Youth

Slim is a boy whose astronomer father is visiting the country estate of an important industrialist. The industrialist’s son, Red, has found two strange animals, and he enlists Slim in a plan to turn the animals into a circus act.
The astronomer, meanwhile, tells the industrialist that he has been in contact with space aliens who want to open up their world to interstellar trade. Their world needs help, the astronomer says; ever since the atomic wars that destroyed their old civilization, their world has been regressing. Unless something is done, their culture may face total collapse.
“Youth” by Isaac Asimov, first appeared in the May 1952 issue of Space Science Fiction and was reprinted in the 1955 collection The Martian Way and Other Stories. “Youth” is one of the rare Asimov stories with alien characters.

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