Enemies of the Colony
by Wallace Wood
Weird Fantasy #8 (1951)
Aw, look at that cute little alien with the big eyes and bent antenna. Just precious. It couldn't possibly to a threat to the colonists, could it?
If you said no, you haven't read many EC stories, have you?
Anyway, this is one of the handful of stories that Wallace Wood wrote as well as drew in his EC days. Some new arrivals finish their years long voyage to a colony on an alien planet, and find it well settled. There are these cute little native critters, the mokos, that were almost wiped out when the original colonists arrived, being hunted by the large monstrous hydra-files. The human children start to keep the mokos as pets and breed them, which only seems to make the hydra-files more upset, as they attack any large number of mokos. The humans react as you'd expect, and wipe out the hydra-files in any area they've colonized. The mokos population grows, and the humans then discover that when they're in large numbers the mokos are godless killing machines who wipe out anything in their path, hence the hydra-files agitation at humans breeding them.
So let that be a lesson to all future space colonists. Wipe out every indigenous life form you find, no matter how cute. Wait, that can't be right...
Gorgeous Wallace Wood artwork and some good, if morally questionable, writing.