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What We Saw at the Palace of Food Products
Fronting on the Esplanade we found the Food Products Palace. Madame World considers that it is most important that the Spirit of Plenty, who rules food production, should have a palace worthy of her august Highness.
They were cooking so many things, and showing such quantities of food that it was most surprising. We were offered almost everything to eat that we had ever heard of, and some that we did not know existed. We were willing to sample them all, but father said that he did not believe we had better try to eat in so many languages. So we just had an oatmeal scone, and some puffed rice, and some Chinese cookies, a cup of chocolate, and a bit of biscuit, and a few other little things, but the others all looked good.
A lady has the most fascinating display of flowers made out of butter, red roses, and yellow roses, and water-lilies, and tulips, all growing on a lattice work inside her refrigerator. The colored flowers may be eaten because it is all colored with pure food colors. You could not tell that the flowers were not real, they look as though they grew there. She must have a lovely soul.
We wandered around to see the Aquarium. The fishes are lovely; we wish they did not have to be called Food Products. The Shovel-nosed Sturgeon is very probably a cousin to old Mr. Alligator, because he looks like him. He has the same bony humps on his back, and his head is shaped almost the same.
The Gar Pike looks like a submarine, and holds his body very rigidly, swimming only with his fins. He is grey and looks very cool and calm.
In one pool with some big blue Catfishes were some Salamanders, with funny furry tufts on their heads. They were lazy and would not get up. They resemble lizards. There was a whole tank of lovely Golden Perch from Catalina. They have faces with real foreheads, and a very bored and haughty expression. There were also some lovely Rainbow Trout from Canada's mountain streams.
We were much interested in the fish-hatching processes. The eggs are kept under running water on a sort of griddle or coarse net, and when one little wiggly fellow comes out he uncoils and is long instead of round as he was in the egg, and so he drops down into the bottom of the tank, and begins to be a fish. He carries the rest of the egg around with him for a few days so that he need not be hungry until he has absorbed the nutrition it gives him.
Fishes do not care much about their relations except for dinner, as they are real cannibals. I suppose they do not know any better, but it seems unfortunate. I fear we neglected the rest of the palace.
Your loving cousins,
Jane and Ellen.