Steampunk Family

Corndog Liberation

November 13, 2010
This entry is part of a series, Voyage to Antafrica»


“Let’s try to herd them away from here before those men come back,” Annabelle said.

They used their oars and the men’s discarded sticks to encourage the corndogs away from the fissure.

Mirabelle sidled up to her twin. “Did you get a look at those men?”


“Notice anything odd?”

“That they were orange and bald and kind of lumpy?” Annabelle said.

“Yes. That’s what I thought I saw, too.”

“That proves we’re in the Southern Hemisphere,” interrupted Adolphus, “where intensive sun exposure makes everyone darker.”

“It doesn’t make anyone orange.”

“On the Indian subcontinent-”

“People are all different shades of pink and tan and brown.” Annabelle snapped. “No one is orange.”

Adolphus looked uphill where the herders had run into the forest. “They were.”

The corndogs swarmed about their feet, playfully tickling the children’s ankles with their silk.  The children led them down to the riverbank.

“They won’t all fit in the boat,” Claire said. “Where can we take them that those men won’t find them?”

“I’m hungry,” Gerhardt complained.

“I could run back for some of that popcorn,” Adolphus said.

“Adolphus!” The twins spoke as one, which they often did when chastising their elder brother.

“What?” he asked in wounded tones. “It’s just sitting there. I’m not going to pop anyone else!”

“I wonder if they can swim?” Claire mused. “They might be safer on the other side of the river.”

“If we can cross it those orange fellows can too.”

“They might not think to,” Claire answered, “besides, we don’t know anywhere safe.”

“Keep them!” Bettina cradled a corndog like a baby, tickling its husks.

“And feed them what?” Mirabelle asked. “They should be attached to a stalk, getting water and nutrition from the soil and energy from the sun. What do we feed corn?”

Bettina thought. “Butter?”

Claire picked up the closest creature and dropped it in the river. Bettina shrieked. It disappeared for an anxious moment, then popped up to the surface, flailing its husks. It didn’t go under again.

“Right,” she said. “Back in the boat, everyone.

They herded the corndogs into the river, and managed to lead them to the opposite shore. They walked them downstream. Adolphus, who was getting quite good at it, poled Bettina and her pet in the boat, keeping up with the walkers as they plodded along. It had been many hours since their breakfast turnips, and even the softest-hearted of them now wished they’d let Adolphus fetch some popcorn.

“You know,” Annabelle said, “rescuing these creatures and leading them miles away is probably some sort of crime here.”

“What?” Gerhardt was furious at the very idea. “Setting them on fire is good, and saving them is bad?”

“Well, these corn-dog-things are obviously not wild, so they’re domestic. If raised for food here … it’s sort of like going to the stockyard and loading all the cows back on the train at gunpoint, isn’t it?”

They thought about this for a while, except for Adolphus, who was singing his obscene Italian lullaby, and Bettina, who was falling asleep to it, cradling a dozing corndog.

The children stopped and looked at the herd.

“We’ve led them miles away,” Mirabelle said, “and they’re all slowing down a bit. It’s a long way on those short little husk-feet.”

The corndogs milled about aimlessly. Many lay down as soon as the children stopped walking.

“We’ve taken them as far as they can go today,” Claire said at last. “Let’s set up camp and find something to eat.”

They all agreed, for they were hungry and weary, all the more tired after the excitement of charging the corndog herders. They upturned their boat to make a shelter, divided into teams to search the meadow and nearby woods for food. They had no luck, and went to bed hungry at last.
Entries in this series:
  1. On Grandmothers
  2. With A Bang!
  3. In Search of Ancient Angiosperms
  4. Assault on the Galley
  5. The Sorrows of Chef
  6. Faeries, Helpful Siblings, and other Mythological Creatures
  7. Meanwhile, Back in the Lab
  8. A Day of Discovery
  9. The Children’s Hypothesis
  10. A Research Date
  11. Aboard the Schmetterling
  12. The Cave
  13. The Cage
  14. Knee of the Yeti
  15. Kidnapped!
  16. A Clue
  17. The Yeti and the Comb
  18. Fighting the Count
  19. Fighting the Yeti
  20. Falling
  21. Breadcrumbs
  22. The Search is On
  23. Flight to Saigon
  24. On the Streets of Saigon
  25. The Sad Man
  26. At the Grandiere Club Aeronautique
  27. If you Give a Count a Cookie
  28. Out of Cookies
  29. Stuck!
  30. Airships Float?
  31. Where is Claire?
  32. Drowning
  33. Into the Drink!
  34. Boat!
  35. Mushroom Trip
  36. Ambush
  37. The Variegated Strangler
  38. In a Strange Land
  39. Hand over Hand
  40. The Last of the Gouda
  41. An Unusual Breakfast
  42. Downstream
  43. What's for Dinner?
  44. Axe and Fire
  45. Meanwhile, Back at the Airship
  46. Over the Gobi
  47. Return of the Grandmothers
  48. Warning from Huang
  49. Anxious Hours
  50. Ulrik Prepares
  51. Destruction by Dawn
  52. Finding Philomena
  53. No Luck in Pekin
  54. The Children Rescue...Something
  55. Corndog Liberation
  56. The Fate of Corndogs
  57. Have you Tea?
  58. Antafrican Hosptitality
  59. Onion Porridge
  60. Homesick
  61. On the Hunt
  62. Farm Living
  63. Singing for Supper
  64. You Say Potato...
  65. Curiosity is the Foundation of Discovery
  66. An Awkward Position
  67. Trouble Comes Riding
  68. Capsicum Capture
  69. To the Palace
  70. The Death of the Lincoln
  71. War Wings
  72. A Long Way Down
  73. Enter the Lightning
  74. Before the Queen
  75. You are a Tomato!
  76. A Sunken Ship
  77. Eglantine Aubergine
  78. Children of the Soil
  79. At Night in the Nightshade Court
  80. At Night in the Nightshade Court
  81. At Night in the Nightshade Court
  82. The Price of Popcorn
  83. Ulrik and Chef
  84. Fire!
  85. Claire's Bluff
  86. Tomato Queen and Aubergine
  87. It's Going to Blow!
  88. Rhodri in the Gardens
  89. The Servant's Fountain
  90. History Revealed
  91. Fight at the Fountain
  92. Repercussions
  93. Father Discovers the Yeti
  94. Aboard the Lucy Stone
  95. Summoned
  96. The Queen's Accusation
  97. The Queen's Rage
  98. The Khan
  99. The Last War Wing
  100. Eglantine Departs
  101. Thumping Rhodri
  102. Bad News from the Boys
  103. Where's the Count?
  104. In Search of the Count
  105. Spying on the Queen
  106. Confronting the Count
  107. Orphaned?
  108. Orphaned?
  109. Montesanto's Experiments
  110. Montesanto's Experiments
  111. The Queen's Tantrum
  112. Bettina's Tantrum
  113. The Flaming Queen
  114. Uprising!
  115. Uprising!
  116. Escape
  117. On the Run
  118. The Mysterious Coach
  119. Red Racer!
  120. Revolution Reset
  121. By the Acid Sea
  122. Farewell Antafrica
  123. Home Again!
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3 Comments for this entry

  • Annabelle Von Hedwig says:

    The first time I read this it made the adventure so funny sounding!!!

  • Sharyn says:

    Oh, no! Will the children ever find any food? Knowing children (at least my own), I’ll bet they’ll be extremely grumpy in the morning after having gone to bed without dinner.

  • Madame vonHedwig says:

    Yes, they are quite grumpy. I fear hunger may effect their judgment…