“Herb,” Jimmy whispered to his friend sleeping in a pile at the end of the singlewide bed.
The purple lump of fur moved slightly and made a noise that could only be made by beings from outer space that had doby valves.
“Herb,” Jimmy risked a slightly louder whisper.
Herb could not whisper but the volume on his doby valve could be adjusted to reduce or increase volume, he answered quietly, “What do you want Jimmy?”
“I heard something moving in the front room.”
Herb went completely silent and still for an instance and then said, “it was the cat. Go back to sleep.”
“How do you know that? You were asleep!” said Jimmy forgetting to whisper.
“I checked my recorder, it was the cat.”
Jimmy relaxed, if the space alien at the foot of your bed said it was the cat you could be sure it was.
“Jimmy?” Herb said trying to mimic a human’s sleepy voice with his doby valve generated speech.
“Sometimes I think we should put the cat in the blender for a few minutes and then drink him.” Herb could not eat as humans do but needed all his food to be liquefied.
Jimmy sat up in bed and completely forgetting to whisper shouted, “What!”
“Just working on my humor,” Herb responded, on my world there is no humor. It’s one of the things I find very interesting.” He paused and thought for a second. (Herb can do a lot of thinking in a second with a brain oval four times as large as a human’s.) “I wouldn’t really eat the cat Jimmy,” he thought another half second, “unless you want to?”
“I think we will hold off on eating the cat for awhile,” Jimmy said, “go back to sleep.”
“Okay, Jimmy.” The room was quiet for a couple minutes.
“Jimmy?” Herb said using a low volume setting on his doby valve.
“What now Herb.” Jimmy said impatiently.
“Thank you for letting me stay at your house.”
“No problem, go to sleep.”
“And thanks for keeping my research of the human race a secret.”
“No problem, go to sleep.”
“And I’ve decided we should eat the cat.”
“Humor?” Jimmy asked.
“Yes, Jimmy, I think I’m getting quite good at it.”
“It could use some work. Go to sleep!”
Jimmy rolled into a ball and covered his head with his pillow. Herb thought about his study of humans. His first report had been accepted by his fellow life forms and more information had been requested, high praise on his planet. Humans were very different. They couldn’t levitate, but did almost all their physical interactions with hands and feet. Herb had legs he called slenders, they were about three feet long when fully extended but he had no knees and just hard points for feet. He had no arms or hands at all. Humans had very small brains and they carried them exposed on top of skinny necks. “That’s funny,” Herb said at a volume only he could hear. Herb joined his earth boy friend in sleep.
Jimmy’s father nudged Jimmy’s mother lying in bed next to him, “Jimmy and Herb were talking again.”
“They have a lot to talk about,” Jimmy’s Mother pointed out having been informed not long ago about Herb’s far away planet.
“I think they said they were going to eat the cat,” Jimmy’s Dad said sounding a little worried.
“Go back to sleep.” And the house remained quiet for the rest of the night.
Jimmy’s sister, alone in her bedroom, her eyes wide open, pulled her kitty so close to her and held her so tightly that the kitten growled not understanding she was just being protected. Jimmy’s sister knew she was not as smart as her older brother but it seemed, to her, a strange thing to let a super intelligent being from another planet sleep on the foot of your bed.