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Friday

Listen Up: Inheritence Paws

It's kind of funny to think of a group of people watching the skies for aliens and angrily declaring that no one is listening to them, that the disbelief in UFOs is criminal, that governments should be paying attention because one day those BEMS are gonna come blast us, while the rest of the world is being quietly redeemed by the monkey like creatures.

However, "From Their Paws We Shall Inherit", by Gary Kloster, is not a humorous story. The angry interludes from the angry skywatcher are very violent. The plight of the children being helped by the aliens is very grim.

The monkeys seem to choose who they will help very carefully. When they help, it is not materially so much as through knowledge. What they seem to do is offer forgiveness and understanding so that their protegees can realise their potential themselves. This makes the story of the mother of the children in the story more interesting despite the fact that she never really appears in it. At first, she's just an alcoholic in the background of their lives. Later, it turns out that she has been a doctor, she still has her tools and now, thanks to the monkey, the daughter is able to use them. Yet the monkey chooses to help her, too, so that she ceases to be an alcoholic. Then we have to think about the fact that she never did through away her medical gear, or sell it for booze, but kept it. The monkeys recognised this about her. I think that at the heart of this story is the need many people have to be recognised for who they want to be and helped to be just that.

This story is available in a lot of places, but I heard it from here Clarkesworld Magazine.