Feghoot XI: Fishy Feghoot

This was written by Reginald Bretnor under the penname of Grendel Briarton.

It was Ferdinand Feghoot who, in 3312, first proved that fish were highly intelligent and that men could converse with them. He was accorded the honor of signing the ensuing Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce, and Navigation which was also endorsed by an imposing elderly shark.

“I spent seventeen months eavesdropping on fish conversations and analyzing their language,” he told reporters after the ceremony. “Then I slipped overboard with my skin-diving gear, and asked for their leader. They took me to the Generalissimo here, and I’ll never forget my first sight of him, completely at ease in the lovely blue water, with that busy little fish hovering right by his head all the time. He received me most courteously in spite of my abominable accent. Why, he was so polite and so tactful that it was almost a week before I realized that he is as deaf as a post.”

“But, how could he understand you?” asked the reporters.

“That’s simple,” said Ferdinand Feghoot. . . .”The little fish is his herring aide.”

(Copyright © 1959 by Mercury Press. First published in THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, February 1959).

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