Cover image for


Published: 1954
Language: English
Wordcount: 10,162 / 37 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 84.6
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,915
Added to site: 2010.06.16 28161

They were the perfect servants—they were willing to do everything for nothing. The obvious question is: How much is nothing?

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oft hiss through his white teeth. Clumsy flattened to the ground and froze, and Soth continued after us without a further glance at the dog.

Fred looked at Vicki's tense face and laughed. "I'll have to learn that trick ... Clumsy's chewed the cuffs off three pairs of my best slacks."

Vicki smiled uncertainly, and went into the house. I showed Soth where to stow the supplies, and told him to remain in the kitchen. He just froze where he stood.

Fred was making drinks when I returned to the living room.

"Looks docile enough, Cliff," he told me.

"Strong as a horse and gentle as a lamb," I said. "I want you two to help me find out what his talents are. I'll have to prepare a paper on him for the board of directors Monday."

There were nervous whitecaps on Vicki's drink.

I patted her shoulder. "I'll break him into the housekeeping routine, honey. You won't have him staring over your shoulder."

She tried to relax. "But he's so quiet--and big!"

"Who wants


Average Rating of 4.5 from 4 reviews: *****
Paulo Respighi

A story that starts out like a comical tale, but grows into a grim story of survival.

An alien ship has crashed off the coast of the U.S., and the dwarfish aliens who survive turn out to be servile and flattering. They can't do much for humanity, but they know how to make damn good robots. Or androids. Or something. It doesn't matter what, because they are perfect servants, and the rich and powerful all want one.

Good writing and characterizations, and an imaginative plot.


A really good short story that illustrates human nature at its worst.

Mauro Motta

Nice and thrilling.
I am firmly persuaded it was the inspiration for the Star Trek episode "What Are Little Girls Made Of?"


One of the better short stories I've read. A quick read but not fluff or pulp in readability by any means. I'm definitely going to check out other stories by this author.

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