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Source: "The Nutcracker Coup" by Janet Kagan Editor: tallman
Info: "The Nutcracker Coop" is a Christmas story in which an alien race (called Rejoicers) comes to terms with their own sense of individuality and rebellion. They describe their rebellion by saying that they "swallowed a talpseed". They go on to describe:

"A talpseed can't grow unless it has been through the stomach or digestive system of a Rejoicer. Sometimes they don't grow even then. To swallow a talpseed is to take a step toward the growth of something important."

Further Reading: The short story is included in the complilation Isaac Asimov's Christmas, edited by Gardner Dozois and Sheila Williams

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