It wasn’t that big – the alien spacecraft on his back lawn. Possibly it had landed on Ted’s lawn because it was private, being surround by a thick hedge. If you were to land a space craft on an inhabited alien planet it is obvious that caution must be observed. Ted went out to see if they wanted anything. No one was about. The alien craft didn’t seem to have even a door that Ted could knock upon.
The craft was there all day. Ted went our frequently but nothing changed. Evening came. Still nothing had happened.
Then it occurred to Ted: they were invisible. If their science had enabled them to travel from a distant solar system it would logical that they also had the technology to render themselves invisible. This was borne out when kitchen cupboard doors began to open and close; not vehemently, but nicely. It was as if the aliens were politely looking for something.
“Look,” said Ted out aloud to an apparently empty room. “If you want something specific just ask. I might be able to help.” The aliens did not respond. Ted got a large piece of paper and a black felt-tipped marker. He put them on the kitchen table. He turned his back. “Just write it down if you are too wary to be seen.”
When Ted turned back he picked up the piece of paper off the table.
“Yes! There’s writing on it,” said Ted. “It says: WHOLE MEAL FLOUR. FOR FUEL. I’m not sure if I have whole meal flour in the house. I shall have a look, and if need be I can go to the shop and get some for you. I usually keep the flour in this cupboard here.”
Ted opened the flour cupboard.
“This one,” said the Superintendent to the psychiatry students, “is a most interesting case.”