Horrible Example

Story, first published: Analog Science Fact + Fiction, March 1961

Tobias, the disgrace of Millville, is a drunken bum, a weight on the village conscience. Old Tobe is actually a robot, contracted to play the role of the one human derelict in town. Unworthily for a robot, he longs for "humanness" and to become a colonist among the stars. When he saves two kids in a car wreck, the village sends a delegation to make him a hero, and Tobe must send for a replacement "bum." Now Tobe will playa new role, a reformed bum who will make Millville nervous and uneasy - perhaps uneasy enough to send him to the stars.

Ewald, Robert J.: When the Fires Burn High and the Wind is from the North, p.68