The old farmer, Mouz Ehrams, was looking for cows who had lost their way somewhere when he found a strange creature in the bush. It was brilliant, green, with purple spots and stinked the whole neighborhood. And it moaned softly – “exactly the wind was bored by the wind under the wide eaves of the house.”
The creature suffered, and Moses, no matter what the neighbors talked about him, was not one of those who would leave the suffering being without help. For a while he pondered and recruited courage.
However, under such circumstances, only ordinary bravery is not enough. Here you need bravery foolish.
The stench coming from the creature was not too embarrassing for the farmer. Moses’ wife died about ten years ago, and since then he has lived alone on a neglected farm, raking out a heap of rubbish once a year.
Gathered in spirit, Moses touched the creature and was surprised to find that it was warm, solid and clean, like a green stem of corn. Pulling the sufferer out of the thickets, Moses found that his body was crowned by a thickening, surrounded by the fringe of thin, worm-like tentacles, which had neither eyes nor mouth.
It seemed to the farmer that it was these “worms” who made a wailing howl, and he froze with fear.
Moses was stubborn. Stubborn and indifferent to many things. But not to the suffering living creature.
Overpowering himself, he raised a creature that was very light, and carried
Putting the creature in his bed and doing all the housework, Moses began to ponder how to help him. He even thought it was sickening that he would have to ask for help, but then he put himself in the place of a creature in trouble in a foreign land and called a local doctor.
Then Mose went to the clearing, where he found the creature – suddenly there are still wounded there. But he found only a structure stuck in the hazel, like a huge bird cage.
Moses never for a moment doubted that the creature, now lying on his bed near the stove, came here in this unprecedented wickerwork.
Soon the doctor arrived. He looked at the creature with amazement and declared that he could not help him, because he was not a man or even an animal. According to the doctor, the creature most resembled a plant.
Mose described how everything happened, not a word after speaking about the cage. The doctor advised me to report on the substance to the University of Madison – there the scientists will certainly want to examine him.
Мозз has paid off with the doctor the silver dollar – he considered, that “in paper money there is something illegal” and with rare obstinacy saved up silver.
The doctor left. Mouz was very sorry that no one can help such a sick creature. He was sitting by the bed, looking at the creation “and in it suddenly almost flared hope that it will recover and live with it.”
Мозз hoped that it would be so, because even now there was no longer any loneliness in the house.
The old man only realized just how lonely he was at his house. His last loss was the death of his beloved dog. Mouz did not dare to take a new dog, because an old friend can not be replaced. Cats, he also did not wind up – they reminded him of his wife, who loved them.
So he was left alone with his stubbornness and silver dollars. Under the floor of the living room, the farmer kept a kettle full of silver coins, of which no one had guessed. Mouzou was pleased to think that he had spent all of them, because the neighbors believed that all his silver was stored in a cigar box.
Moses fell asleep, sitting on a chair, and when he woke up, the alien was dead and even began to dry out like a corn stalk left in the field after harvesting. Mose decided to bury the creature in a human way, shaved, put on the only decent suit and went to the city. But the owner of the funeral home refused to bury not a man, but the pastor did not want to read a prayer over his grave.
Moses went down from the hill to his car and drove home, on the way reflecting on what kind of cattle are caught among people.
Returning to the farm, Mouz buried the creature in the corner of the garden. The board for the coffin was not there, and the farmer wrapped the stranger in an old tablecloth.
Mose wanted very much to keep something for the memory of the stranger. On his body, he found something like a pocket in which lay a ball of smoky glass. Turning the ball in his hands, Moses put it back.
Burying the creature, Moses pulled out of the bushes cage, in which he flew, and hid it in the far corner of the garage. Then he plowed the whole garden so that no one could find the grave of the stranger.
The news of the stranger spread around the area. People began to visit the Moss farm, but the farmer showed neither the sheriff nor the journalist, nor the president of the Club of flying saucers, to the grave.
He had a short conversation with everyone, so they soon left him alone, and he continued to work on his land, and the house was still lonely.
Once, Mouz discovered that a strange plant grew up on the grave of the creature, like a cabbage. Moses did not pull him out, and one fine morning he found the plant at his door. It was the same being, but not sick, but young and full of strength. It looked like a deceased alien, like a son to his father.
Mouz rejoiced that the creature had returned – now he had someone to talk to, although it could not answer. The stranger found his cage in the garage, and the farmer helped him to straighten the crumpled rods. Then the creature tried to repair what Moses considered the engine. He needed metal, which was not found in the garage of the farmer, and he was delighted.
Now the creature will have to stay with him, and he will have someone to talk to, and from his house will leave loneliness.
The next morning, Moses accidentally overturned a box of cigars, in which he kept part of the silver dollars. Immediately it became clear that it was silver that the alien needed. But there were not enough dollars out of the box to repair the engine, and Mouz had to get the pot from under the floor.
The silver was melted, and the alien flooded it into the engine cells. At night on Мозза “amazing thoughts” have come. He presented loneliness more terrible than his own. Loneliness of the creature lost in the interstellar desert. The farmer realized that these were the thoughts of the being, and decided not to take offense at him.
In the morning the alien flew away. Saying goodbye, he gave Mouza an already familiar glass ball. Only the ball of the deceased creature was also dead, matte, “and in this twinkling live gleam of distant fire.” Mose put the ball in his pocket, and he felt good and happy.
In the bottomless depths of the universe, lonely and melancholy without a Friend. Who knows when it will be possible to find another.
The stranger did not regret his act. Perhaps he acted unreasonably, but the old savage was kind and wanted very much to help, but he had nothing left to remember.