top of page
  • dandewes

The Wizard of Oz - Chapter 7

They were obliged to camp out that night under a large tree in the

forest, for there were no houses near. The tree made a good, thick

covering to protect them from the dew, and the Tin Woodman chopped a

great pile of wood with his axe and Dorothy built a splendid fire that

warmed her and made her feel less lonely. She and Toto ate the last of

their bread, and now she did not know what they would do for breakfast.

"If you wish," said the Lion, "I will go into the forest and kill a

deer for you. You can roast it by the fire, since your tastes are so

peculiar that you prefer cooked food, and then you will have a very

good breakfast."

"Don't! Please don't," begged the Tin Woodman. "I should certainly

weep if you killed a poor deer, and then my jaws would rust again."

But the Lion went away into the forest and found his own supper, and no

one ever knew what it was, for he didn't mention it. And the Scarecrow

found a tree full of nuts and filled Dorothy's basket with them, so

that she would not be hungry for a long time. She thought this was

very kind and thoughtful of the Scarecrow, but she laughed heartily at

the awkward way in which the poor creature picked up the nuts. His

padded hands were so clumsy and the nuts were so small that he dropped

almost as many as he put in the basket. But the Scarecrow did not mind

how long it took him to fill the basket, for it enabled him to keep

away from the fire, as he feared a spark might get into his straw and

burn him up. So he kept a good distance away from the flames, and only

came near to cover Dorothy with dry leaves when she lay down to sleep.

These kept her very snug and warm, and she slept soundly until morning.

When it was daylight, the girl bathed her face in a little rippling

brook, and soon after they all started toward the Emerald City.

This was to be an eventful day for the travelers. They had hardly been

walking an hour when they saw before them a great ditch that crossed

the road and divided the forest as far as they could see on either

side. It was a very wide ditch, and when they crept up to the edge and

looked into it they could see it was also very deep, and there were

many big, jagged rocks at the bottom. The sides were so steep that

none of them could climb down, and for a moment it seemed that their

journey must end.

"What shall we do?" asked Dorothy despairingly.

"I haven't the faintest idea," said the Tin Woodman, and the Lion shook

his shaggy mane and looked thoughtful.

But the Scarecrow said, "We cannot fly, that is certain. Neither can

we climb down into this great ditch. Therefore, if we cannot jump over

it, we must stop where we are."

MAX FIX "I think I could jump over it," said the Cowardly Lion, after measuring

the distance carefully in his mind.

"Then we are all right," answered the Scarecrow, "for you can carry us

all over on your back, one at a time."

"Well, I'll try it," said the Lion. "Who will go first?"

"I will," declared the Scarecrow, "for, if you found that you could not

jump over the gulf, Dorothy would be killed, or the Tin Woodman badly

dented on the rocks below. But if I am on your back it will not matter

so much, for the fall would not hurt me at all."

"I am terribly afraid of falling, myself," said the Cowardly Lion, "but

I suppose there is nothing to do but try it. So get on my back and we

will make the attempt."

The Scarecrow sat upon the Lion's back, and the big beast walked to the

edge of the gulf and crouched down.

"Why don't you run and jump?" asked the Scarecrow.

"Because that isn't the way we Lions do these things," he replied.

Then giving a great spring, he shot through the air and landed safely

on the other side. They were all greatly pleased to see how easily he

did it, and after the Scarecrow had got down from his back the Lion

sprang across the ditch again.

Dorothy thought she would go next; so she took Toto in her arms and

climbed on the Lion's back, holding tightly to his mane with one hand.

The next moment it seemed as if she were flying through the air; and

then, before she had time to think about it, she was safe on the other

side. The Lion went back a third time and got the Tin Woodman, and

then they all sat down for a few moments to give the beast a chance to

rest, for his great leaps had made his breath short, and he panted like

a big dog that has been running too long.

They found the forest very thick on this side, and it looked dark and

gloomy. After the Lion had rested they started along the road of

yellow brick, silently wondering, each in his own mind, if ever they

would come to the end of the woods and reach the bright sunshine again.

To add to their discomfort, they soon heard strange noises in the

depths of the forest, and the Lion whispered to them that it was in

this part of the country that the Kalidahs lived.

"What are the Kalidahs?" asked the girl.

"They are monstrous beasts with bodies like bears and heads like

tigers," replied the Lion, "and with claws so long and sharp that they

could tear me in two as easily as I could kill Toto. I'm terribly

afraid of the Kalidahs."

"I'm not surprised that you are," returned Dorothy. "They must be

dreadful beasts."

The Lion was about to reply when suddenly they came to another gulf

across the road. But this one was so broad and deep that the Lion knew

at once he could not leap across it.

So they sat down to consider what they should do, and after serious

thought the Scarecrow said:

"Here is a great tree, standing close to the ditch. If the Tin Woodman

can chop it down, so that it will fall to the other side, we can walk

across it easily."

"That is a first-rate idea," said the Lion. "One would almost suspect

you had brains in your head, instead of straw."

The Woodman set to work at once, and so sharp was his axe that the tree

was soon chopped nearly through. Then the Lion put his strong front

legs against the tree and pushed with all his might, and slowly the big

tree tipped and fell with a crash across the ditch, with its top

branches on the other side.

They had just started to cross this queer bridge when a sharp growl

made them all look up, and to their horror they saw running toward them

two great beasts with bodies like bears and heads like tigers.

"They are the Kalidahs!" said the Cowardly Lion, beginning to tremble.

"Quick!" cried the Scarecrow. "Let us cross over."

So Dorothy went first, holding Toto in her arms, the Tin Woodman

followed, and the Scarecrow came next. The Lion, although he was

certainly afraid, turned to face the Kalidahs, and then he gave so loud

and terrible a roar that Dorothy screamed and the Scarecrow fell over

backward, while even the fierce beasts stopped short and looked at him

in surprise.

But, seeing they were bigger than the Lion, and remembering that there

were two of them and only one of him, the Kalidahs again rushed

forward, and the Lion crossed over the tree and turned to see what they

would do next. Without stopping an instant the fierce beasts also

began to cross the tree. And the Lion said to Dorothy:

"We are lost, for they will surely tear us to pieces with their sharp

claws. But stand close behind me, and I will fight them as long as I

am alive."

"Wait a minute!" called the Scarecrow. He had been thinking what was

best to be done, and now he asked the Woodman to chop away the end of

the tree that rested on their side of the ditch. The Tin Woodman began

to use his axe at once, and, just as the two Kalidahs were nearly

across, the tree fell with a crash into the gulf, carrying the ugly,

snarling brutes with it, and both were dashed to pieces on the sharp

rocks at the bottom.

"Well," said the Cowardly Lion, drawing a long breath of relief, "I see

we are going to live a little while longer, and I am glad of it, for it

must be a very uncomfortable thing not to be alive. Those creatures

frightened me so badly that my heart is beating yet."

"Ah," said the Tin Woodman sadly, "I wish I had a heart to beat."

This adventure made the travelers more anxious than ever to get out of

the forest, and they walked so fast that Dorothy became tired, and had

to ride on the Lion's back. To their great joy the trees became

thinner the farther they advanced, and in the afternoon they suddenly

came upon a broad river, flowing swiftly just before them. On the

other side of the water they could see the road of yellow brick running

through a beautiful country, with green meadows dotted with bright

flowers and all the road bordered with trees hanging full of delicious

fruits. They were greatly pleased to see this delightful country

before them.

"How shall we cross the river?" asked Dorothy.

"That is easily done," replied the Scarecrow. "The Tin Woodman must

build us a raft, so we can float to the other side."

So the Woodman took his axe and began to chop down small trees to make

a raft, and while he wa rs busy at this the Scarecrow found on the

riverbank a tree full of fine fruit. This pleased Dorothy, who had

eaten nothing but nuts all day, and she made a hearty meal of the ripe


But it takes time to make a raft, even when one is as industrious and

untiring as the Tin Woodman, and when night came the work was not done.

So they found a cozy place under the trees where they slept well until

the morning; and Dorothy dreamed of the Emerald City, and of the good

Wizard Oz, who would soon send her back to her own home again.


  1. Where did Dorothy and her companions spend the night before encountering the great ditch?

  • A. Under a large tree

  • B. In a cave

  • C. Near a river

  • D. In a house

  1. Who volunteered to go into the forest and find supper for everyone?

  • A. The Tin Woodman

  • B. The Scarecrow

  • C. The Cowardly Lion

  • D. Dorothy

  1. What did the Scarecrow find for Dorothy to eat the next day?

  • A. Berries

  • B. Nuts

  • C. Deer meat

  • D. Apples

  1. What type of creatures did the travelers encounter in the forest that threatened them near the gulf?

  • A. Kalidahs

  • B. Wolves

  • C. Bears

  • D. Eagles

  1. How did the travelers manage to cross the great ditch?

  • A. They flew over it

  • B. They climbed down and up again

  • C. The Lion jumped over it

  • D. They used a fallen tree as a bridge


  1. A. Under a large tree

  2. C. The Cowardly Lion

  3. B. Nuts

  4. A. Kalidahs

  5. D. They used a fallen tree as a bridge

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Lazy Jack

Once upon a time, there was a boy whose name was Jack, and he lived with his mother on a common. They were very poor, and the old woman made her living by spinning cotton, but Jack was so lazy that he


There was once a father who had thirteen sons, the youngest of whom was named…. Thirteenth. The father had hard work to support his children, but made what he could gathering herbs. In order to encour


bottom of page