Coney the Traffic Cone and Plush Kokopelli narrowly
escape death, when the Moab Burro's chain saw rips
through the streetcar in which they were riding.
Chapter 3 -
"Coning-in" and Saving the Wild Moab Burro
Coney the Traffic Cone & Plush Kokopelli Locate and Disarm the Wild Burro of the WestMoab, UT, May 12, 2015 Author: Jim McGillis
For many years, the Moab Burro Crane had stood on a railroad siding at Seven Mile, near Moab, Utah. Five times each week, the Train of Pain brought nuclear waste from the Moab Pile past that spot, ultimately contaminating the Burro Crane and causing it to lose its mind.
Now, the Moab Burro was running wild on the railroad tracks of America. Using a huge chainsaw, he was cutting down every tree that his articulated lattice-boom could reach. Once the Super Heroes at Moab Ranch had discovered the problem, Silver Girl convinced Coney the Traffic Cone and Plush Kokopelli to go forth and retrieve the errant burro.
Not knowing where to find the Moab Burro, Coney and Kokopelli had hopped on to an old streetcar that was heading downtown. While riding slowly along the rails, Coney explained to Kokopelli what might have happened to the Moab Burro. "Do you remember when I got that bit part in the TV series, Madmen?" asked Coney. Since Kokopelli has no voice, he only nodded.
"I think it was in Madmen Season 3", Coney reflected wistfully. "Don Draper and Lane Price were in the break room, deciding what movie to see. As usual, Lane Price mistook me for a bottle of liquor, so I had to jump out of his hands and on to the table. There I was, trying to help them make a choice. Having had a bit part in the original Japanese movie, Godzilla, I convinced them to go see it."
Coney remembers his role in the original Godzilla
movie, thus solving the mystery of the Moab Burro's
"When nuclear radiation from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs infected Godzilla, he grew to enormous size and came up out of the ocean, itching for a fight. Well, the night he came out stomping and screaming, I was doing traffic cone duty on a Tokyo freeway overpass."
Coney went on, "When I saw how huge he was, I was scared silly and could not move. Before I knew it, Godzilla had his big-clawed foot on me, squeezing the life out of me. By luck alone, I was able to pop out, just as the freeway overpass fell. Then he blew me away with his hot, nuclear breath, which gave me my signature orange glow."
Kokopelli looked at Coney quizzically, as if to ask how all of this related to the Moab Burro. "Well", said Coney, "other than Godzilla being my first movie credit, I learned that nuclear radiation can create monsters and increase their size and power by a quantum leap. When I popped out from under Godzilla's claws, it was the turning point in the movie. Godzilla lost power and soon the army was able to shoot him with carbines and a howitzer. I hope that doesn't happen to the Moab Burro."
Kokopelli knitted his eyebrows and looked at Coney as if he was crazy. Then, out of nowhere, the Moab Burro, sporting his huge chainsaw, appeared outside the streetcar. Not seeing the chainsaw coming toward them at high speed, Coney took umbrage at the face Kokopelli appeared to be making at him. "All of this is true," said Coney petulantly. In a huff, Coney left his seat and exited out the back door of the streetcar.
Just as the Moab Burro slashed its chainsaw into the streetcar, Kokopelli used his magical powers to follow Coney out to the sidewalk. Realizing that Kokopelli had not been making fun of him, Coney turned toward the Moab Burro and coned him in, thus stopping the destruction of the streetcar.
"Wow that was close", said Coney. However, coning-in the wild burro had created another, unexpected effect. The once huge and dangerous, the Burro Crane suddenly shrank down to the size of a toy. Within moments, the Moab Burro had become as docile as he had been prior to his contamination by nuclear radiation.
"See?" said Coney. "It is the reverse of what happened before. When he had his troubles, Godzilla became enormous. By using string theory and an energy bridge to the past, I was able to reverse the plasma flow within the Moab Burro. That is why he shrank down to toy-size."
Kokopelli rolled his eyes, as if to say, "I knew that and helped you do it."
For once, Coney became practical. "Now that the Moab Burro is docile again and about our size, we can hitch a ride on his flatcar. We can take the Potash Branch Line past Arches National Park. That way, we can all get back to Moab Ranch, at Seven Mile, where the Moab Burro belongs".
With a twinkle in his eye, Kokopelli boarded the flatcar, and then helped Coney up on to the top of the burro's cab. "Off we go," yelled Coney, as the Moab Burro sounded its horn and headed down the tracks toward home.
"Only one problem", Coney yelled to Kokopelli over the clinkety-clank, clinkety-clang of the Moab Burro's wheels. "How are we going to get the Moab Burro back to normal size?"
As they traveled past the sign for Arches National Park, Plush Kokopelli smiled his inscrutable smile and played his flute. He knew how to reconstitute the Moab Burro, but he would not say.
To be continued... (Chapter 4, Below)
(Return to Chapter 1
Frank J. Cullen, the father of the Burro Crane, gives
Silver Girl the password (swordfish) to reconstitute
the Moab Burro back to its normal size.
Chapter 4 -
The Moab Burro Comes Home to Moab Ranch
Later, at Seven Mile, the Moab Burro Faces an Uncertain FateMoab, UT, June 8, 2015 Author: Jim McGillis
Back at Moab Ranch, Moabbey the Coyote was trying to connect his centenarian Remington portable typewriter to a cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor. Since the typewriter was not electrified, displaying images on the CRT was a problem. With both forepaws, Moabbey hit the top of the monitor.
After saving the Moab Burro from a bad fate,
Coney and Kokopelli ride back to Moab Ranch
"You mean 'Burro Crane', don't you?" asked Silver Girl. Then the CRT stopped rolling and flickering. "Isn't that the same old self-propelled railroad-crane that once-upon-a-time resided on the railroad siding at Seven Mile?"
"Yes, of course", said Moabbey. "But something is strange about the image on my 4-D chromatic-hypersphere display. Either this old CRT is out of whack or the Moab Burro has shrunk down to the size of Coney and Kokopelli".
Looking closely at the phosphorescent display, Silver Girl concurred. "Now they are all toy-size."
By fate alone, the Union Pacific Railroad Potash Branch ran along the south side of Moab Ranch. At the last moment, the Burro Crane and its tender car switched on to the railroad siding at Moab Ranch .
Through an open window, Moabbey and Silver Girl heard a train horn. "Too-whoot, too-whoot", it seemed to say.
Almost busting through the ranch house door, Moabbey and Silver girl rushed out to greet the little Burro Crane. "Clinkety clank, clinkety clang" sang the Burro Crane as it approached Moab Ranch. Before it hit the derail, the little Burro Crane lurched to a stop. Coney remained on the flat car and Kokopelli stayed on top of the little crane. It looked like the Moab Burro was wearing Plush Kokopelli as a hat.
When he saw the tiny Burro Crane, Moabbey cried out, "What happened to the Moab Burro? He shrank down to almost nothing".
For once, Coney was ready with an answer. "As you will recall, the Moab Burro had been irradiated by the Train of Pain, as it hauled radioactive waste from the Moab Pile out to the nuclear depository at Brendel, Utah. Once he gained control of that giant chainsaw, the irradiated Moab Burro went wild. We have video of him cutting down trees all over America. He even cut into the old streetcar that Kokopelli and I were riding in".
"How did you shrink him down from crane-size to toy-size?" asked Silver Girl.
"Luckily", said Coney, "Kokopelli and I departed the streetcar just in time. Using my traffic-cone martial arts training, I 'coned him in'. Once I immobilized him with my extreme coning technique, the Moab Burro shrank down to this size. By then, I was tired and hungry, so we jumped aboard and rode back here with the Moab Burro."
"How are we going to get the Moab Burro back to normal size?" asked Silver Girl.
Neither Coney nor Moabbey had an answer for that question. Plush Kokopelli started to blush his multicolored glow, but none of the superheroes noticed that he might have an answer.
Just then, the Other appeared. As he arrived, the brim of his hat cast his signature shadow on the gravel below. "There is only one way to get the Moab Burro back to normal size", the shadowy figure said. "I'll call Frank J. Cullen. Some folks call him the godfather of the Burro Crane. If anyone knows what to do with an errant Burro Crane, it would be Frank".
Moments later, the Other placed a telephone call to Frank J. Cullen, in Chicago. Almost as soon as the Other hung up the telephone, the Father of the Burro Crane appeared at the Moab Ranch railroad siding.
After paying respects to all of the superheroes, Frank J. Cullen narrowed his gaze on the little Burro Crane. "He has 'reverse Godzilla syndrome'", said Frank. "As we know from the movie, radiation made Godzilla huge. The Moab Burro was already huge. When Coney coned him in, Coney's superpowers shrank the Burro Crane to toy-size".
Coney looked incredulous. "You mean I really do have superpowers?" he asked.
Silver Girl looked at Coney with exasperation, and then blurted out, "If you do not believe in yourself, then your powers will ebb. If you just believe in yourself, you will have all of the power that you need."
Stammering a bit, Coney said, "I'll try to remember."
As soon as Frank J. Cullen saw the concerned look in each superhero's eyes, he knew how to handle the situation. First, he looked directly at each one of them. Then he softly said to the group, "All you need is to invoke the Burro Crane password. Then, the Moab Burro will reemerge in his normal size".
Frank J. Cullen, godfather of the Burro Crane
brings the Moab Burro back to normal size.
"I cannot verbalize it, but I will write it down for you", said Frank J. Cullen. Soon, he passed a handwritten note to Silver Girl.
"The password is 'Swordfish'", declared Silver Girl. Just as she said the word "swordfish", the little Burro Crane reemerged in normal size.
As Silver Girl watched, Frank J. Cullen, Coney and Plush Kokopelli clustered around the newly reconstituted Moab Burro. It was a proud, yet poignant moment for Frank J. Cullen. As the godfather of all Cullen Friestadt Burro Cranes, he was uneasy. Frank knew that the Moab Burro was one of the last surviving members of its breed. Burro Cranes, it seemed, did not live well and prosper in humid air.
With Coney and Kokopelli still aboard, the Burro Crane rambled along the siding at Moab Ranch and then on to the old Potash Branch. "For many years, the Moab Burro had lived peacefully out at Seven Mile. At one time, you could even find him on Google Earth", Frank said. "I hope he finds a good home". After thinking for a moment, Frank said, "Just across Utah Route 313 from the Moab Burro's old siding, the new Moab Giants museum is opening soon. Perhaps they could help".
Moabbey the Coyote chimed in, "Maybe the museum could build a short piece of railroad track, just out back. Then the Union Pacific Railroad might donate the Moab Burro to the new museum. Living out his old age in the dry desert air, the Moab Burro could entertain and enthrall generations to come. After all, he is as big as the biggest dinosaur and he sort of looks like one, as well."
As he headed off with Coney and Kokopelli aboard, "clinkety clank, clinkety clang" was all that the Moab Burro said. Even though he put up a good front, the Moab Burro knew that his fate was tenuous. He could end up in a wrecking yard, bound for China or he could live out his later years in peace at Seven Mile, near Moab, Utah.
To be continued, we hope.
(Return to First Chapter)