“Knowledge could be both a weapon and a defense.”
Slow start, but Norton delivers. Her character and world building are leisurely, but do the job. Satisfying end to this story with hooks into the next. A skill rare among today’s writers.
“Look, listen and keep your thoughts to yourself—the law of survival”
One can’t help but think Norton was writing about more than man’s relationship with animals formerly kept as pets when this was written. (I’ve tried to say more three times, but quit because anything more would be spoilers. Just read it and enjoy.)
“Belt knives shift from one wearer to another without losing their edge.”
No female humans appear in this story written by a woman. I find that odd.
“Few men are going to accept readily a co-partnership with creatures they had always considered property.”
Awarded an extra star because, though first published in 1961, this story weathers the last half century of technological innovation very well. Many stories written only twenty years ago sound dated. Perhaps it’s because the people, creatures and relationships are so real.
“One does not throw away a new thing merely because it is strange.”