First printed in Worlds of If. Reprinted in by editors Roelof Goudriaan, Frank Ludlow, and John Joseph Adams. Online at Lightspeed.
When Earth colonists arrive at Zobranoirundisi, the cities are abandoned. The former residents are nowhere to be found on this Eden-like planet of velvet fields. But a biologist discovers that the plants go through various stages of life until they become sentient. The colonists have done irreparable damage and are required to pay whatever reparations the newly born-again, indigenous sentients. They remove the human’s tongues in what seems like a metaphoric gesture. It seems important that the humans do tell their tale.