This is an excerpt from the (fictional) Journal of Jarn, a human-like alien stranded on Earth, in southern Africa, roughly 125,000 years ago. This Journal became the Holy Book of several of the planets that later made up the Jarnian Confederation (where my science fiction books are set.) The entire Journal to date is on my author website.

I wish this planet didn’t have sentient inhabitants, or at least that they were not so much like me. “Do not interfere.” Ha! How can I help but interfere?

As I thought, the two adults were Songbird’s parents, decked out in their best finery, and the smaller, aged figure, even more elaborately adorned, was the person I’ve been calling – and might as well continue calling – the shaman. I suspect clan-mother would be more accurate, as most of her advice seems to come from experience and tradition. I do not know how old she is, but Songbird’s mother is the daughter of her daughter. She is bent and wrinkled, and the few teeth she has left are worn down to nubbins – yet I think from some of the things she said that she is younger than I am.

When I asked her how she knew I would rescue Songbird, while Songbird was showing my “calendar” to her parents, she looked half puzzled. “Sometimes I know when someone is going to die. I knew I could not heal Songbird, and yet I did not feel her death coming. And we had to leave; the clans meet when the rains go north. But I hoped only; I did not know.”

Untrained conditional precognition. We might be like this, if we aged.

Yet they have something we do not have, something that delights the eye. They – all of them – have creativity. Songbird wove patterns into her baskets, which pleased me, but everything these people have is decorated in some way. With us, only a few have the ability to create beauty, and those few are treasured. Is it possible that all of these people, people who grow old like animals, have that spark in their souls?

They know of me. What further harm could I do by accepting their invitation to visit?