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The Wizard of Oz - Chapter 17

For three days Dorothy heard nothing from Oz. These were sad days for

the little girl, although her friends were all quite happy and

contented. The Scarecrow told them there were wonderful thoughts in

his head; but he would not say what they were because he knew no one

could understand them but himself. When the Tin Woodman walked about

he felt his heart rattling around in his breast; and he told Dorothy he

had discovered it to be a kinder and more tender heart than the one he

had owned when he was made of flesh. The Lion declared he was afraid

of nothing on earth, and would gladly face an army or a dozen of the

fierce Kalidahs.

Thus each of the little party was satisfied except Dorothy, who longed

more than ever to get back to Kansas.

On the fourth day, to her great joy, Oz sent for her, and when she

entered the Throne Room he greeted her pleasantly:

"Sit down, my dear; I think I have found the way to get you out of this


"And back to Kansas?" she asked eagerly.

"Well, I'm not sure about Kansas," said Oz, "for I haven't the faintest

notion which way it lies. But the first thing to do is to cross the

desert, and then it should be easy to find your way home."

"How can I cross the desert?" she inquired.

"Well, I'll tell you what I think," said the little man. "You see,

when I came to this country it was in a balloon. You also came through

the air, being carried by a cyclone. So I believe the best way to get

across the desert will be through the air. Now, it is quite beyond my

powers to make a cyclone; but I've been thinking the matter over, and I

believe I can make a balloon."

"How?" asked Dorothy.

"A balloon," said Oz, "is made of silk, which is coated with glue to

keep the gas in it. I have plenty of silk in the Palace, so it will be

no trouble to make the balloon. But in all this country there is no

gas to fill the balloon with, to make it float."

"If it won't float," remarked Dorothy, "it will be of no use to us."

"True," answered Oz. "But there is another way to make it float, which

is to fill it with hot air. Hot air isn't as good as gas, for if the

air should get cold the balloon would come down in the desert, and we

should be lost."

"We!" exclaimed the girl. "Are you going with me?"

"Yes, of course," replied Oz. "I am tired of being such a humbug. If

I should go out of this Palace my people would soon discover I am not a

Wizard, and then they would be vexed with me for having deceived them.

So I have to stay shut up in these rooms all day, and it gets tiresome.

I'd much rather go back to Kansas with you and be in a circus again."

"I shall be glad to have your company," said Dorothy.

"Thank you," he answered. "Now, if you will help me sew the silk

together, we will begin to work on our balloon."

So Dorothy took a needle and thread, and as fast as Oz cut the strips

of silk into proper shape the girl sewed them neatly together. First

there was a strip of light green silk, then a strip of dark green and

then a strip of emerald green; for Oz had a fancy to make the balloon

in different shades of the color about them. It took three days to sew

all the strips together, but when it was finished they had a big bag of

green silk more than twenty feet long.

Then Oz painted it on the inside with a coat of thin glue, to make it

airtight, after which he announced that the balloon was ready.

"But we must have a basket to ride in," he said. So he sent the

soldier with the green whiskers for a big clothes basket, which he

fastened with many ropes to the bottom of the balloon.

When it was all ready, Oz sent word to his people that he was going to

make a visit to a great brother Wizard who lived in the clouds. The

news spread rapidly throughout the city and everyone came to see the

wonderful sight.

Oz ordered the balloon carried out in front of the Palace, and the

people gazed upon it with much curiosity. The Tin Woodman had chopped

a big pile of wood, and now he made a fire of it, and Oz held the

bottom of the balloon over the fire so that the hot air that arose from

it would be caught in the silken bag. Gradually the balloon swelled

out and rose into the air, until finally the basket just touched the


Then Oz got into the basket and said to all the people in a loud voice:

"I am now going away to make a visit. While I am gone the Scarecrow

will rule over you. I command you to obey him as you would me."

The balloon was by this time tugging hard at the rope that held it to

the ground, for the air within it was hot, and this made it so much

lighter in weight than the air without that it pulled hard to rise into

the sky.

"Come, Dorothy!" cried the Wizard. "Hurry up, or the balloon will fly


"I can't find Toto anywhere," replied Dorothy, who did not wish to

leave her little dog behind. Toto had run into the crowd to bark at a

kitten, and Dorothy at last found him. She picked him up and ran

towards the balloon.

She was within a few steps of it, and Oz was holding out his hands to

help her into the basket, when, crack! went the ropes, and the balloon

rose into the air without her.

"Come back!" she screamed. "I want to go, too!"

"I can't come back, my dear," called Oz from the basket. "Good-bye!"

"Good-bye!" shouted everyone, and all eyes were turned upward to where

the Wizard was riding in the basket, rising every moment farther and

farther into the sky.

And that was the last any of them ever saw of Oz, the Wonderful Wizard,

though he may have reached Omaha safely, and be there now, for all we

know. But the people remembered him lovingly, and said to one another:

"Oz was always our friend. When he was here he built for us this

beautiful Emerald City, and now he is gone he has left the Wise

Scarecrow to rule over us."

Still, for many days they grieved over the loss of the Wonderful

Wizard, and would not be comforted.


Question 1: Why were the days sad for Dorothy?

  • A) Because her friends were unhappy 🙁

  • B) Because she lost her shoes 👠

  • C) Because it rained every day 🌧️

  • D) Because she missed Kansas 🌻

Question 2: What did the Scarecrow say was in his head?

  • A) Wonderful thoughts ✨

  • B) Nothing at all 🤷‍♂️

  • C) A bunch of straw 🌾

  • D) Secrets he couldn't tell 🤫

Question 3: How did Oz suggest they cross the desert?

  • A) By walking 🚶‍♀️

  • B) By making a boat ⛵

  • C) By using a balloon 🎈

  • D) By digging a tunnel 🕳️

Question 4: How did Oz say they would make the balloon float?

  • A) By using magic 🪄

  • B) By filling it with water 💧

  • C) By filling it with hot air 🔥

  • D) By tying it to a bird 🦅

Question 5: Why did Dorothy run towards the balloon at the end?

  • A) To catch a butterfly 🦋

  • B) To help Oz fly it ✈️

  • C) To find Toto 🐶

  • D) To wave goodbye to Oz 👋


  1. D) Because she missed Kansas 🌻

  2. A) Wonderful thoughts ✨

  3. C) By using a balloon 🎈

  4. C) By filling it with hot air 🔥

  5. C) To find Toto 🐶

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