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Lemme tell ya something: don't go salt-water fishing with vornalts. Now, I'm not suggesting that you're a klutz and you'd drop 'em, but merely that the fish would be a little, perhaps, more anxious than usual to see the inside of your boat. See, since -54 EC, we've known that vornalts are dried ourges, and since many years before that, we've known that the fish do so love their ourges. Unfortunately, for all their beauty, the Kites d'Jeaux have maligned the development of the ourge, forcing them ever inward and inland to become vornalts, turning the water-breathing fish's favorite food into a rare and endangered delicacy they'd do anything to get.

The link between ourge, or ourge pods, and vornalts wasn't conclusive until -54 EC, when one Dr. Buddy-Mortimer Antwal from Bute University demonstrated the connection with a simple test. This was one test of thousands: Buddy-M. was quite a fan of demonstrations, preferring experience to book learning, and his students had come to respect the benefits of good health and life insurance. For this particular test, performed in front of a class of seventy students, he had one volunteer taste a small smidgen of an ourge pod. As expected, the student coughed, gagged, and turned blue, and the good Doctor gave him a slice of vornalt to cheer away the taste. The rest of the vornalt from which the slice had been taken was then placed in a tank of sea-water. And in that tank it sat untouched for nearly three months.

As the final quarter of -54 EC began, Antwal called the same volunteer to the front of the class, ceremoniously moved the tank from its original spot to front-and-center and rescued the, now rather bloated, vornalt from its watery prison. Proffered a slice, the student gratefully accepted, expecting a relapse of the taste from months before. To the surprise of the class, he coughed, gagged, and turned blue, exactly as the ourge pod had caused previously.

With this infallible evidence in hand, Buddy-Mortimer Antwal submitted a paper to Quester and Phorrus, explaining that vornalts and ourges were the same fruit, changing size, shape, appearance, and taste based on the environment they were placed in. He also claimed the ourge had a "definite preference for inland life, and has been migrating over the last seven years of my research", and presented numerous complicated looking graphs, tables, and piecharts to support his theory. His peers accepted his ruminations, and compiled their own data to support his claim.

Which all eventually led to our state today: a serious lack of ourge pods to keep our fish happy. As more folks investigated vornalts, more folks ate them, loved them, and clamored for more ("more by the trundle cart!" is a common desire). Supply and demand caused harvesting of pods for forced drying, further exasperated by emerging use in lemming pies. Various "Mother Ghyll" attempts have been made to revert vornalts to ourges, but those daredevil ceilonauts paid for the task are just as likely to eat them on the way down then they are to throw them in the water.

Citations: Cheer away the taste, Kites d'Jeaux, Trundle cart.

--Morbus Iff 15:02, 21 October 2005 (EDT)

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