First we are told that the Galactic Empire/Federation/Powers-that-be have kept the Earth locked up for being too warlike, but now their help is needed against invaders from another galaxy.

When the aliens land the first thing they meet is a talking bunny.

at the end when humans have accepted to join the fight the alien offers to send ships to transport them. The human leader tells that there is no need... and the Earth accelerates away.

I must have read this sometime in the mid eighties, so no later than 84 or 85, but the story may be from the sixties or before.

  • Sounds very interesting. Good enough to join 'the library'.
    – Morgan
    Jun 1, 2014 at 19:02

1 Answer 1


I think that's Alan Dean Foster's With Friends Like These (1971), which was anthologized in a short story collection with the same title. In the story, aliens put up a Shield around Earth millennia ago to stop a war between humans and another alien species. Now another group of aliens has come to lift the Shield because they're losing a war and are desperate for allies, and humans are the legendary boogeymen of the galaxy.

At first it seems to the visiting aliens that humans have reverted to a peaceful agrarian society, but they soon discover human technology is incredibly advanced, they've been waiting for someone to turn off the Shield (it couldn't be done from the inside) and the whole planet is a spaceship.

There is no talking bunny, but one sentence mentions the family dog and a horse having a discussion, implying the animals have been uplifted to sentience.

  • Thanks. Bought it on Kindle and it absolutely must be the same story I read years ago. In my memory it was much shorter, and I had somehow gotten a talking bunny mixed into it, but that must just be my flawed memory. I am very grateful, I had been looking for it for many years wanting to read it again.
    – sigber
    Jun 1, 2014 at 21:27

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