Writer: Alan Dean Foster
Running Time: 15:27
Stardate: 5468.2
Date of Release: 1975


   The recently contacted planet of Marpaplu has just applied for associate membership in the Federation, and the Enterprise travels to pick up a Marpapluan ambassador. The very short ambassador, Nice Housnik, beams aboard and is greeted by Kirk and Scotty. He is very friendly, and they take him up to see the starship's command bridge. Suddenly, Kirk breaks out in unexplained laughter when showing the ambassador some bridge controls. The ambassador sees nothing wrong with Kirk's behavior. Kirk laughs more and then starts scratching. McCoy also begins to laugh as does Scotty down in Engineering. Kirk wants to know what's going on, as reports come in from all over the ship. McCoy takes the ambassador to sickbay. Microscopic examination reveals hundreds of tiny bugs on the counselor's skin. The little mites are tough, smaller than fleas, and immune to poisons. Ambassador Housnik explains that the bugs are called meegees. All Marpapluans have meegees - they tickle their hosts to cause mirth which the little parasites feed on. Meegees move about when not receiving enough happy mood.

   Counselor Housnik's people have no war or crime, and so have no reason to get rid of the pleasure-eating bugs. The ambassador apologizes for infecting the starship's crew. McCoy reports that he can not get rid of them. Scotty bursts in angry and sad at the loss of efficiency in Engineering because of the meegees. They discover that Scott is free of meegees because of his foul mood. The parasites on him starved to death. Kirk command the crew to think only unhappy thoughts to get rid of the troublesome meegees which soon rectifies the situation. The planet Marpaplu is accepted as an associate member of Federation, but it is placed under temporary quarantine until a method is found to protect against meegees.

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This story appeared in the following packages:

Record 2

Record 7

Record 10

Record 17

Record 23


  • This story did not have a narrator.
  • In this story, Kirk calls the Enterprise a "Federation Cruiser."
  • No read-a-long comic book was ever produced to accompany this story.
  • No explanation of what a Fleaver (from the story's title) refers to was ever given in the story. However, the story's title is obviously a play on the old adage, "starve a cold, feed a fever."
  • In this story, Scotty mentions that he has a ten-year-old nephew.

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Email: cdanhauser@yahoo.com

   Captain Kirk
   Mr. Spock
   Doctor McCoy
   Engineer Scott
   Helmsman Sulu
   Lieutenant Uhura
   Counsellor Nice Housnik