Plaything (#76)

1974-08stand-alone Short StoryWorlds of If, August 1974

anthology, The Best from If, Volume III, ed. James Baen, Award 1976;
anthology, 100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories, edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg and Joseph D. Olander;
Convergent Series
alien adolescents encounter a probe from Earth

First printed in Worlds of If, August 1974. An automated Martian lander is set upon by playful Martian children, in a loving tribute to Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles.