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Emperor Napoleon’s Soup Apparatus is porcupine-shaped, hidebound back bristling with pikes. During battle, the hides are soaked with water to prevent fire damage; on bivouac, its tail becomes a bellows, and a mysterious process within pumps hot soup out its nose.

The trouble with wooden animals in war, of course, is that the other side always wants yours. By dawn, Prussian saboteurs have cut its mooring ropes, but they’re not fast enough: Napoleon has just arisen.

“Mon Empereur!” shouts a lieutenant, pointing to the trundling Apparatus. “Le porc-épic!”

“Sacré bleu!” says Napoleon (this is back when everybody spoke French).