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The Wizard of Oz - Chapter 12 part 1



The soldier with the green whiskers led them through the streets of the

Emerald City until they reached the room where the Guardian of the

Gates lived. This officer unlocked their spectacles to put them back

in his great box, and then he politely opened the gate for our friends.

"Which road leads to the Wicked Witch of the West?" asked Dorothy.

"There is no road," answered the Guardian of the Gates. "No one ever

wishes to go that way."

"How, then, are we to find her?" inquired the girl.

"That will be easy," replied the man, "for when she knows you are in

the country of the Winkies she will find you, and make you all her

slaves."

"Perhaps not," said the Scarecrow, "for we mean to destroy her."

"Oh, that is different," said the Guardian of the Gates. "No one has

ever destroyed her before, so I naturally thought she would make slaves

of you, as she has of the rest. But take care; for she is wicked and

fierce, and may not allow you to destroy her. Keep to the West, where

the sun sets, and you cannot fail to find her."

They thanked him and bade him good-bye, and turned toward the West,

walking over fields of soft grass dotted here and there with daisies

and buttercups. Dorothy still wore the pretty silk dress she had put

on in the palace, but now, to her surprise, she found it was no longer

green, but pure white. The ribbon around Toto's neck had also lost its

green color and was as white as Dorothy's dress.

The Emerald City was soon left far behind. As they advanced the ground

became rougher and hillier, for there were no farms nor houses in this

country of the West, and the ground was untilled.

In the afternoon the sun shone hot in their faces, for there were no

trees to offer them shade; so that before night Dorothy and Toto and

the Lion were tired, and lay down upon the grass and fell asleep, with

the Woodman and the Scarecrow keeping watch.

Now the Wicked Witch of the West had but one eye, yet that was as

powerful as a telescope, and could see everywhere. So, as she sat in

the door of her castle, she happened to look around and saw Dorothy

lying asleep, with her friends all about her. They were a long

distance off, but the Wicked Witch was angry to find them in her

country; so she blew upon a silver whistle that hung around her neck.

At once there came running to her from all directions a pack of great

wolves. They had long legs and fierce eyes and sharp teeth.

"Go to those people," said the Witch, "and tear them to pieces."

"Are you not going to make them your slaves?" asked the leader of the

wolves.

"No," she answered, "one is of tin, and one of straw; one is a girl and

another a Lion. None of them is fit to work, so you may tear them into

small pieces."

"Very well," said the wolf, and he dashed away at full speed, followed

by the others.

It was lucky the Scarecrow and the Woodman were wide awake and heard

the wolves coming.

"This is my fight," said the Woodman, "so get behind me and I will meet

them as they come."

He seized his axe, which he had made very sharp, and as the leader of

the wolves came on the Tin Woodman swung his arm and chopped the wolf's

head from its body, so that it immediately died. As soon as he could

raise his axe another wolf came up, and he also fell under the sharp

edge of the Tin Woodman's weapon. There were forty wolves, and forty

times a wolf was killed, so that at last they all lay dead in a heap

before the Woodman.

Then he put down his axe and sat beside the Scarecrow, who said, "It

was a good fight, friend."

They waited until Dorothy awoke the next morning. The little girl was

quite frightened when she saw the great pile of shaggy wolves, but the

Tin Woodman told her all. She thanked him for saving them and sat down

to breakfast, after which they started again upon their journey.

Now this same morning the Wicked Witch came to the door of her castle

and looked out with her one eye that could see far off. She saw all

her wolves lying dead, and the strangers still traveling through her

country. This made her angrier than before, and she blew her silver

whistle twice.

Straightway a great flock of wild crows came flying toward her, enough

to darken the sky.

And the Wicked Witch said to the King Crow, "Fly at once to the

strangers; peck out their eyes and tear them to pieces."

The wild crows flew in one great flock toward Dorothy and her

companions. When the little girl saw them coming she was afraid.

But the Scarecrow said, "This is my battle, so lie down beside me and

you will not be harmed."

So they all lay upon the ground except the Scarecrow, and he stood up

and stretched out his arms. And when the crows saw him they were

frightened, as these birds always are by scarecrows, and did not dare

to come any nearer. But the King Crow said:

"It is only a stuffed man. I will peck his eyes out."

The King Crow flew at the Scarecrow, who caught it by the head and

twisted its neck until it died. And then another crow flew at him, and

the Scarecrow twisted its neck also. There were forty crows, and forty

times the Scarecrow twisted a neck, until at last all were lying dead

beside him. Then he called to his companions to rise, and again they

went upon their journey.

When the Wicked Witch looked out again and saw all her crows lying in a

heap, she got into a terrible rage, and blew three times upon her

silver whistle.

Forthwith there was heard a great buzzing in the air, and a swarm of

black bees came flying toward her.

"Go to the strangers and sting them to death!" commanded the Witch, and

the bees turned and flew rapidly until they came to where Dorothy and

her friends were walking. But the Woodman had seen them coming, and

the Scarecrow had decided what to do.

"Take out my straw and scatter it over the little girl and the dog and

the Lion," he said to the Woodman, "and the bees cannot sting them."

This the Woodman did, and as Dorothy lay close beside the Lion and held

Toto in her arms, the straw covered them entirely.

The bees came and found no one but the Woodman to sting, so they flew

at him and broke off all their stings against the tin, without hurting

the Woodman at all. And as bees cannot live when their stings are

broken that was the end of the black bees, and they lay scattered thick

about the Woodman, like little heaps of fine coal.

Then Dorothy and the Lion got up, and the girl helped the Tin Woodman

put the straw back into the Scarecrow again, until he was as good as

ever. So they started upon their journey once more.

The Wicked Witch was so angry when she saw her black bees in little

heaps like fine coal that she stamped her foot and tore her hair and

gnashed her teeth. And then she called a dozen of her slaves, who were

the Winkies, and gave them sharp spears, telling them to go to the

strangers and destroy them.

The Winkies were not a brave people, but they had to do as they were

told. So they marched away until they came near to Dorothy. Then the

Lion gave a great roar and sprang towards them, and the poor Winkies

were so frightened that they ran back as fast as they could.

When they returned to the castle the Wicked Witch beat them well with a

strap, and sent them back to their work, after which she sat down to

think what she should do next. She could not understand how all her

plans to destroy these strangers had failed; but she was a powerful

Witch, as well as a wicked one, and she soon made up her mind how to

act.

That’s the end of part one. Next time we’ll find out what wicked plans the witch has in store for Dorothy and her friends.


QUIZ TIME!

  1. Who led Dorothy and her friends through the Emerald City?

  • A. A soldier with red whiskers

  • B. A soldier with green whiskers

  • C. A soldier with blue whiskers

  • D. A soldier with yellow whiskers

  1. Where did the Guardian of the Gates live?

  • A. In a palace

  • B. In a room in the Emerald City

  • C. In a castle in the West

  • D. In a cave in the mountains

  1. How did the Wicked Witch of the West summon her pack of wolves?

  • A. She sang a song

  • B. She blew on a silver whistle

  • C. She waved a magic wand

  • D. She clapped her hands

  1. How did the Scarecrow scare away the wild crows?

  • A. By hiding behind a tree

  • B. By shouting loudly

  • C. By standing up and stretching out his arms

  • D. By running towards them

  1. Why did the black bees fail to sting Dorothy and her friends?

  • A. They were scared of Toto

  • B. The Tin Woodman covered them with straw

  • C. The Lion scared them away

  • D. They were allergic to the sun

Answers:

  1. B. A soldier with green whiskers

  2. B. In a room in the Emerald City

  3. B. She blew on a silver whistle

  4. C. By standing up and stretching out his arms

  5. B. The Tin Woodman covered them with straw

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