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The Wizard of Oz - Chapter 2

Dorothy was awakened by a shock, so sudden and severe that if she had

not been lying on the soft bed she might have been hurt. As it was,

the jar made her catch her breath and wonder what had happened; and

Toto put his cold little nose into her face and whined dismally.

Dorothy sat up and noticed that the house was not moving; nor was it

dark, for the bright sunshine came in at the window, flooding the

little room. She sprang from her bed and with Toto at her heels ran

and opened the door.

The little girl gave a cry of amazement and looked about her, her eyes

growing bigger and bigger at the wonderful sights she saw.

The cyclone had set the house down very gently--for a cyclone--in the

midst of a country of marvelous beauty. There were lovely patches of

greensward all about, with stately trees bearing rich and luscious

fruits. Banks of gorgeous flowers were on every hand, and birds with

rare and brilliant plumage sang and fluttered in the trees and bushes.

A little way off was a small river, rushing and sparkling along between

green banks, and murmuring in a voice very beautiful to a little girl

who had lived so long on the dry, gray prairies.

While she stood looking eagerly at the strange and beautiful sights,

she noticed coming toward her a group of the queerest people she had

ever seen. They were not as big as the grown folk she had always been

used to; but neither were they very small. In fact, they seemed about

as tall as Dorothy, who was a well-grown child for her age, although

they were, so far as looks go, many years older.

Three were men and one a woman, and all were oddly dressed. They wore

round hats that rose to a small point a foot above their heads, with

little bells around the brims that tinkled sweetly as they moved. The

hats of the men were blue; the little woman's hat was white, and she

wore a white gown that hung in pleats from her shoulders. Over it were

sprinkled little stars that glistened in the sun like diamonds. The

men were dressed in blue, of the same shade as their hats, and wore

well-polished boots with a deep roll of blue at the tops. The men,

Dorothy thought, were about as old as Uncle Henry, for two of them had

beards. But the little woman was doubtless much older. Her face was

covered with wrinkles, her hair was nearly white, and she walked rather


When these people drew near the house where Dorothy was standing in the

doorway, they paused and whispered among themselves, as if afraid to

come farther. But the little old woman walked up to Dorothy, made a

low bow and said, in a sweet voice:

"You are welcome, most noble Sorceress, to the land of the Munchkins.

We are so grateful to you for having killed the Wicked Witch of the

East, and for setting our people free from bondage."

Dorothy listened to this speech with wonder. What could the little

woman possibly mean by calling her a sorceress, and saying she had

killed the Wicked Witch of the East? Dorothy was an innocent, harmless

little girl, who had been carried by a cyclone many miles from home;

and she had never killed anything in all her life.

But the little woman evidently expected her to answer; so Dorothy said,

with hesitation, "You are very kind, but there must be some mistake. I

have not killed anything."

"Your house did, anyway," replied the little old woman, with a laugh,

"and that is the same thing. See!" she continued, pointing to the

corner of the house. "There are her two feet, still sticking out from

under a block of wood."

Dorothy looked, and gave a little cry of fright. There, indeed, just

under the corner of the great beam the house rested on, two feet were

sticking out, shod in silver shoes with pointed toes.

"Oh, dear! Oh, dear!" cried Dorothy, clasping her hands together in

dismay. "The house must have fallen on her. Whatever shall we do?"

"There is nothing to be done," said the little woman calmly.

"But who was she?" asked Dorothy.

"She was the Wicked Witch of the East, as I said," answered the little

woman. "She has held all the Munchkins in bondage for many years,

making them slave for her night and day. Now they are all set free,

tand are grateful to you for the favor."

"Who are the Munchkins?" inquired Dorothy.

"They are the people who live in this land of the East

where the Wicked Witch ruled."

"Are you a Munchkin?" asked Dorothy.

"No, but I am their friend, although I live in the land of the North.

When they saw the Witch of the East was dead the Munchkins sent a swift

messenger to me, and I came at once. I am the Witch of the North."

"Oh, gracious!" cried Dorothy. "Are you a real witch?"

"Yes, indeed," answered the little woman. "But I am a good witch, and

the people love me. I am not as powerful as the Wicked Witch was who

ruled here, or I should have set the people free myself."

"But I thought all witches were wicked," said the girl, who was half

frightened at facing a real witch. "Oh, no, that is a great mistake.

There were only four witches in all the Land of Oz, and two of them,

those who live in the North and the South, are good witches. I know

this is true, for I am one of them myself, and cannot be mistaken.

Those who dwelt in the East and the West were, indeed, wicked witches;

but now that you have killed one of them, there is but one Wicked Witch

in all the Land of Oz--the one who lives in the West."

"But," said Dorothy, after a moment's thought, "Aunt Em has told me

that the witches were all dead--years and years ago."

"Who is Aunt Em?" inquired the little old woman.

"She is my aunt who lives in Kansas, where I came from."

The Witch of the North seemed to think for a time, with her head bowed

and her eyes upon the ground. Then she looked up and said, "I do not

know where Kansas is, for I have never heard that country mentioned

before. But tell me, is it a civilized country?"

"Oh, yes," replied Dorothy.

"Then that accounts for it. In the civilized countries I believe there

are no witches left, nor wizards, nor sorceresses, nor magicians. But,

you see, the Land of Oz has never been civilized, for we are cut off

from all the rest of the world. Therefore we still have witches and

wizards amongst us."

"Who are the wizards?" asked Dorothy.

"Oz himself is the Great Wizard," answered the Witch, sinking her voice

to a whisper. "He is more powerful than all the rest of us together.

He lives in the City of Emeralds."

Dorothy was going to ask another question, but just then the Munchkins,

who had been standing silently by, gave a loud shout and pointed to the

corner of the house where the Wicked Witch had been lying.

"What is it?" asked the little old woman, and looked, and began to

laugh. The feet of the dead Witch had disappeared entirely, and

nothing was left but the silver shoes.

"She was so old," explained the Witch of the North, "that she dried up

quickly in the sun. That is the end of her. But the silver shoes are

yours, and you shall have them to wear." She reached down and picked up

the shoes, and after shaking the dust out of them handed them to


"The Witch of the East was proud of those silver shoes," said one of

the Munchkins, "and there is some charm connected with them; but what

it is we never knew."

Dorothy carried the shoes into the house and placed them on the table.

Then she came out again to the Munchkins and said:

"I am anxious to get back to my aunt and uncle, for I am sure they will

worry about me. Can you help me find my way?"

The Munchkins and the Witch first looked at one another, and then at

Dorothy, and then shook their heads.

"At the East, not far from here," said one, "there is a great desert,

and none could live to cross it."

"It is the same at the South," said another, "for I have been there and

seen it. The South is the country of the Quadlings."

"I am told," said the third man, "that it is the same at the West. And

that country, where the Winkies live, is ruled by the Wicked Witch of

the West, who would make you her slave if you passed her way."

"The North is my home," said the old lady, "and at its edge is the same

great desert that surrounds this Land of Oz. I'm afraid, my dear, you

will have to live with us."

Dorothy began to sob at this, for she felt lonely among all these

strange people. Her tears seemed to grieve the kind-hearted Munchkins,

for they immediately took out their handkerchiefs and began to weep

also. As for the little old woman, she took off her cap and balanced

the point on the end of her nose, while she counted "One, two, three"

in a solemn voice. At once the cap changed to a slate, on which was

written in big, white chalk marks:


The little old woman took the slate from her nose, and having read the

words on it, asked, "Is your name Dorothy, my dear?"

"Yes," answered the child, looking up and drying her tears.

"Then you must go to the City of Emeralds. Perhaps Oz will help you."

"Where is this city?" asked Dorothy.

"It is exactly in the center of the country, and is ruled by Oz, the

Great Wizard I told you of."

"Is he a good man?" inquired the girl anxiously.

"He is a good Wizard. Whether he is a man or not I cannot tell, for I

have never seen him."

"How can I get there?" asked Dorothy.

"You must walk. It is a long journey, through a country that is

sometimes pleasant and sometimes dark and terrible. However, I will

use all the magic arts I know of to keep you from harm."

"Won't you go with me?" pleaded the girl, who had begun to look upon

the little old woman as her only friend.

"No, I cannot do that," she replied, "but I will give you my kiss, and

no one will dare injure a person who has been kissed by the Witch of

the North."

She came close to Dorothy and kissed her gently on the forehead. Where

her lips touched the girl they left a round, shining mark, as Dorothy

found out soon after.

"The road to the City of Emeralds is paved with yellow brick," said the

Witch, "so you cannot miss it. When you get to Oz do not be afraid of

him, but tell your story and ask him to help you. Good-bye, my dear."

The three Munchkins bowed low to her and wished her a pleasant journey,

after which they walked away through the trees. The Witch gave Dorothy

a friendly little nod, whirled around on her left heel three times, and

straightway disappeared, much to the surprise of little Toto, who

barked after her loudly enough when she had gone, because he had been

afraid even to growl while she stood by.

But Dorothy, knowing her to be a witch, had expected her to disappear

in just that way, and was not surprised in the least.


  1. Where did Dorothy's house land after the cyclone?

  • A. In a desert

  • B. In a city

  • C. In a country of marvelous beauty

  • D. In a forest

  1. Who greeted Dorothy upon stepping out of her house in the new land?

  • A. The Wicked Witch of the West

  • B. A group of Munchkins

  • C. Oz himself

  • D. A friendly lion

  1. What did the little old woman, the Witch of the North, call Dorothy?

  • A. A sorceress

  • B. A princess

  • C. A hero

  • D. A warrior

  1. What did Dorothy find under the corner of her house that startled her?

  • A. A hidden treasure chest

  • B. A pair of feet with silver shoes

  • C. A magic wand

  • D. A golden key

  1. What advice did the Witch of the North give Dorothy about finding her way to the City of Emeralds?

  • A. Follow the yellow brick road

  • B. Ask the monkeys for directions

  • C. Use a magic spell

  • D. Fly on the back of a bird


  1. C. In a country of marvelous beauty

  2. B. A group of Munchkins

  3. A. A sorceress

  4. B. A pair of feet with silver shoes

  5. A. Follow the yellow brick road

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