "They're hunters. It's their way."

There was no anger in her voice.

A creature emerged from the white-barked trees. He stood there and stared at Lon, and stared at Jeni upon the ground. He seemed a little frightened himself. He lifted his weapon.

Lon stared back, taking in every strange detail. It was his first close look at one of these invaders from the planet called Earth, which was third from the Sun and had one Moon.

He waited for the noise of the weapon, wondering if he would hear it.


The story you're thinking of is called Sentry by Fredrick Brown :)

  • 4
    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Can you please add some details about this story that show how it matches the question? Does the protagonist have a child? Is the protagonist a felinoid with a tail?
    – DavidW
    Commented Jul 14, 2022 at 17:38
  • Link (scroll down past the first story): gutenberg.org/files/29948/29948-h/29948-h.htm Its’s very short. As @DavidW is hinting, it’s not a perfect match.
    – Henrik N
    Commented Sep 13, 2023 at 22:34

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