Hoots are an alien species from The Mount Universe.
Hoots are a humanoid species, but inferior in stature to Sams or humans. They possess large ears that are capable of flapping. The ears are used as a way of expressing emotions.
They originally evolved from herbivorous prey animals. On their homeworld they developed a set of very keen senses which allowed them to tame and use predators as mounts. While their legs are somewhat atrophied, mostly due to their reliance on Mounts, they are still capable of standing upright to a degree. Their hands however are strong, with long fingers that were evolved for strangling predators. Their sense of smell and hearing are also superior to humanity.
Generations ago the Hoots invaded Earth and summarily conquered humanity. However humanity managed to destroy the invaders ships, stranding them on the planet. The Hoots though use what little technology they possessed to enslave the humans, turning them into beast of labor and mounts to serve as transportation.
Hoots are a species that believe in having beauty around them. That’s one reason they like humans so much, thinking that they are so beautiful, muscles and all. Centuries of enslaving humans have them left highly dependent on using them as beasts of burden to the point of worship. They liken their relationship with humanity as symbiotic, giving them food and care whilst the humans act as their physical might. Though they respect their human mounts, they control all aspect of their life, matings, education, encouraging them they are better off as animals. The Hoots are ruled by a royal family, the main leadership being the one called the Present-Ruler-Of-Us-All. The next in line to rule is the Future-Ruler-Of-Us-All.
- The Mount by Carol Emshwiller