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Dear Raggfllad (1972)

Dear Raggfllad (1972)

©1972, 2013 by Dallas Denny

Source: Dallas Denny. (1972). Dear Raggfllad. Unpublished short story.

I wrote this not-very-good story when I was about 22 years old. I present it here so it can be compared to my later writing to prove I do have the capacity to learn.




Dear Raggfllad

By Dallas Denny


Dear Raggfllad,

This, as you know, is my first correspondence since being stationed on this godforsaken planet. I shall probably be writing you often, if only to keep my sanity.

My official report follows.


TO: Commandant Raggfllad

1342 Trans-Vegan Apts., 3rd Continent

2nd planet from 164432 Class C Sun

Postal Code 65432111479332517X


FROM: Cpt. Lawrence Codry

Room 403, Dixie Belle Motel

14 Main Street

Tullahoma, TN USA

North American Continent

3rd Planet

Sol #1777447-ABABX72

Milky Way Galaxy

Quadrant 1C



You have asked me for an objective report of this planet and its inhabitants and whether I think it fit for colonization.

I suppose I should fill you in on the climate and geography of this world. This globe, called Earth by its inhabitants, is the third planet from a G-type star in the galaxy 2344489115. The world is medium-sized, with about two-thirds the gravity of MMarkka, our home planet. About three-fifths of this world is covered with water and, due to the tilt of the planet on its axis, there are alternating cold and hot periods. Curiously enough, even with all this abundance of water, there are great areas which are almost uninhabited because of aridity.

There is an abundance of plant and animal life on Earth, but the predominate species seems to be an erect biped, which has opposable thumbs and can clumsily manipulate objects. The tentacles which we love so dearly and know to denote intelligence are missing. There are short cilia in

the armpits of these creatures; perhaps these will eventually evolve into functional tentacles in a few billion years, should the species last that long. This seems unlikely—this planet has a high rate of turnover it its species.

The bipeds, with their clumsy manipulation of objects,

have created machinery and buildings which one would not have thought possible for so lowly a creature. They accomplish this with simple tools, which they compound to form what they call “machinery.” They have even formed a crude type of internal combustion engine which propels land, sea, and air vehicles at deadly speeds.

These bipeds are aggressive creatures. They divide themselves arbitrarily into ideological units and savagely resist the breaking up of these units. Large units, called countries, fight and bicker constantly among themselves. So do the small units, which are called families. Aggression seems to be a method of keeping the excess population down, since most of the casualties are young, virile males.

The bipeds have a bizarre system of taboos and morals, and deviance is strictly punished. For instance, they wear a covering made of animal and vegetable fibers and furs and the skins of other animals to cover themselves, and to appear without this covering is a sure way of punishment for the bipeds. Each sex dresses differently. My theory is this is the only way they can tell themselves apart. Some bipeds wear the clothing of one of the other sexes upon occasion, but they are chastized for doing so by the other bipeds.

If you remember, the last time I was here, only sixty-three million years ago, the ruling creatures were large reptilians, semi-intelligent, and with lovely, scaly skins much like ours. These creatures have disappeared, except for their internal support networks, which the bipeds of the present worship in droves on weekends and holidays, along with the primitive ancestors of the bipeds, which are wrapped in dingy cocoons of fabric and preserved with chemicals. No doubt these bipeds are expecting these creatures to hatch out into leaders of some sort, probably religious, but I have found, upon examination, that these creatures must have died, because there is no indication of metamorphosis or other activity within the cocoon. They are probably mere fossils.

Oh! Back to the vestigal tentacles under the upper limbs of the bipeds. The female of the species frequently scrapes these off with a sharp blade. Bleeding occurs frequently, and the process seems to cause considerable pain. Why this is done is one sex and not the others, I don’t know. Both sexes, however, direct a spray from a tubular construction to the area under the arms. Some individuals use a tube of sticky, waxy material for the same purpose. This appears to be a religious ritual, for they perform this daily, and everyone in the society reeks of the stuff.

Those who deviate from this practice were probably executed long ago, for all bipeds, at least on this part of their planet seem to partake in this ritual. The bipeds pay no heed to the fact that this spray can sometimes cause a malignant growth of tissue under the arms, or that it is quite corrosive.

A strange ceremony occurs in these creatures—through some legal or religious process, bipeds who have sexual intercourse must live with each other for the rest of their lives. Needless to say, this makes many bipeds of both sexes unhappy. This might be a cause of their high suicide rate.

Strangely enough, the smaller, immature bipeds are treated as inferior and are sent daily to prisons of some kind. They are allowed to return to their nests at night, although those with parts who possess high levels of material goods tend to remain full-time in prisons far from their homes. For some reason bipeds with dark skin color are treated as inferiors by the pink bipeds.

The bipeds have spread across the planet and have managed to exterminate nearly all the native plant and animal life, except for those species which they have managed to adapt for their own purposes. (Note: This doesn’t necessarily denote intelligence; it is, rather, a symbiotic relationship, as we have on our planet between the Xantrhip and the Rhombi.)

The entire race of bipeds seems to be suicidal. The population of this sector pours vast quantities of a frothy, slow-acting poison down its collective throat. This substance makes the bipeds even more awkward ungainly in their movements than they naturally are. Furthermore, different sections of the land seem to be subdivided into units, and fight against one another, even though they have nothing the other wants.

I conclude this report by saying, yes, this planet is ready to be colonized. The bipeds have no useful function and could be easily exterminated. They no doubt should be.

Take good care of the wife and younglings.



Larry (my biped disguise)