Word had reached Planet Earth long before the return of the spacecraft that had visited a “neighbouring” planet: earthlings had captured three aliens and were bringing them back to Earth. The world waited in a state of huge agog-ness. It had been a three year wait.
The aliens were not regarded as being particularly clever. In fact, there was some discussion as to whether or not they were intelligent beings; perhaps more like creatures with the brain of a parrot. Once they had arrived on earth they would be toured around a bit to be viewed by the gawking multitudes before being put down and stuffed for perpetuity by eminent taxidermists.
And then disaster struck. The returning spacecraft crashed. It was a gigantic ball of flame on the cricket field where it was to land. No passenger survived – no human, no alien. The only alien fragment salvaged was a finger. It was a most unusual finger, and charred, but it took pride of place in the interactive National Museum. Crowds flocked.
It wasn’t until several decades later, when a second batch of aliens arrived, that the ogling humans realized it can’t be a finger. Those aliens had no hands.