‘Isn’t it odd,’ I said to the assembled multitude, ‘the way women flap and coo around babies? Men don’t.’
‘He’s not our only baby,’ said the sitting middle aged woman. ‘We’ve just had a new baby foal as well.’
‘Ah now, that’s different,’ I said, warming for once to a conversation with a middle aged woman. ‘Men are quite at home cooing over baby animals, it’s baby humans we have a problem with.’
And then I wondered why that should be. I assume it’s because baby animals are recognisable. They look like small versions of their species, whereas baby humans don’t really look much like anything except alien beings. And maybe men are perhaps genetically predisposed to be suspicious of alien beings, whereas women are more inclined to spot the potential for growth into creatures just like us. (Well, you actually. I’m an example of the old maxim ‘once an alien, always an alien.')
I sneaked a quick look at the alien on the way out and got spotted by the middle aged woman. ‘Just checking it’s genuine,’ I muttered lamely. It was the best I could manage at short notice. Middle aged women scare the hell out of me.