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Let's Trade
by Michael A. Kechula

“Can anybody hear me?”

“Yes!” exclaimed the radio operator for SETI (Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence). “Who are you?”

“I’m the Emperor of Mars. I need your help. We have more dinosaurs than our planet’s ecosystem can support. Do you need any on your planet? We’d be happy to send you some.”

“Dinosaurs? I don’t think so.”

“Do you have any on your planet now?” asked the Emperor.

“No, they all died out long ago.”

“Then you don’t know what you’re missing. I’d be eternally grateful, if you’d take some off my hands. In fact, I’d be pleased to offer you an all expense paid, wonderful vacation on our planet if you accepted a few. This includes lodging at a suite in our best hotel, which is staffed by our most gorgeous and very friendly females.”

“Hmm. A vacation on Mars sounds fantastic,” SETI said. “What if we make a trade?”

“What do you have to offer?” asked the Emperor.

“Gorgeous rats.”

“What are they?”

“The most delightful creatures on Earth. You’ll love them. They’re quite delicious.”

“Sounds great! We’ll ship our dinosaurs tomorrow.”

The next day, six-billion dinosaurs arrived on Earth in flying saucers. The same day, Earth dispatched six billion rats to Mars via UPS.

Earthlings were thrilled with their new, imported dinosaurs—until they discovered Martian dinosaurs had insatiable, gargantuan appetites. The dinos ate cars, airplanes, people, London, Australia, and everything else in sight. Then they ate each other. In six months, everything on Earth was gone, except for mountains of dinosaur dung.

The Emperor of Mars was ecstatic. He’d conquered Earth without firing a shot. And he’d received enough rats to feed his all his subjects for an entire year.