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7. The Journey to the Great Oz
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."
"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
"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
"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
"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
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
"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
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
"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
"Ah," said the Tin Woodman sadly, "I wish I had a heart to
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
So the Woodman took his axe and began to chop down small trees to make a
raft, and while he was 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 fruit.
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.
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