This short story first appeared in Space Science Fiction in May 1952. It’s currently available through Project Gutenberg. I confess, I guessed the reveal fairly early on in the story, but it didn’t take away from the fun of it one bit. In the story, two kids have found a couple of very small animals that they plan to keep and feed and use as their ticket into working for the circus. Their fathers are waiting for a space ship with very small aliens to land so they can initiate business between their two peoples. I think you can see where this is heading. The kids make the connection before the adults, naturally.
Like Ray Bradbury, Asimov values and idealizes boyhood mischief and so forth. That shines through in the way that the Industrialist treats his son who tells his wife at one point to stop chivvying the boy after he’s told to get rid of his animals, understanding that once told, he will do it. (Side note: I love the word “chivvying.”)
This is a great little story. Look it up and enjoy!
Review by Jessica A.