If this boy's class had a knotted rope, he wouldn't be in this predicament.

Source : http://www.highlightskids.com/Stories/Fiction/F0901_cornCountry.asp...


Lost in Corn CountryThe cornstalks towering above my head are thirty feet high, at least.


The temperature out here must be one hundred and twenty degrees.


And I’m sure I’ve been lost in this corn maze for fifty hours.


I didn’t even want to go on this field trip in the first place. Give me an air-conditioned classroom in the city, I said. Let me eat corn fresh from a freezer.


But no, some farmer had to grow a cornfield in the shape of Washington State. He even carved highways through the cornstalks.


And my teacher, Ms. Barlay, had to decide that the maze would be a great field trip. To get a better sense of our state, she said. And for fun, she added.


My sense is that Washington State is huge, hot, and full of nothing but corn. And I’m not having fun.


Here comes a preschool group, each kid gripping a knot on a rope, a teacher at each end. If only our class had a knotted rope, I wouldn’t be in this predicament. But no, we’re too old for knotted ropes—but not too old to be lost in the middle of corn country.


If only our class had a knotted rope, I wouldn't be in this predicament.“Why is he sitting there?” a preschooler pipes up.


“Maybe he’s lost,” a teacher ventures. “Can we help you find your way?”


“I’m just resting,” I reply. I don’t exactly want to be seen following a bunch of three-year-olds out of this maze at the end of a knotted rope.


I’d rather just sit here and melt in the sun.


The preschoolers toddle off.


I have to find my class. Or my way out. Whichever comes first.


I choose a path, having no idea where it leads. I pass signs with town names on them—Winton, Peshastin, Liberty. The farmer who put them up was trying to be helpful.


Problem is, I’ve never heard of these towns. And I have no sense of direction anyway.


I reach a clearing with a few portable toilets in the middle. Then I remember something. As we were dropped off at the border between Washington and Idaho (well, not dropped off in my case, more like pried off that hay wagon and dragged to the border), Ms. Barlay mentioned that there would be “facilities” in the middle of the state.


I look around and spot the sign that tells me I’ve at least made it halfway. “Ellensburg!” Yes, that was the name of the town in the middle.


I would kiss that sign except that two grandmotherly-looking women step into the clearing. They look at me. “Are you lost?” one asks.


I’m starting to wonder if I have “lost” printed on my forehead. Right now, I wouldn’t even care. I just want to escape from this maze and never see an ear of corn again.


“Sort of,” I admit. “I know this is Ellensburg, but I don’t know which way the Pacific Ocean is.”


“Lucille and I know the way,” the woman says. “Shall we take you?”


"Take Interstate 90 west to Seatlle, then veer southwest."“No! No, thanks, I mean.” Being led out of the maze by Lucille and her friend would be almost as bad as showing up at the end of a pre-school rope. “I think I can find it if you’ll point me in the right direction.”


“Take Interstate 90 west to Seattle,” the woman explains, “then veer southwest.”


I wave my thanks and sprint between the cornstalks, following the I-90 sign. Millions of corn-stalks later, I reach Seattle. Home. Well, home if I lived in a corn maze.


Now I have to veer southwest, I remember. But how in the world do you veer? What’s a “veer” anyway?


Another preschool group. I hear dozens of tiny sneakers shuffling down the interstate. I hide in the cornstalks.


I have a plan.


The preschoolers shuffle by. As the end teacher passes, I slip out and follow, hoping they’re heading for the exit.


“I’m tired,” a child complains.


“Don’t worry, we’re almost there,” the teacher replies.


When we reach the exit, I’ll slip away from this group and slyly join my class . . . assuming they haven’t already left.


When we reach the end, I wish that they had gone. As the preschoolers and I exit, I realize that the woman aiming a camera at me is Ms. Barlay . . . and that she’s taking a picture of me being led out of the maze by a group of three-year-olds.


There you are!” she exclaims as her camera clicks. “We were beginning to think you were lost.”


“Me?” I croak, my voice hoarse from thirst. “Of course not. I just took a more challenging route.”


“There’s lunch over by the farmhouse,” Ms. Barlay says.


“I’m starved,” I say, sprinting for the picnic tables.


I skid to a stop. The tables are piled high with—what else?—corn dogs, corn on the cob, corn-bread muffins, corn everything.


I bump into Lucille and her friend as I back away.


“Here’s the nice lost boy,” Lucille says.


My face burns as my classmates look up at the word “lost.”


But hey, at least I’m out. That’s all that matters. And I’ll never be lost in corn country again.


“The wagon will meet us at the Idaho border,” Ms. Barlay announces. “After you eat, head back through the maze. See if you can do it faster this time.”


I don’t head for the maze. Instead, I head toward that pre-school group. I’m going to ask if our class can borrow that knotted rope. And if asking doesn’t work, I’ll beg.