The Ghost (Feghoot XIX)

This Feghoot was written by Reginald Bretnor writing under the pen name of Grendel Briarton. Many variants of this particular story can be found.

In 3180, Ferdinand Feghoot found the planet called Pigg. It was worthy of note, not because all its species were civilized (which is common enough), but because the spirits of its dead remained visibly present for years, getting into the same sorts of scrapes they had when alive. This troubled the living, who were convinced that there was no way to help or console them.

Feghoot saw an example as he was taking a stroll with the President. A little ghost-cat crept up, weepIng and wailing.

“Th-th-that old gh-gh-ghost B-Boxer bit off my t-t-t-tail!” he told them, sobbing and blowing his nose.

“Oh, dear, dear, dear!” the President moaned. “And there’s nothing at all we can do!”

Feghoot paid no attention. Kneeling, he whispered some words. Instantly, the cat-ghost leaped happily up, thanked him politely, and dashed off purring a tune.

“How splendid!” the President cried. “Mr. Feghoot, what did you say?”

“I told him to go to a grog shop.”

“A grog shop, but why?”

“Because,” said Ferdinand Feghoot, … “that is where they retail spirits.”

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

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