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clever arachnida of deimos

Bruce was more or less familiar with the scanty vegetation and animal life among the rocks nearby.  Years before, he had piloted an exploration party from Earth, consisting of four eminent men of science, which had spent some time in studying this tiny moon. 

After several busy hours, Bruce stole a few minutes to search the pitted face of the cliff near which he was working.  There was nothing to fear from these aboriginal dwellers of Deimos, as he was well aware, for he remembered them as inoffensive, sessile-eyed, snail-footed Arachnida, only a few inches tall.  But he was wondering if this strange, unknown thing which Horker had hatched from his pebbles had affected them in any visible manner.

Although small, sluggish creatures, these Arachnida, he remembered, possessed an intelligence considerably higher than that of any animal of Earth – a quaint, semi-human intelligence, which enabled them to use certain primitive tools.

And now, here in the shallow niches of the cliff, he found their tiny, conical, adobe huts.  His eyes traced the small terraces lying before the huts, filled with dark loam which the industrious Arachnida had carefully collected from the scanty supply available.

But these small gardens were neglected, the tiny huts abandoned…

D L James, Crystals of Madness (Thrilling Wonder Stories, October 1936)

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