I vaguely remember this story from my childhood: it was about an interstellar zoo that came to Earth with lots of bizarre and unusual species, and humans would file through and gape at all the crazy looking creatures from other planets.

The twist came at the end when

the perspective shifted to the other side of the bars and we discovered that the "creatures" were traveling through space on a kind of safari. They thought they were the visitors and we were the animals. Neither side knew that the other side thought they were the zoo creatures.

  • 1
    I know exactly the story you are talking about. Probably from the mid-50s. I am pretty sure I have it in a couple anthologies at home (in boxes). It may help to look up short-short collections edited by Asimov.
    – JSM
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 16:30

1 Answer 1


Got it.

Zoo, by Edward D. Hoch. Published in 1958.

Link to Publication History

Link to PDF

  • Looks right to me.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 17:05
  • That's it exactly! There's an episode of the Twilight Zone that follows a similar theme, but when I told my wife about this story she said it sounded even better and wanted to read it. Thank you! Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 19:50
  • 1
    NP. Beats doing my job ;)
    – JSM
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 22:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.