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16. How Dorothy Visited Utensia (continued)
"Tell me, please, what IS our business?" inquired a potato-masher, winking at Dorothy somewhat impertinently. "I'm fond of little girls, myself, and it seems to me she has as much right to wander in the forest as we have."
"Who accuses the little girl, anyway?" inquired a rolling-pin. "What has she done?"
"I don't know," said the King. "What has she done, Captain Dipp?"
"That's the trouble, your Majesty. She hasn't done anything," replied the Captain.
"What do you want me to do?" asked Dorothy.
This question seemed to puzzle them all. Finally, a chafingdish, exclaimed irritably:
"If no one can throw any light on this subject you must excuse me if I go out."
At this, a big kitchen fork pricked up its ears and said in a tiny voice:
"Let's hear from Judge Sifter."
"That's proper," returned the King.
So Judge Sifter turned around slowly several times and then said:
"We have nothing against the girl except the stove-hearth upon which she sits. Therefore I order her instantly discharged."
"Discharged!" cried Dorothy. "Why, I never was discharged in my life, and I don't intend to be. If it's all the same to you, I'll resign."
"It's all the same," declared the King. "You are free--you and your companions--and may go wherever you like."
"Thank you," said the little girl. "But haven't you anything to eat in your kingdom? I'm hungry."
"Go into the woods and pick blackberries," advised the King, lying down upon his back again and preparing to go to sleep. "There isn't a morsel to eat in all Utensia, that I know of."
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