The Feghoot series is by Reginald Bretnor writing under the pseudonym of Grendel Briarton.

Ferdinand Feghoot placed himself in great peril when he explored the dry-jungle valleys of Golightly III, and discovered the dzop, the strange flying bird-plants that breed there. The indigenous aborigines killed every stranger, stuffed him with dzop feather-leaves, and set him up as one of their innumerable charms. To get by, Feghoot had to pose as an almost omnipotent charm maker, and everything went along nicely until the start of the dzop egg-laying season, which was sacred. Then the Queen came to see him.

“Mighty Magician,” she said, “we have always wanted charms made out of dzop eggs, but we have never had them because they travel too fast. You are powerful. You will be able to catch them.”

Dzop egg sacs were modified seed-pods, and great pressure built up inside them. Finally, when the flocks found their meaty blue nest-trees, this became unendurable. Each dzop aimed its tail at its tree, and let go. The eggs broke out of their sacs at a velocity of over 2800 feet per second, and buried themselves deep in the trees, where they eventually hatched.

“Well?” said the Queen, gnashing her eighty-one teeth. Ferdinand Feghoot did some quick thinking. “Of course I could catch them, Your Highness,” he answered, “but you can’t make an amulet with out-breaking eggs.”

(Copyright © 19xx by Mercury Press. First published in THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, issue date.).

Previous Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *