SHAKOPEE, MN—Having spotted from a distance of many light years the elaborate series of twists and turns cut into a field of grain on Earth, an alien civilization reportedly found a message Thursday in a festive corn maze that, in the symbols of its own language, constituted a declaration of intergalactic war. “This unmistakable provocation from the denizens of sector MW42Ab9 must be met with immediate and overwhelming force,” Emperor Gurnyynan of the Balvyyrian Galaxy said after viewing a five-dimensional telescopic image of Shakopee Apple Orchard’s seasonal, family-friendly attraction, which read “We shall conquer the universe and none shall be spared!” in his native alphabet. “I hereby command every ship in the galactic fleet to lock targets on this planet! We have no choice but to annihilate Earth before its inhabitants make good on their threat to kill us all. The risk is simply too great, even if these beings appear, at the moment, to be trapped in a rather primitive labyrinth of their own devising.” At press time, reports confirmed Gurnyynan had halted the launch of a 170-petaton antigravity bomb after his reconnaissance team returned home with a dozen of the Shakopee orchard’s world-famous apple-cider doughnuts.

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