Project Spacepaw was the interplanetary version of the Peace Corps – the perfect place for an ambitious young engineer like Bill Waltham to get experience teaching underdeveloped aliens how to do things Earth-style.
It was just Bill's luck to be posted to the remote backwater of Dilbia, where the natives were a cross between bears and Vikings. It was boring, sure. But it was the Earthman's burden. Except that the Dilbians had other ideas. They didn't want to learn Earth's ways. And they had a few things to teach Waltham.