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The Wizard of Oz - Chapter 20



While the Woodman was making a ladder from wood which he found in the

forest Dorothy lay down and slept, for she was tired by the long walk.

The Lion also curled himself up to sleep and Toto lay beside him.

The Scarecrow watched the Woodman while he worked, and said to him:

"I cannot think why this wall is here, nor what it is made of."

"Rest your brains and do not worry about the wall," replied the

Woodman. "When we have climbed over it, we shall know what is on the

other side."

After a time the ladder was finished. It looked clumsy, but the Tin

Woodman was sure it was strong and would answer their purpose. The

Scarecrow waked Dorothy and the Lion and Toto, and told them that the

ladder was ready. The Scarecrow climbed up the ladder first, but he

was so awkward that Dorothy had to follow close behind and keep him

from falling off. When he got his head over the top of the wall the

Scarecrow said, "Oh, my!"

"Go on," exclaimed Dorothy.

So the Scarecrow climbed farther up and sat down on the top of the

wall, and Dorothy put her head over and cried, "Oh, my!" just as the

Scarecrow had done.

Then Toto came up, and immediately began to bark, but Dorothy made him

be still.

The Lion climbed the ladder next, and the Tin Woodman came last; but

both of them cried, "Oh, my!" as soon as they looked over the wall.

When they were all sitting in a row on the top of the wall, they looked

down and saw a strange sight.

Before them was a great stretch of country having a floor as smooth and

shining and white as the bottom of a big platter. Scattered around

were many houses made entirely of china and painted in the brightest

colors. These houses were quite small, the biggest of them reaching

only as high as Dorothy's waist. There were also pretty little barns,

with china fences around them; and many cows and sheep and horses and

pigs and chickens, all made of china, were standing about in groups.

But the strangest of all were the people who lived in this queer

country. There were milkmaids and shepherdesses, with brightly colored

bodices and golden spots all over their gowns; and princesses with most

gorgeous frocks of silver and gold and purple; and shepherds dressed in

knee breeches with pink and yellow and blue stripes down them, and

golden buckles on their shoes; and princes with jeweled crowns upon

their heads, wearing ermine robes and satin doublets; and funny clowns

in ruffled gowns, with round red spots upon their cheeks and tall,

pointed caps. And, strangest of all, these people were all made of

china, even to their clothes, and were so small that the tallest of

them was no higher than Dorothy's knee.

No one did so much as look at the travelers at first, except one little

purple china dog with an extra-large head, which came to the wall and

barked at them in a tiny voice, afterwards running away again.

"How shall we get down?" asked Dorothy.

They found the ladder so heavy they could not pull it up, so the

Scarecrow fell off the wall and the others jumped down upon him so that

the hard floor would not hurt their feet. Of course they took pains

not to light on his head and get the pins in their feet. When all were

safely down they picked up the Scarecrow, whose body was quite

flattened out, and patted his straw into shape again.

"We must cross this strange place in order to get to the other side,"

said Dorothy, "for it would be unwise for us to go any other way except

due South."

They began walking through the country of the china people, and the

first thing they came to was a china milkmaid milking a china cow. As

they drew near, the cow suddenly gave a kick and kicked over the stool,

the pail, and even the milkmaid herself, and all fell on the china

ground with a great clatter.

Dorothy was shocked to see that the cow had broken her leg off, and

that the pail was lying in several small pieces, while the poor

milkmaid had a nick in her left elbow.

"There!" cried the milkmaid angrily. "See what you have done! My cow

has broken her leg, and I must take her to the mender's shop and have

it glued on again. What do you mean by coming here and frightening my

cow?"

"I'm very sorry," returned Dorothy. "Please forgive us."

But the pretty milkmaid was much too vexed to make any answer. She

picked up the leg sulkily and led her cow away, the poor animal limping

on three legs. As she left them the milkmaid cast many reproachful

glances over her shoulder at the clumsy strangers, holding her nicked

elbow close to her side.

Dorothy was quite grieved at this mishap.

"We must be very careful here," said the kind-hearted Woodman, "or we

may hurt these pretty little people so they will never get over it."

A little farther on Dorothy met a most beautifully dressed young

Princess, who stopped short as she saw the strangers and started to run

away.

Dorothy wanted to see more of the Princess, so she ran after her. But

the china girl cried out:

"Don't chase me! Don't chase me!"

She had such a frightened little voice that Dorothy stopped and said,

"Why not?"

"Because," answered the Princess, also stopping, a safe distance away,

"if I run I may fall down and break myself."

"But could you not be mended?" asked the girl.

"Oh, yes; but one is never so pretty after being mended, you know,"

replied the Princess.

"I suppose not," said Dorothy.

"Now there is Mr. Joker, one of our clowns," continued the china lady,

"who is always trying to stand upon his head. He has broken himself so

often that he is mended in a hundred places, and doesn't look at all

pretty. Here he comes now, so you can see for yourself."

Indeed, a jolly little clown came walking toward them, and Dorothy

could see that in spite of his pretty clothes of red and yellow and

green he was completely covered with cracks, running every which way

and showing plainly that he had been mended in many places.

The Clown put his hands in his pockets, and after puffing out his

cheeks and nodding his head at them saucily, he said:

"My lady fair,

Why do you stare

At poor old Mr. Joker?

You're quite as stiff

And prim as if

You'd eaten up a poker!"

"Be quiet, sir!" said the Princess. "Can't you see these are

strangers, and should be treated with respect?"

"Well, that's respect, I expect," declared the Clown, and immediately

stood upon his head.

"Don't mind Mr. Joker," said the Princess to Dorothy. "He is

considerably cracked in his head, and that makes him foolish."

"Oh, I don't mind him a bit," said Dorothy. "But you are so

beautiful," she continued, "that I am sure I could love you dearly.

Won't you let me carry you back to Kansas, and stand you on Aunt Em's

mantel? I could carry you in my basket."

"That would make me very unhappy," answered the china Princess. "You

see, here in our country we live contentedly, and can talk and move

around as we please. But whenever any of us are taken away our joints

at once stiffen, and we can only stand straight and look pretty. Of

course that is all that is expected of us when we are on mantels and

cabinets and drawing-room tables, but our lives are much pleasanter

here in our own country."

"I would not make you unhappy for all the world!" exclaimed Dorothy.

"So I'll just say good-bye."

"Good-bye," replied the Princess.

They walked carefully through the china country. The little animals

and all the people scampered out of their way, fearing the strangers

would break them, and after an hour or so the travelers reached the

other side of the country and came to another china wall.

It was not so high as the first, however, and by standing upon the

Lion's back they all managed to scramble to the top. Then the Lion

gathered his legs under him and jumped on the wall; but just as he

jumped, he upset a china church with his tail and smashed it all to

pieces.

"That was too bad," said Dorothy, "but really I think we were lucky in

not doing these little people more harm than breaking a cow's leg and a

church. They are all so brittle!"

"They are, indeed," said the Scarecrow, "and I am thankful I am made of

straw and cannot be easily damaged. There are worse things in the

world than being a Scarecrow."


Question 1: What did the travelers encounter after climbing over the wall?

  • A) A field of flowers 🌼

  • B) A country of china people 🏰

  • C) A dense forest 🌳

  • D) A river 🌊

Question 2: What mishap occurred with the china milkmaid and her cow?

  • A) The cow broke a leg 🦵

  • B) Dorothy broke the milkmaid's pail 🥛

  • C) The milkmaid fell and broke her elbow 🦾

  • D) The milkmaid got scared and ran away 🏃‍♀️

Question 3: Why did the china Princess refuse Dorothy's offer to take her to Kansas?

  • A) She didn't like Dorothy 🙅‍♀️

  • B) She preferred living in her own country 🏰

  • C) She was afraid of Aunt Em 👵

  • D) She couldn't fit in Dorothy's basket 🧺

Question 4: How did the travelers get over the second china wall?

  • A) They climbed a ladder 🪜

  • B) They used the Lion as a platform 🦁

  • C) They jumped over it 🤸‍♂️

  • D) They broke through it 🚧

Question 5: Why was the Scarecrow thankful for being made of straw?

  • A) Because he didn't get damaged easily 🌾

  • B) Because he could scare away china people 👻

  • C) Because he could be easily repaired 🧵

  • D) Because he was light and easy to carry 🎋

Answers:

  1. B) A country of china people 🏰

  2. A) The cow broke a leg 🦵

  3. B) She preferred living in her own country 🏰

  4. B) They used the Lion as a platform 🦁

  5. A) Because he didn't get damaged easily 🌾

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