Should a former outlaw become a judge—even if he need only pass sentence on a layer cake?
d. His sense of taste had remained keen only to the advantage of others. To himself it was a tantalizing mockery.
Senator Whitten's voice came to a sudden stop. There was applause. The Senator sat down; the chairman stood up. The time for the judging had arrived.
They set out the cakes--more than a hundred of them, topped by icings of all colors and all flavors. The chairman introduced Ronar and lauded both his impartiality and the keenness of his sense of taste.
They had a judging card ready. Slowly, Ronar began to go down the line.
They might just as well have signed each cake with its maker's name. As he lifted a portion of each to his mouth, he could hear the quick intake of breath from the woman who had baked it, could catch the whispered warning from her companion. There were few secrets they could keep from him.
At first they all watched intently. When he had reached the fifth cake, however, a hand went up in the audience. "Madam Chairman!"
"Please, ladies, let
The story is told from the point of view of a former ruling life form of the planetoid who used to be a carnivore, but who has been psychologically and surgically corrected to be a bipedal vegetarian, and so safe to run loose in human society.
The interior monologue is amusing, and the whole story is set up for the kicker ending, which isn't exactly earthshaking. The writing in competent, though everyone other than the creature is pretty stereotypical.
I have read literally hundreds of Science Fiction Short stories and many of them written by the Giants in that field. But of them all this is the Story which takes the cake!! The Impact of the last sentence in this Story is still with me.(I first read this story as a seventeen year old)
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