Strange Tourist (FEGHOOT VIII)

This is by Reginald Bretnor writing under the pen name Grendel Briarton.

There was a great deal of ignorant opposition on Earth to Ferdinand Feghoot’s Galactic Concordat of 2133, which made interstellar tourism universally possible.

Fortunately, Feghoot was present when the first tourist landed in Old Sanfran Cisco, right where a new office building was being constructed. The tourist was a striped, felinoid being from a planet called Mrrr-ow; except for his long double tail he looked like an overweight Bengal tiger. He paid no attention to Feghoot or to the nervous crowd which had gathered. He was interested only in the fence round the building, through which, until a few minutes previously, numerous sidewalk superintendants had been peering. He sat down beside it. He purred. He reached out a huge claw, hooked it into one of the holes in the fence, pulled out a piece of the succulent pine, munched it, and purred even more loudly. Then he repeated the process again and again.

A small, waspish woman dashed forward, carrying a sign which said, MONSTERS LEAVE OUR DAUGHTERS ALONE!!! Kill it! she screamed. Nobody ever saw anything like it before!

An ugly murmur came from the crowd-but Ferdinand Feghoot rose neatly to the occasion. “Nonsense,” he laughed. “It’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s only a purr-pull peephole eater.”

(Copyright © 1958 by Mercury Press. First published in THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, August 1958)

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