Care and Feeding of Humans

A 1-post collection

Challenge #01374-C279: Three Things They Did Wrong and One Thing They Did Right -- Anon Guest

Understanding humans is a difficult business. Gallusians, one of the earliest Galactic species to hire their services, know this better than most.

Kru'ku, designated companion/guide of the exploration vessel Tikavi, wrote what many consider to be the first guide centred around the proper care and handling of humans. Their work encapsulates years of research, anecdotal evidence, assumptions, and quite a large amount of wild guesses.

For a seminal work, it is well known. But it is now considered to be mostly incorrect. Fortunately, humans understand that other species don't grasp all of the important details...


Humans are fond of immersions into solutions of sodium stearate and other chemicals [see appendix BATH for a complete list] for relaxation and the health of their hides. I am informed that a 'good bath' can take a majority of a Standard Day.

It was hot, and there were bubbles. There were copious amounts of water involved. Other than that, it smelled and looked like an attempt at a swamp.

"Um," said Del, human guard to the Tikavi crew. "What is this?"

"A solution of sodium stearate and sodium tallowate," said Kru'ku, his crest feathers fluffing up in pride. "I took the liberty of adding appropriate chemicals for the health and maintenance of your hide."

"...and none of the perfumes," murmured Del. He was going to need a shower after taking this bath. "I'm sure it's... therapeutic as hell."

"I shall leave you to enjoy."

"Thanks," winced Del. To damn Kru'ku with faint praise, his heart was in the right place and he meant well. But these fragile chicken-people were going to be the death of him.


Humans, whilst seemingly tireless, do require a modicum of sleep. For peak functioning, insist that your human retains a complete slumber ritual.

"Del! There is a most fascinating mineral deposit on this world!"

Del snorted out of their sleep nook with arms flailing. Snorting as he went. He landed in a very sloppy defense position before realising that his companion chicken was showing him a shiny thing that he'd found.

"...wh'z't?" Del finally managed. "...i w's try'n'a sleep."

Kru'ku took a few minutes to catch up. "Oh. Oooohhhh... this is your sleep cycle. Many apologies." He dropped into a stage whisper. "I should be staying quiet, yes?"

"...and fucking off," mumbled Del. "Please."


Humans are not naturally inclined to work as a solitary being. Therefore it is necessary to introduce a system of rewarding physical contact.

Del looked down at the chicken wrapped around his leg. "Is it breeding season? Don't you have a female?"

Kru'ku looked up at him whilst also laying as much of his feathered neck against Del as he could. "I have found evidence that your kind require rewarding physical contact. Therefore I am engaging in 'hug' with you."

Del considered trying to outline all of the intricate and bizarre rules around personal contact to Kru'ku and estimated that neither of them had that many lifetimes. "Thanks," he sighed, and gently petted the chicken's feathers in return.


Human pack-bonding is not limited to other cogniscents. Many humans find time with a companion animal of their native world to be intensely rewarding.

"Kru'ku... why are you in my quarters with that box?"

"We have completed a successful trade for your benefit," said the chicken. He looked so darn pleased with himself.

But, knowing how screwy the chickens were with anything human, Del was suspicious. "Kru'ku... why does that box have holes in it?"

"I believe the human expression is, 'Happy Merry Birthmasween'."

Del had yet to explain that that one was something of a heritage joke. There could be anything in that box, but the scrabbling noises dictated that it was alive.

"Wow. Thanks," said Del. He approached the box with caution. Kru'ku wouldn't purposely pick up something that was hazardous to other chickens. Would he? Del risked opening a flap.


It had to be the world's smallest, fluffiest, calico kitten. And she came with a litterbox, scoop, and some accessories.

The noise Del made was indescribable. Part squee, part coo, all unintelligable, and some attempted words in the middle of it that could pass as, "Aawissadiddleiddybiddykiddycaaaaaat..."

Del scooped his new kitten into his hands. Tears of joy pooled in his eyes and then spilled down his cheeks. "Heyo gawjus. Heyo cyootie. Hoosaboo'ful? Hoosaboo'ful? Yoosaboo'ful... essoois... essois..."

Captain Bu'tik, out in the hall, stopped to boggle at the scene. "Kru'ku. Have you... broken... our human?"

"Essaywuvsooo... yoosoboo'ful..." Del cradled and petted his kitten, letting her bite and play with his fingers.

Kru'ku murmured, "Negatory, Captain. I have done exactly the right thing."

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