Monday, March 31, 2008

Talking Books: The Wizard of Oz, Chapter 8

The Wizard of Oz: Chapter 8.

The Deadly Poppy Field.

Our little party of travelers awakened the next morning
refreshed and full of hope, and Dorothy breakfasted like a
princess off peaches and plums from the trees beside the river.
Behind them was the dark forest they had passed safely through,
although they had suffered many discouragements; but before them was a lovely, sunny country that seemed to beckon them on to the Emerald City.

To be sure, the broad river now cut them off from this beautiful land. But the raft was nearly done, and after the Tin Woodman had cut a few more logs and fastened them together with wooden pins, they were ready to start. Dorothy sat down in the
middle of the raft and held Toto in her arms. When the Cowardly Lion stepped upon the raft it tipped badly, for he was big and heavy; but the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman stood upon the other end to steady it, and they had long poles in their hands to push the raft through the water.

They got along quite well at first, but when they reached the
middle of the river the swift current swept the raft downstream,
farther and farther away from the road of yellow brick. And the
water grew so deep that the long poles would not touch the bottom.

"This is bad," said the Tin Woodman, "for if we cannot get to
the land we shall be carried into the country of the Wicked Witch
of the West, and she will enchant us and make us her slaves."

"And then I should get no brains," said the Scarecrow.

"And I should get no courage," said the Cowardly Lion.

"And I should get no heart," said the Tin Woodman.

"And I should never get back to Kansas," said Dorothy.

"We must certainly get to the Emerald City if we can,"
the Scarecrow continued, and he pushed so hard on his long pole
that it stuck fast in the mud at the bottom of the river. Then,
before he could pull it out again--or let go--the raft was swept
away, and the poor Scarecrow left clinging to the pole in the
middle of the river.

"Good-bye!" he called after them, and they were very sorry to leave him.
Indeed, the Tin Woodman began to cry, but fortunately remembered that he
might rust, and so dried his tears on Dorothy's apron.

Of course this was a bad thing for the Scarecrow.

"I am now worse off than when I first met Dorothy," he
thought. "Then, I was stuck on a pole in a cornfield, where I
could make-believe scare the crows, at any rate. But surely there
is no use for a Scarecrow stuck on a pole in the middle of a
river. I am afraid I shall never have any brains, after all!"

Down the stream the raft floated, and the poor Scarecrow was
left far behind. Then the Lion said:

"Something must be done to save us. I think I can swim to the
shore and pull the raft after me, if you will only hold fast to
the tip of my tail."

So he sprang into the water, and the Tin Woodman caught fast
hold of his tail. Then the Lion began to swim with all his might
toward the shore. It was hard work, although he was so big; but
by and by they were drawn out of the current, and then Dorothy took
the Tin Woodman's long pole and helped push the raft to the land.

They were all tired out when they reached the shore at last
and stepped off upon the pretty green grass, and they also knew
that the stream had carried them a long way past the road of
yellow brick that led to the Emerald City.

"What shall we do now?" asked the Tin Woodman, as the Lion lay
down on the grass to let the sun dry him.

"We must get back to the road, in some way," said Dorothy.

"The best plan will be to walk along the riverbank until we
come to the road again," remarked the Lion.

So, when they were rested, Dorothy picked up her basket and
they started along the grassy bank, to the road from which the
river had carried them. It was a lovely country, with plenty of
flowers and fruit trees and sunshine to cheer them, and had they
not felt so sorry for the poor Scarecrow, they could have been
very happy.

They walked along as fast as they could, Dorothy only stopping
once to pick a beautiful flower; and after a time the Tin Woodman
cried out: "Look!"

Then they all looked at the river and saw the Scarecrow perched
upon his pole in the middle of the water, looking very lonely and sad.

"What can we do to save him?" asked Dorothy.

The Lion and the Woodman both shook their heads, for they did
not know. So they sat down upon the bank and gazed wistfully at
the Scarecrow until a Stork flew by, who, upon seeing them,
stopped to rest at the water's edge.

"Who are you and where are you going?" asked the Stork.

"I am Dorothy," answered the girl, "and these are my friends,
the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion; and we are going to the
Emerald City."

"This isn't the road," said the Stork, as she twisted her long
neck and looked sharply at the queer party.

"I know it," returned Dorothy, "but we have lost the
Scarecrow, and are wondering how we shall get him again."

"Where is he?" asked the Stork.

"Over there in the river," answered the little girl.

"If he wasn't so big and heavy I would get him for you,"
remarked the Stork.

"He isn't heavy a bit," said Dorothy eagerly, "for he is
stuffed with straw; and if you will bring him back to us, we shall
thank you ever and ever so much."

"Well, I'll try," said the Stork, "but if I find he is too
heavy to carry I shall have to drop him in the river again."

So the big bird flew into the air and over the water till she
came to where the Scarecrow was perched upon his pole. Then the
Stork with her great claws grabbed the Scarecrow by the arm and
carried him up into the air and back to the bank, where Dorothy
and the Lion and the Tin Woodman and Toto were sitting.

When the Scarecrow found himself among his friends again, he
was so happy that he hugged them all, even the Lion and Toto; and
as they walked along he sang "Tol-de-ri-de-oh!" at every step, he
felt so gay.

"I was afraid I should have to stay in the river forever,"
he said, "but the kind Stork saved me, and if I ever get any brains
I shall find the Stork again and do her some kindness in return."

"That's all right," said the Stork, who was flying along
beside them. "I always like to help anyone in trouble. But I
must go now, for my babies are waiting in the nest for me. I hope
you will find the Emerald City and that Oz will help you."

"Thank you," replied Dorothy, and then the kind Stork flew
into the air and was soon out of sight.

They walked along listening to the singing of the brightly
colored birds and looking at the lovely flowers which now became
so thick that the ground was carpeted with them. There were big
yellow and white and blue and purple blossoms, besides great
clusters of scarlet poppies, which were so brilliant in color they
almost dazzled Dorothy's eyes.

"Aren't they beautiful?" the girl asked, as she breathed in
the spicy scent of the bright flowers.

"I suppose so," answered the Scarecrow. "When I have brains,
I shall probably like them better."

"If I only had a heart, I should love them," added the Tin Woodman.

"I always did like flowers," said the Lion. "They of seem so
helpless and frail. But there are none in the forest so bright as these."

They now came upon more and more of the big scarlet poppies,
and fewer and fewer of the other flowers; and soon they found
themselves in the midst of a great meadow of poppies. Now it is
well known that when there are many of these flowers together
their odor is so powerful that anyone who breathes it falls
asleep, and if the sleeper is not carried away from the scent of
the flowers, he sleeps on and on forever. But Dorothy did not
know this, nor could she get away from the bright red flowers that
were everywhere about; so presently her eyes grew heavy and she
felt she must sit down to rest and to sleep.

But the Tin Woodman would not let her do this.

"We must hurry and get back to the road of yellow brick before dark,"
he said; and the Scarecrow agreed with him. So they kept walking until
Dorothy could stand no longer. Her eyes closed in spite of herself and
she forgot where she was and fell among the poppies, fast asleep.

"What shall we do?" asked the Tin Woodman.

"If we leave her here she will die," said the Lion. "The smell of
the flowers is killing us all. I myself can scarcely keep my eyes open,
and the dog is asleep already."

It was true; Toto had fallen down beside his little mistress.
But the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman, not being made of flesh,
were not troubled by the scent of the flowers.

"Run fast," said the Scarecrow to the Lion, "and get out of
this deadly flower bed as soon as you can. We will bring the
little girl with us, but if you should fall asleep you are too big
to be carried."

So the Lion aroused himself and bounded forward as fast as he
could go. In a moment he was out of sight.

"Let us make a chair with our hands and carry her," said the
Scarecrow. So they picked up Toto and put the dog in Dorothy's
lap, and then they made a chair with their hands for the seat and
their arms for the arms and carried the sleeping girl between them
through the flowers.

On and on they walked, and it seemed that the great carpet of
deadly flowers that surrounded them would never end. They followed
the bend of the river, and at last came upon their friend the Lion,
lying fast asleep among the poppies. The flowers had been too strong
for the huge beast and he had given up at last, and fallen only a short
distance from the end of the poppy bed, where the sweet grass spread in
beautiful green fields before them.

"We can do nothing for him," said the Tin Woodman, sadly; "for
he is much too heavy to lift. We must leave him here to sleep on
forever, and perhaps he will dream that he has found courage at last."

"I'm sorry," said the Scarecrow. "The Lion was a very good
comrade for one so cowardly. But let us go on."

They carried the sleeping girl to a pretty spot beside the river,
far enough from the poppy field to prevent her breathing any more of
the poison of the flowers, and here they laid her gently on the soft
grass and waited for the fresh breeze to waken her.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Talking Books: Heidi; Chapter Three, Part 2

Heidi: Chapter Three, Part 2

Peter generally took his quarters for the day at the foot of a high
cliff, which seemed to reach far up into the sky. Overhanging rocks on
one side made it dangerous, so that the grandfather was wise to warn

After they had reached their destination, the boy took off his bag,
putting it in a little hollow in the ground. The wind often blew in
violent gusts up there, and Peter did not want to lose his precious
load. Then he lay down in the sunny grass, for he was very tired.

Heidi, taking off her apron, rolled it tightly together and put it
beside Peter's bag. Then, sitting down beside the boy, she looked
about her. Far down she saw the glistening valley; a large field of
snow rose high in front of her. Heidi sat a long time without
stirring, with Peter asleep by her side and the goats climbing about
between the bushes. A light breeze fanned her cheek and those big
mountains about her made her feel happy as never before. She looked up
at the mountain-tops till they all seemed to have faces, and soon they
were familiar to her, like old friends. Suddenly she heard a loud,
sharp scream, and looking up she beheld the largest bird she had ever
seen, flying above her. With outspread wings he flew in large circles
over Heidi's head.

"Wake up, Peter!" Heidi called. "Look up, Peter, and see the eagle

Peter got wide wake, and then they both watched the bird breathlessly.
It rose higher and higher into the azure, till it disappeared at last
behind the mountain-peak.

"Where has it gone?" Heidi asked.

"Home to its nest," was Peter's answer.

"Oh, does it really live way up there? How wonderful that must be! But
tell me why it screams so loud?" Heidi inquired.

"Because it has to," Peter replied.

"Oh, let's climb up there and see its nest!" implored Heidi, but
Peter, expressing decided disapproval in his voice, answered: "Oh
dear, Oh dear, not even goats could climb up there! Grandfather has
told me not to let you fall down the rocks, so we can't go!"

Peter now began to call loudly and to whistle, and soon all the goats
were assembled on the green field. Heidi ran into their midst, for she
loved to see them leaping and playing about.

Peter in the meantime was preparing dinner for Heidi and himself, by
putting her large pieces on one side and his own small ones on the
other. Then he milked Baerli and put the full bowl in the middle. When
he was ready, he called to the little girl. But it took some time
before she obeyed his call.

"Stop jumping, now," said Peter, "and sit down; your dinner is ready."

"Is this milk for me?" she inquired.

"Yes it is; those large pieces also belong to you. When you are
through with the milk, I'll get you some more. After that I'll get

"What milk do you get?" Heidi inquired.

"I get it from my own goat, that speckled one over there. But go ahead
and eat!" Peter commanded again. Heidi obeyed, and when the bowl was
empty, he filled it again. Breaking off a piece of bread for herself,
she gave Peter the rest, which was still bigger than his own portion
had been. She handed him also the whole slice of cheese, saying: "You
can eat that, I have had enough!"

Peter was speechless with surprise, for it would have been impossible
for him ever to give up any of his share. Not taking Heidi in earnest,
he hesitated till she put the things on his knees. Then he saw she
really meant it, and he seized his prize. Nodding his thanks to her,
he ate the most luxurious meal he had ever had in all his life. Heidi
was watching the goats in the meantime, and asked Peter for their

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Talking Books: Heidi; Chapter Three, Part 1

Heidi: Chapter Three, Part 1

Heidi was awakened early next morning by a loud whistle. Opening her eyes, she saw her little bed and the hay beside her bathed in golden sunlight. For a short while she did not know where she was, but when she heard her grandfather's deep voice outside, she recollected everything. She remembered how she had come up the mountain the day before and left old Ursula, who was always shivering with cold and sat
near the stove all day. While Heidi lived with Ursula, she had always been obliged to keep in the house, where the old woman could see her.
Being deaf, Ursula was afraid to let Heidi go outdoors, and the child had often fretted in the narrow room and had longed to run outside. She was therefore delighted to find herself in her new home and hardly could wait to see the goats again. Jumping out of bed, she put on her few things and in a short time went down the ladder and ran outside. Peter was already there with his flock, waiting for Schwaenli and
Baerli, whom the grandfather was just bringing to join the other goats.

"Do you want to go with him to the pasture?" asked the grandfather.

"Yes," cried Heidi, clapping her hands.

"Go now, and wash yourself first, for the sun will laugh at you if he
sees how dirty you are. Everything is ready there for you," he added,
pointing to a large tub of water that stood in the sun. Heidi did as
she was told, and washed and rubbed herself till her cheeks were
glowing. In the meanwhile the grandfather called to Peter to come into
the hut and bring his bag along. The boy followed the old man, who
commanded him to open the bag in which he carried his scanty dinner.
The grandfather put into the bag a piece of bread and a slice of
cheese, that were easily twice as large as those the boy had in the
bag himself.

"The little bowl goes in, too," said the Uncle, "for the child does
not know how to drink straight from the goat, the way you do. She is
going to stay with you all day, therefore milk two bowls full for her
dinner. Look out that she does not fall over the rocks! Do you hear?"

Just then Heidi came running in. "Grandfather, can the sun still laugh
at me?" she asked. The child had rubbed herself so violently with the
coarse towel which the grandfather had put beside the tub that her
face, neck and arms were as red as a lobster. With a smile the
grandfather said: "No, he can't laugh any more now; but when you come
home to-night you must go into the tub like a fish. When one goes
about like the goats, one gets dirty feet. Be off!"

They started merrily up the Alp. A cloudless, deep-blue sky looked
down on them, for the wind had driven away every little cloud in the
night. The fresh green mountain-side was bathed in brilliant sunlight,
and many blue and yellow flowers had opened. Heidi was wild with joy
and ran from side to side. In one place she saw big patches of fine
red primroses, on another spot blue gentians sparkled in the grass,
and everywhere the golden rock-roses were nodding to her. In her
transport at finding such treasures, Heidi even forgot Peter and his
goats. She ran far ahead of him and then strayed away off to one side,
for the sparkling flowers tempted her here and there. Picking whole
bunches of them to take home with her, she put them all into her
little apron.

Peter, whose round eyes could only move about slowly, had a hard time
looking out for her. The goats were even worse, and only by shouting
and whistling, especially by swinging his rod, could he drive them

"Heidi, where are you now?" he called quite angrily.

"Here," it sounded from somewhere. Peter could not see her, for she
was sitting on the ground behind a little mound, which was covered
with fragrant flowers. The whole air was filled with their perfume,
and the child drew it in, in long breaths.

"Follow me now!" Peter called out. "The grandfather has told me to
look out for you, and you must not fall over the rocks."

"Where are they?" asked Heidi without even stirring.

"Way up there, and we have still far to go. If you come quickly, we
may see the eagle there and hear him shriek."

That tempted Heidi, and she came running to Peter, with her apron full
of flowers.

"You have enough now," he declared. "If you pick them all to-day,
there won't be any left to-morrow." Heidi admitted that, besides which
she had her apron already full. From now on she stayed at Peter's
side. The goats, scenting the pungent herbs, also hurried up without

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Talking Books: The Wizard of Oz, Chapter 7

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 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 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.

Talking Books: Heidi; Chapter Two, Part 2

Heidi: Chapter Two, Part 2

At last the evening came. The old fir-trees were rustling and a mighty wind was roaring and howling through the tree-tops. Those sounds thrilled Heidi's heart and filled it with happiness and joy. She danced and jumped about under the trees, for those sounds made her feel as if a wonderful thing had happened to her. The grandfather stood under the door, watching her, when suddenly a shrill whistle was heard. Heidi stood still and the grandfather joined her outside. Down from the heights came one goat after another, with Peter in their midst. Uttering a cry of joy, Heidi ran into the middle of the flock, greeting her old friends. When they had all reached the hut, they stopped on their way and two beautiful slender goats came out of the herd, one of them white and the other brown. They came up to the grandfather, who held out some salt in his hands to them, as he did every night. Heidi tenderly caressed first one and then the other,
seeming beside herself with joy.

"Are they ours, grandfather? Do they both belong to us? Are they going
to the stable? Are they going to stay with us?" Heidi kept on asking
in her excitement. The grandfather hardly could put in a "yes, yes,
surely" between her numerous questions. When the goats had licked up
all the salt, the old man said, "Go in, Heidi, and fetch your bowl
and the bread."

Heidi obeyed and returned instantly. The grandfather milked a full
bowl from the white goat, cut a piece of bread for the child, and told
her to eat. "Afterwards you can go to bed. If you need some shirts and
other linen, you will find them in the bottom of the cupboard. Aunt
Deta has left a bundle for you. Now good-night, I have to look after
the goats and lock them up for the night."

"Good-night, grandfather! Oh, please tell me what their names are,"
called Heidi after him.

"The white one's name is Schwaenli and the brown one I call Baerli," was
his answer.

"Good-night, Schwaenli! Good-night, Baerli," the little girl called
loudly, for they were just disappearing in the shed. Heidi now sat
down on the bench and took her supper. The strong wind nearly blew her
from her seat, so she hurried with her meal, to be able to go inside
and up to her bed. She slept in it as well as a prince on his royal

Very soon after Heidi had gone up, before it was quite dark, the old
man also sought his bed. He was always up in the morning with the sun,
which rose early over the mountain-side in those summer days. It was a
wild, stormy night; the hut was shaking in the gusts and all the
boards were creaking. The wind howled through the chimney and the old
fir-trees shook so strongly that many a dry branch came crashing down.
In the middle of the night the grandfather got up, saying to himself:
"I am sure she is afraid." Climbing up the ladder, he went up to
Heidi's bed. The first moment everything lay in darkness, when all of
a sudden the moon came out behind the clouds and sent his brilliant
light across Heidi's bed. Her cheeks were burning red and she lay
peacefully on her round and chubby arms. She must have had a happy
dream, for she was smiling in her sleep. The grandfather stood and
watched her till a cloud flew over the moon and left everything in
total darkness. Then he went down to seek his bed again.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Tale of Benjamin Bunny: Part Three
Beatrix Potter

Part Three:

I cannot draw you a picture
of Peter and Benjamin underneath
the basket, because it
was quite dark, and because
the smell of onions was fearful;
it made Peter Rabbit and little
Benjamin cry.

The sun got round behind
the wood, and it was quite late
in the afternoon; but still the
cat sat upon the basket.

AT length there was a pitter-
patter, pitter-patter, and
some bits of mortar fell from
the wall above.

The cat looked up and saw
old Mr. Benjamin Bunny
prancing along the top of the
wall of the upper terrace.

He was smoking a pipe of
rabbit-tobacco, and had a little
switch in his hand.

He was looking for his son.

OLD Mr. Bunny had no
opinion whatever of cats.

He took a tremendous jump
off the top of the wall on to
the top of the cat, and cuffed
it off the basket, and kicked it
into the garden-house, scratching
off a handful of fur.

The cat was too much surprised
to scratch back.

WHEN old Mr. Bunny had
driven the cat into the
green-house, he locked the

Then he came back to the
basket and took out his son
Benjamin by the ears, and
whipped him with the little

Then he took out his nephew

THEN he took out the handkerchief
of onions, and
marched out of the garden.

When Mr. McGregor
returned about half an
hour later, he observed several
things which perplexed him.

It looked as though some
person had been walking all
over the garden in a pair of
clogs--only the foot-marks
were too ridiculously little!

Also he could not understand
how the cat could have
managed to shut herself up
INSIDE the green-house, locking
the door upon the OUTSIDE.

WHEN Peter got home,
his mother forgave him,
because she was so glad to see
that he had found his shoes
and coat. Cotton-tail and
Peter folded up the pocket-
handkerchief, and old Mrs.
Rabbit strung up the onions
and hung them from the
kitchen ceiling, with the


Monday, March 17, 2008

The Tale of Benjamin Bunny: Part Two

The Tale of Benjamin Bunny: Part Two.
Beatrix Potter.

Part Two:

THEY went away hand in
hand, and got upon the
flat top of the wall at the bottom
of the wood. From here they
looked down into Mr. McGregor's
garden. Peter's coat
and shoes were plainly to be
seen upon the scarecrow,
topped with an old tam-o-
shanter of Mr. McGregor's.

LITTLE Benjamin said,
"It spoils people's clothes
to squeeze under a gate; the
proper way to get in, is to
climb down a pear tree."

Peter fell down head first;
but it was of no consequence,
as the bed below was newly
raked and quite soft.

IT had been sown with lettuces.

They left a great many odd
little foot-marks all over the
bed, especially little Benjamin,
who was wearing clogs.

LITTLE Benjamin said that
the first thing to be done
was to get back Peter's clothes,
in order that they might be
able to use the pocket handkerchief.

They took them off the scarecrow.
There had been rain
during the night; there was
water in the shoes, and the
coat was somewhat shrunk.

Benjamin tried on the tam-
o-shanter, but it was too big
for him.

THEN he suggested that
they should fill the pocket-
handkerchief with onions, as
a little present for his Aunt.

Peter did not seem to be
enjoying himself; he kept
hearing noises.

BENJAMIN, on the contrary,
was perfectly at
home, and ate a lettuce leaf.
He said that he was in the
habit of coming to the garden
with his father to get lettuces
for their Sunday dinner.

(The name of little Benjamin's
papa was old Mr. Benjamin

The lettuces certainly were
very fine.

PETER did not eat anything;
he said he should
like to go home. Presently he
dropped half the onions.

LITTLE Benjamin said that
it was not possible to get
back up the pear-tree, with a
load of vegetables. He led
the way boldly towards the
other end of the garden. They
went along a little walk on
planks, under a sunny red-
brick wall.

The mice sat on their door-
steps cracking cherry-stones,
they winked at Peter Rabbit
and little Benjamin Bunny.

PRESENTLY Peter let the
pocket-handkerchief go

THEY got amongst flower-
pots, and frames and
tubs; Peter heard noises worse
than ever, his eyes were as big
as lolly-pops!

He was a step or two in
front of his cousin, when he
suddenly stopped.

THIS is what those little
rabbits saw round that

Little Benjamin took one
look, and then, in half a minute
less than no time, he hid himself
and Peter and the onions
underneath a large basket. . . .

THE cat got up and stretched
herself, and came and
sniffed at the basket.

Perhaps she liked the smell
of onions!

Anyway, she sat down upon
the top of the basket.

SHE sat there for FIVE HOURS.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Tale of Benjamin Bunny: Part One.
For the Children of Sawry From Old Mr. Bunny.

ONE morning a little rabbit
sat on a bank.

He pricked his ears and
listened to the trit-trot,
trit-trot of a pony.

A gig was coming along the
road; it was driven by Mr.
McGregor, and beside him sat
Mrs. McGregor in her best

AS soon as they had passed,
little Benjamin Bunny
slid down into the road, and
set off--with a hop, skip and
a jump--to call upon his relations,
who lived in the wood at
the back of Mr. McGregor's

THAT wood was full of
rabbit holes; and in the
neatest sandiest hole of all,
cousins--Flopsy, Mopsy,
Cotton-tail and Peter.

Old Mrs. Rabbit was a
widow; she earned her living
by knitting rabbit-wool mittens
and muffetees (I once bought
a pair at a bazaar). She also
sold herbs, and rosemary tea,
and rabbit-tobacco (which is
what WE call lavender).

LITTLE Benjamin did not
very much want to see
his Aunt.

He came round the back of
the fir-tree, and nearly tumbled
upon the top of his Cousin

PETER was sitting by himself.
He looked poorly,
and was dressed in a red cotton

"Peter,"--said little Benjamin,
in a whisper--"who has
got your clothes?"

PETER replied--"The scarecrow
in Mr. McGregor's
garden," and described how he
had been chased about the
garden, and had dropped his
shoes and coat.

Little Benjamin sat down beside
his cousin, and assured him
that Mr. McGregor had gone
out in a gig, and Mrs. McGregor
also; and certainly for the day,
because she was wearing her
best bonnet.

PETER said he hoped that
it would rain.

At this point, old Mrs.
Rabbit's voice was heard inside
the rabbit hole calling--
"Cotton-tail! Cotton-tail!
fetch some more camomile!"

Peter said he thought he
might feel better if he went
for a walk.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Talking Books: The Wizard of Oz, Chapter 6

6. The Cowardly Lion.

All this time Dorothy and her companions had been walking
through the thick woods. The road was still paved with yellow
brick, but these were much covered by dried branches and dead
leaves from the trees, and the walking was not at all good.

There were few birds in this part of the forest, for birds
love the open country where there is plenty of sunshine. But now
and then there came a deep growl from some wild animal hidden
among the trees. These sounds made the little girl's heart beat
fast, for she did not know what made them; but Toto knew, and he
walked close to Dorothy's side, and did not even bark in return.

"How long will it be," the child asked of the Tin Woodman,
"before we are out of the forest?"

"I cannot tell," was the answer, "for I have never been to the
Emerald City. But my father went there once, when I was a boy,
and he said it was a long journey through a dangerous country,
although nearer to the city where Oz dwells the country is beautiful.
But I am not afraid so long as I have my oil-can, and nothing can hurt
the Scarecrow, while you bear upon your forehead the mark of the
Good Witch's kiss, and that will protect you from harm."

"But Toto!" said the girl anxiously. "What will protect him?"

"We must protect him ourselves if he is in danger," replied
the Tin Woodman.

Just as he spoke there came from the forest a terrible roar,
and the next moment a great Lion bounded into the road. With one
blow of his paw he sent the Scarecrow spinning over and over to
the edge of the road, and then he struck at the Tin Woodman with
his sharp claws. But, to the Lion's surprise, he could make no
impression on the tin, although the Woodman fell over in the road
and lay still.

Little Toto, now that he had an enemy to face, ran barking
toward the Lion, and the great beast had opened his mouth to bite
the dog, when Dorothy, fearing Toto would be killed, and heedless
of danger, rushed forward and slapped the Lion upon his nose as
hard as she could, while she cried out:

"Don't you dare to bite Toto! You ought to be ashamed of
yourself, a big beast like you, to bite a poor little dog!"

"I didn't bite him," said the Lion, as he rubbed his nose with
his paw where Dorothy had hit it.

"No, but you tried to," she retorted. "You are nothing but a
big coward."

"I know it," said the Lion, hanging his head in shame. "I've
always known it. But how can I help it?"

"I don't know, I'm sure. To think of your striking a stuffed
man, like the poor Scarecrow!"

"Is he stuffed?" asked the Lion in surprise, as he watched her
pick up the Scarecrow and set him upon his feet, while she patted
him into shape again.

"Of course he's stuffed," replied Dorothy, who was still angry.

"That's why he went over so easily," remarked the Lion.
"It astonished me to see him whirl around so. Is the other one
stuffed also?"

"No," said Dorothy, "he's made of tin." And she helped the
Woodman up again.

"That's why he nearly blunted my claws," said the Lion.
"When they scratched against the tin it made a cold shiver run
down my back. What is that little animal you are so tender of?"

"He is my dog, Toto," answered Dorothy.

"Is he made of tin, or stuffed?" asked the Lion.

"Neither. He's a--a--a meat dog," said the girl.

"Oh! He's a curious animal and seems remarkably small,
now that I look at him. No one would think of biting such a
little thing, except a coward like me," continued the Lion sadly.

"What makes you a coward?" asked Dorothy, looking at the great
beast in wonder, for he was as big as a small horse.

"It's a mystery," replied the Lion. "I suppose I was born
that way. All the other animals in the forest naturally expect me
to be brave, for the Lion is everywhere thought to be the King of
Beasts. I learned that if I roared very loudly every living thing
was frightened and got out of my way. Whenever I've met a man
I've been awfully scared; but I just roared at him, and he has
always run away as fast as he could go. If the elephants and the
tigers and the bears had ever tried to fight me, I should have run
myself--I'm such a coward; but just as soon as they hear me roar
they all try to get away from me, and of course I let them go."

"But that isn't right. The King of Beasts shouldn't be a coward,"
said the Scarecrow.

"I know it," returned the Lion, wiping a tear from his eye
with the tip of his tail. "It is my great sorrow, and makes my
life very unhappy. But whenever there is danger, my heart begins
to beat fast."

"Perhaps you have heart disease," said the Tin Woodman.

"It may be," said the Lion.

"If you have," continued the Tin Woodman, "you ought to be glad,
for it proves you have a heart. For my part, I have no heart; so I
cannot have heart disease."

"Perhaps," said the Lion thoughtfully, "if I had no heart I should
not be a coward."

"Have you brains?" asked the Scarecrow.

"I suppose so. I've never looked to see," replied the Lion.

"I am going to the Great Oz to ask him to give me some,"
remarked the Scarecrow, "for my head is stuffed with straw."

"And I am going to ask him to give me a heart," said the Woodman.

"And I am going to ask him to send Toto and me back to Kansas,"
added Dorothy.

"Do you think Oz could give me courage?" asked the Cowardly Lion.

"Just as easily as he could give me brains," said the Scarecrow.

"Or give me a heart," said the Tin Woodman.

"Or send me back to Kansas," said Dorothy.

"Then, if you don't mind, I'll go with you," said the Lion,
"for my life is simply unbearable without a bit of courage."

"You will be very welcome," answered Dorothy, "for you will help
to keep away the other wild beasts. It seems to me they must be more
cowardly than you are if they allow you to scare them so easily."

"They really are," said the Lion, "but that doesn't make me any braver,
and as long as I know myself to be a coward I shall be unhappy."

So once more the little company set off upon the journey, the
Lion walking with stately strides at Dorothy's side. Toto did not
approve this new comrade at first, for he could not forget how
nearly he had been crushed between the Lion's great jaws. But
after a time he became more at ease, and presently Toto and the
Cowardly Lion had grown to be good friends.

During the rest of that day there was no other adventure to
mar the peace of their journey. Once, indeed, the Tin Woodman
stepped upon a beetle that was crawling along the road, and killed
the poor little thing. This made the Tin Woodman very unhappy,
for he was always careful not to hurt any living creature; and as
he walked along he wept several tears of sorrow and regret. These
tears ran slowly down his face and over the hinges of his jaw, and
there they rusted. When Dorothy presently asked him a question
the Tin Woodman could not open his mouth, for his jaws were
tightly rusted together. He became greatly frightened at this and
made many motions to Dorothy to relieve him, but she could not
understand. The Lion was also puzzled to know what was wrong.
But the Scarecrow seized the oil-can from Dorothy's basket and
oiled the Woodman's jaws, so that after a few moments he could
talk as well as before.

"This will serve me a lesson," said he, "to look where I step.
For if I should kill another bug or beetle I should surely cry again,
and crying rusts my jaws so that I cannot speak."

Thereafter he walked very carefully, with his eyes on the road,
and when he saw a tiny ant toiling by he would step over it, so as
not to harm it. The Tin Woodman knew very well he had no heart, and
therefore he took great care never to be cruel or unkind to anything.

"You people with hearts," he said, "have something to guide you, and
need never do wrong; but I have no heart, and so I must be very careful.
When Oz gives me a heart of course I needn't mind so much."

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Talking Books: The Wizard of Oz, Chapter 5.

5. The Rescue of the Tin Woodman.

When Dorothy awoke the sun was shining through the trees and
Toto had long been out chasing birds around him and squirrels.
She sat up and looked around her. Scarecrow, still standing
patiently in his corner, waiting for her.

"We must go and search for water," she said to him.

"Why do you want water?" he asked.

"To wash my face clean after the dust of the road, and to
drink, so the dry bread will not stick in my throat."

"It must be inconvenient to be made of flesh," said the
Scarecrow thoughtfully, "for you must sleep, and eat and drink.
However, you have brains, and it is worth a lot of bother to be
able to think properly."

They left the cottage and walked through the trees until they
found a little spring of clear water, where Dorothy drank and
bathed and ate her breakfast. She saw there was not much bread
left in the basket, and the girl was thankful the Scarecrow did
not have to eat anything, for there was scarcely enough for
herself and Toto for the day.

When she had finished her meal, and was about to go back to the
road of yellow brick, she was startled to hear a deep groan near by.

"What was that?" she asked timidly.

"I cannot imagine," replied the Scarecrow; "but we can go and see."

Just then another groan reached their ears, and the sound
seemed to come from behind them. They turned and walked through
the forest a few steps, when Dorothy discovered something shining
in a ray of sunshine that fell between the trees. She ran to the
place and then stopped short, with a little cry of surprise.

One of the big trees had been partly chopped through, and
standing beside it, with an uplifted axe in his hands, was a man
made entirely of tin. His head and arms and legs were jointed
upon his body, but he stood perfectly motionless, as if he could
not stir at all.

Dorothy looked at him in amazement, and so did the Scarecrow,
while Toto barked sharply and made a snap at the tin legs, which
hurt his teeth.

"Did you groan?" asked Dorothy.

"Yes," answered the tin man, "I did. I've been groaning for more
than a year, and no one has ever heard me before or come to help me."

"What can I do for you?" she inquired softly, for she was
moved by the sad voice in which the man spoke.

"Get an oil-can and oil my joints," he answered. "They are
rusted so badly that I cannot move them at all; if I am well oiled
I shall soon be all right again. You will find an oil-can on a
shelf in my cottage."

Dorothy at once ran back to the cottage and found the oil-can,
and then she returned and asked anxiously, "Where are your joints?"

"Oil my neck, first," replied the Tin Woodman. So she oiled it,
and as it was quite badly rusted the Scarecrow took hold of the tin
head and moved it gently from side to side until it worked freely,
and then the man could turn it himself.

"Now oil the joints in my arms," he said. And Dorothy oiled
them and the Scarecrow bent them carefully until they were quite
free from rust and as good as new.

The Tin Woodman gave a sigh of satisfaction and lowered his
axe, which he leaned against the tree.

"This is a great comfort," he said. "I have been holding that
axe in the air ever since I rusted, and I'm glad to be able to put
it down at last. Now, if you will oil the joints of my legs, I
shall be all right once more."

So they oiled his legs until he could move them freely; and he
thanked them again and again for his release, for he seemed a very
polite creature, and very grateful.

"I might have stood there always if you had not come along," he said;
"so you have certainly saved my life. How did you happen to be here?"

"We are on our way to the Emerald City to see the Great Oz,"
she answered, "and we stopped at your cottage to pass the night."

"Why do you wish to see Oz?" he asked.

"I want him to send me back to Kansas, and the Scarecrow wants
him to put a few brains into his head," she replied.

The Tin Woodman appeared to think deeply for a moment. Then he said:

"Do you suppose Oz could give me a heart?"

"Why, I guess so," Dorothy answered. "It would be as easy as
to give the Scarecrow brains."

"True," the Tin Woodman returned. "So, if you will allow me
to join your party, I will also go to the Emerald City and ask Oz
to help me."

"Come along," said the Scarecrow heartily, and Dorothy added
that she would be pleased to have his company. So the Tin Woodman
shouldered his axe and they all passed through the forest until
they came to the road that was paved with yellow brick.

The Tin Woodman had asked Dorothy to put the oil-can in her basket.
"For," he said, "if I should get caught in the rain, and rust again,
I would need the oil-can badly."

It was a bit of good luck to have their new comrade join the
party, for soon after they had begun their journey again they came
to a place where the trees and branches grew so thick over the
road that the travelers could not pass. But the Tin Woodman set
to work with his axe and chopped so well that soon he cleared a
passage for the entire party.

Dorothy was thinking so earnestly as they walked along that
she did not notice when the Scarecrow stumbled into a hole and
rolled over to the side of the road. Indeed he was obliged to
call to her to help him up again.

"Why didn't you walk around the hole?" asked the Tin Woodman.

"I don't know enough," replied the Scarecrow cheerfully.
"My head is stuffed with straw, you know, and that is why I am
going to Oz to ask him for some brains."

"Oh, I see," said the Tin Woodman. "But, after all, brains
are not the best things in the world."

"Have you any?" inquired the Scarecrow.

"No, my head is quite empty," answered the Woodman.
"But once I had brains, and a heart also; so, having tried
them both, I should much rather have a heart."

"And why is that?" asked the Scarecrow.

"I will tell you my story, and then you will know."

So, while they were walking through the forest, the Tin Woodman
told the following story:

"I was born the son of a woodman who chopped down trees in the
forest and sold the wood for a living. When I grew up, I too became
a woodchopper, and after my father died I took care of my old mother
as long as she lived. Then I made up my mind that instead of living
alone I would marry, so that I might not become lonely.

"There was one of the Munchkin girls who was so beautiful
that I soon grew to love her with all my heart. She, on her part,
promised to marry me as soon as I could earn enough money to
build a better house for her; so I set to work harder than ever.
But the girl lived with an old woman who did not want her to marry
anyone, for she was so lazy she wished the girl to remain with her
and do the cooking and the housework. So the old woman went to
the Wicked Witch of the East, and promised her two sheep and a cow
if she would prevent the marriage. Thereupon the Wicked Witch
enchanted my axe, and when I was chopping away at my best one day,
for I was anxious to get the new house and my wife as soon as
possible, the axe slipped all at once and cut off my left leg.

"This at first seemed a great misfortune, for I knew a
one-legged man could not do very well as a wood-chopper. So I
went to a tinsmith and had him make me a new leg out of tin. The
leg worked very well, once I was used to it. But my action
angered the Wicked Witch of the East, for she had promised the old
woman I should not marry the pretty Munchkin girl. When I began
chopping again, my axe slipped and cut off my right leg. Again I
went to the tinsmith, and again he made me a leg out of tin.
After this the enchanted axe cut off my arms, one after the
other; but, nothing daunted, I had them replaced with tin ones.
The Wicked Witch then made the axe slip and cut off my head, and
at first I thought that was the end of me. But the tinsmith
happened to come along, and he made me a new head out of tin.

"I thought I had beaten the Wicked Witch then, and I worked
harder than ever; but I little knew how cruel my enemy could be.
She thought of a new way to kill my love for the beautiful
Munchkin maiden, and made my axe slip again, so that it cut right
through my body, splitting me into two halves. Once more the
tinsmith came to my help and made me a body of tin, fastening my
tin arms and legs and head to it, by means of joints, so that I
could move around as well as ever. But, alas! I had now no
heart, so that I lost all my love for the Munchkin girl, and did
not care whether I married her or not. I suppose she is still
living with the old woman, waiting for me to come after her.

"My body shone so brightly in the sun that I felt very proud
of it and it did not matter now if my axe slipped, for it could
not cut me. There was only one danger--that my joints would
rust; but I kept an oil-can in my cottage and took care to oil
myself whenever I needed it. However, there came a day when I
forgot to do this, and, being caught in a rainstorm, before I
thought of the danger my joints had rusted, and I was left to
stand in the woods until you came to help me. It was a terrible
thing to undergo, but during the year I stood there I had time to
think that the greatest loss I had known was the loss of my heart.
While I was in love I was the happiest man on earth; but no one
can love who has not a heart, and so I am resolved to ask Oz to
give me one. If he does, I will go back to the Munchkin maiden
and marry her."

Both Dorothy and the Scarecrow had been greatly interested
in the story of the Tin Woodman, and now they knew why he was so
anxious to get a new heart.

"All the same," said the Scarecrow, "I shall ask for brains
instead of a heart; for a fool would not know what to do with a
heart if he had one."

"I shall take the heart," returned the Tin Woodman; "for
brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing
in the world."

Dorothy did not say anything, for she was puzzled to know
which of her two friends was right, and she decided if she could
only get back to Kansas and Aunt Em, it did not matter so much
whether the Woodman had no brains and the Scarecrow no heart,
or each got what he wanted.

What worried her most was that the bread was nearly gone, and
another meal for herself and Toto would empty the basket. To be sure
neither the Woodman nor the Scarecrow ever ate anything, but she was
not made of tin nor straw, and could not live unless she was fed.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Heidi: Chapter Two, Part 1.

Heidi; Chapter Two, Part 1:

With the Grandfather.

After Deta had disappeared, the Uncle sat down again on the bench,
blowing big clouds of smoke out of his pipe. He did not speak, but
kept his eyes fastened on the ground. In the meantime Heidi looked
about her, and discovering the goat-shed, peeped in. Nothing could be
seen inside. Searching for some more interesting thing, she saw the
three old fir-trees behind the hut. Here the wind was roaring through
the branches and the tree-tops were swaying to and fro. Heidi stood
still to listen. After the wind had ceased somewhat, she walked round
the hut back to her grandfather. She found him in exactly the same
position, and planting herself in front of the old man, with arms
folded behind her back, she gazed at him. The grandfather, looking up,
saw the child standing motionless before him. "What do you want to do
now?" he asked her.

"I want to see what's in the hut," replied Heidi.

"Come then," and with that the grandfather got up and entered the

"Take your things along," he commanded.

"I do not want them any more," answered Heidi.

The old man, turning about, threw a penetrating glance at her. The
child's black eyes were sparkling in expectation of all the things to
come. "She is not lacking in intelligence," he muttered to himself.
Aloud he added: "Why don't you need them any more?"

"I want to go about like the light-footed goats!"

"All right, you can; but fetch the things and we'll put them in the
cupboard." The child obeyed the command. The old man now opened the
door, and Heidi followed him into a fairly spacious room, which took
in the entire expanse of the hut. In one corner stood a table and a
chair, and in another the grandfather's bed. Across the room a large
kettle was suspended over the hearth, and opposite to it a large door
was sunk into the wall. This the grandfather opened. It was the
cupboard, in which all his clothes were kept. In one shelf were a few
shirts, socks and towels; on another a few plates, cups and glasses;
and on the top shelf Heidi could see a round loaf of bread, some bacon
and cheese. In this cupboard the grandfather kept everything that he
needed for his subsistence. When he opened it, Heidi pushed her things
as far behind the grandfather's clothes as she could reach. She did
not want them found again in a hurry. After looking around attentively
in the room, she asked, "Where am I going to sleep, grandfather?"

"Wherever you want to," he replied. That suited Heidi exactly. She
peeped into all the corners of the room and looked at every little
nook to find a cosy place to sleep. Beside the old man's bed she saw a
ladder. Climbing up, she arrived at a hayloft, which was filled with
fresh and fragrant hay. Through a tiny round window she could look far
down into the valley.

"I want to sleep up here," Heidi called down. "Oh, it is lovely here.
Please come up, grandfather, and see it for yourself."

"I know it," sounded from below.

"I am making the bed now," the little girl called out again, while she
ran busily to and fro. "Oh, do come up and bring a sheet, grandfather,
for every bed must have a sheet."

"Is that so?" said the old man. After a while he opened the cupboard
and rummaged around in it. At last he pulled out a long coarse cloth
from under the shirts. It somewhat resembled a sheet, and with this he
climbed up to the loft. Here a neat little bed was already prepared.
On top the hay was heaped up high so that the head of the occupant
would lie exactly opposite the window.

The grandfather was well pleased with the arrangement. To prevent the
hard floor from being felt, he made the couch twice as thick. Then he
and Heidi together put the heavy sheet on, tucking the ends in well.
Heidi looked thoughtfully at her fresh, new bed and said,
"Grandfather, we have forgotten something."

"What?" he asked.

"I have no cover. When I go to bed I always creep in between the sheet
and the cover."

"What shall we do if I haven't any?" asked the grandfather.

"Never mind, I'll just take some more hay to cover me," Heidi
reassured him, and was just going to the heap of hay when the old man
stopped her.

"Just wait one minute," he said, and went down to his own bed. From it
he took a large, heavy linen bag and brought it to the child.

"Isn't this better than hay?" he asked.

Heidi pulled the sack to and fro with all her might, but she could not
unfold it, for it was too heavy for her little arms. The grandfather
put the thick cover on the bed while Heidi watched him. After it was
all done, she said: "What a nice bed I have now, and what a splendid
cover! I only wish the evening was here, that I might go to sleep in

"I think we might eat something first," said the grandfather. "Don't
you think so?"

Heidi had forgotten everything else in her interest for the bed; but
when she was reminded of her dinner, she noticed how terribly hungry
she really was. She had had only a piece of bread and a cup of thin
coffee very early in the morning, before her long journey. Heidi said
approvingly: "I think we might, grandfather!"

"Let's go down then, if we agree," said the old man, and followed
close behind her. Going up to the fireplace, he pushed the big kettle
aside and reached for a smaller one that was suspended on a chain.
Then sitting down on a three-legged stool, he kindled a bright fire.
When the kettle was boiling, the old man put a large piece of cheese
on a long iron fork, and held it over the fire, turning it to and fro,
till it was golden-brown on all sides. Heidi had watched him eagerly.
Suddenly she ran to the cupboard. When her grandfather brought a pot
and the toasted cheese to the table, he found it already nicely set
with two plates and two knives and the bread in the middle. Heidi had
seen the things in the cupboard and knew that they would be needed for
the meal.

"I am glad to see that you can think for yourself," said the
grandfather, while he put the cheese on top of the bread, "but
something is missing yet."

Heidi saw the steaming pot and ran back to the cupboard in all haste.
A single little bowl was on the shelf. That did not perplex Heidi
though, for she saw two glasses standing behind. With those three
things she returned to the table.

"You certainly can help yourself! Where shall you sit, though?" asked
the grandfather, who occupied the only chair himself, Heidi flew to
the hearth, and bringing back the little stool, sat down on it.

"Now you have a seat, but it is much too low. In fact, you are too
little to reach the table from my chair. Now you shall have something
to eat at last!" and with that the grandfather filled the little bowl
with milk. Putting it on his chair, he pushed it as near to the stool
as was possible, and in that way Heidi had a table before her. He
commanded her to eat the large piece of bread and the slice of golden
cheese. He sat down himself on a corner of the table and started his
own dinner. Heidi drank without stopping, for she felt exceedingly
thirsty after her long journey. Taking a long breath, she put down her
little bowl.

"How do you like the milk?" the grandfather asked her.

"I never tasted better," answered Heidi.

"Then you shall have more," and with that the grandfather filled the
little bowl again. The little girl ate and drank with the greatest
enjoyment. After she was through, both went out into the goat-shed.
Here the old man busied himself, and Heidi watched him attentively
while he was sweeping and putting down fresh straw for the goats to
sleep on. Then he went to the little shop alongside and fashioned a
high chair for Heidi, to the little girl's greatest amazement.

"What is this?" asked the grandfather.

"This is a chair for me. I am sure of it because it is so high. How
quickly it was made!" said the child, full of admiration and wonder.

"She knows what is what and has her eyes on the right place," the
grandfather said to himself, while he walked around the hut, fastening
a nail or a loose board here and there. He wandered about with his
hammer and nails, repairing whatever was in need of fixing. Heidi
followed him at every step and watched the performance with great
enjoyment and attention.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Talking Books: Heidi; Chapter One, Part 3:

Heidi: Chapter One, Part 3.

Deta waited about ten minutes to see if the children were coming up
behind with the goats. As she could not find them anywhere, she
climbed up a little higher to get a better view down the valley from
there, and peered from side to side with marks of great impatience on
her countenance.

The children in the meantime were ascending slowly in a zigzag way,
Peter always knowing where to find all sorts of good grazing places
for his goats where they could nibble. Thus they strayed from side to
side. The poor little girl had followed the boy only with the greatest
effort and she was panting in her heavy clothes. She was so hot and
uncomfortable that she only climbed by exerting all her strength. She
did not say anything but looked enviously at Peter, who jumped about
so easily in his light trousers and bare feet. She envied even more
the goats that climbed over bushes, stones, and steep inclines with
their slender legs. Suddenly sitting down on the ground the child
swiftly took off her shoes and stockings. Getting up she undid the
heavy shawl and the two little dresses. Out she slipped without more
ado and stood up in only a light petticoat. In sheer delight at the
relief, she threw up her dimpled arms, that were bare up to her short
sleeves. To save the trouble of carrying them, her aunt had dressed
her in her Sunday clothes over her workday garments. Heidi arranged
her dresses neatly in a heap and joined Peter and the goats. She was
now as light-footed as any of them. When Peter, who had not paid much
attention, saw her suddenly in her light attire, he grinned. Looking
back, he saw the little heap of dresses on the ground and then he
grinned yet more, till his mouth seemed to reach from ear to ear; but
he said never a word.

The child, feeling free and comfortable, started to converse with
Peter, and he had to answer many questions. She asked him how many
goats he had, and where he led them, what he did with them when he got
there, and so forth.

At last the children reached the summit in front of the hut. When Deta
saw the little party of climbers she cried out shrilly: "Heidi, what
have you done? What a sight you are! Where are your dresses and your
shawl? Are the new shoes gone that I just bought for you, and the new
stockings that I made myself? Where are they all, Heidi?"

The child quietly pointed down and said "There."

The aunt followed the direction of her finger and descried a little
heap with a small red dot in the middle, which she recognized as the

"Unlucky child!" Deta said excitedly. "What does all this mean? Why
have you taken your things all off?"

"Because I do not need them," said the child, not seeming in the least
repentant of her deed.

"How can you be so stupid, Heidi? Have you lost your senses?" the aunt
went on, in a tone of mingled vexation and reproach. "Who do you think
will go way down there to fetch those things up again? It is
half-an-hour's walk. Please, Peter, run down and get them. Do not
stand and stare at me as if you were glued to the spot."

"I am late already," replied Peter, and stood without moving from the
place where, with his hands in his trousers' pockets, he had witnessed
the violent outbreak of Heidi's aunt.

"There you are, standing and staring, but that won't get you further,"
said Deta. "I'll give you this if you go down." With that she held a
five-penny-piece under his eyes. That made Peter start and in a great
hurry he ran down the straightest path. He arrived again in so short a
time that Deta had to praise him and gave him her little coin without
delay. He did not often get such a treasure, and therefore his face
was beaming and he laughingly dropped the money deep into his pocket.

"If you are going up to the uncle, as we are, you can carry the pack
till we get there," said Deta. They still had to climb a steep ascent
that lay behind Peter's hut. The boy readily took the things and
followed Deta, his left arm holding the bundle and his right swinging
the stick. Heidi jumped along gaily by his side with the goats.

After three quarters of an hour they reached the height where the hut
of the old man stood on a prominent rock, exposed to every wind, but
bathed in the full sunlight. From there you could gaze far down into
the valley. Behind the hut stood three old fir-trees with great shaggy
branches. Further back the old grey rocks rose high and sheer. Above
them you could see green and fertile pastures, till at last the stony
boulders reached the bare, steep cliffs.

Overlooking the valley the uncle had made himself a bench, by the side
of the hut. Here he sat, with his pipe between his teeth and both
hands resting on his knees. He quietly watched the children climbing
up with the goats and Aunt Deta behind them, for the children had
caught up to her long ago. Heidi reached the top first, and
approaching the old man she held out her hand to him and said: "Good
evening, grandfather!"

"Well, well, what does that mean?" replied the old man in a rough
voice. Giving her his hand for only a moment, he watched her with a
long and penetrating look from under his bushy brows. Heidi gazed back
at him with an unwinking glance and examined him with much curiosity,
for he was strange to look at, with his thick, grey beard and shaggy
eyebrows, that met in the middle like a thicket.

Heidi's aunt had arrived in the meantime with Peter, who was eager to
see what was going to happen.

"Good-day to you, uncle," said Deta as she approached. "This is
Tobias's and Adelheid's child. You won't be able to remember her,
because last time you saw her she was scarcely a year old."

"Why do you bring her here?" asked the uncle, and turning to Peter he
said: "Get away and bring my goats. How late you are already!"

Peter obeyed and disappeared on the spot; the uncle had looked at him
in such a manner that he was glad to go.

"Uncle, I have brought the little girl for you to keep," said Deta. "I
have done my share these last four years and now it is your turn to
provide for her."

The old man's eyes flamed with anger. "Indeed!" he said. "What on
earth shall I do, when she begins to whine and cry for you? Small
children always do, and then I'll be helpless."

"You'll have to look out for that!" Deta retorted. "When the little
baby was left in my hands a few years ago, I had to find out how to
care for the little innocent myself and nobody told me anything. I
already had mother on my hands and there was plenty for me to do. You
can't blame me if I want to earn some money now. If you can't keep the
child, you can do with her whatever you please. If she comes to harm
you are responsible and I am sure you do not want to burden your
conscience any further."

Deta had said more in her excitement than she had intended, just
because her conscience was not quite clear. The uncle had risen during
her last words and now he gave her such a look that she retreated a
few steps. Stretching out his arm in a commanding gesture, he said to
her: "Away with you! Begone! Stay wherever you came from and don't
venture soon again into my sight!"

Deta did not have to be told twice. She said "Good-bye" to Heidi and
"Farewell" to the uncle, and started down the mountain. Like steam her
excitement seemed to drive her forward, and she ran down at a
tremendous rate. The people in the village called to her now more than
they had on her way up, because they all were wondering where she had
left the child. They were well acquainted with both and knew their
history. When she heard from door and windows: "Where is the child?"
"Where have you left her, Deta?" and so forth, she answered more and
more reluctantly: "Up with the Alm-Uncle,--with the Alm-Uncle!" She
became much provoked because the women called to her from every side:
"How could you do it?" "The poor little creature!" "The idea of
leaving such a helpless child up there!" and, over and over again:
"The poor little dear!" Deta ran as quickly as she could and was glad
when she heard no more calls, because, to tell the truth, she herself
was uneasy. Her mother had asked her on her deathbed to care for
Heidi. But she consoled herself with the thought that she would be
able to do more for the child if she could earn some money. She was
very glad to go away from people who interfered in her affairs, and
looked forward with great delight to her new place.
(End of Chapter 1)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Talking Books: The Wizard of Oz, Chapter 4.

4. The Road Through the Forest.

After a few hours the road began to be rough, and the walking
grew so difficult that the Scarecrow often stumbled over the
yellow bricks, which were here very uneven. Sometimes, indeed,
they were broken or missing altogether, leaving holes that Toto
jumped across and Dorothy walked around. As for the Scarecrow,
having no brains, he walked straight ahead, and so stepped into
the holes and fell at full length on the hard bricks. It never hurt
him, however, and Dorothy would pick him up and set him upon his
feet again, while he joined her in laughing merrily at his own mishap.

The farms were not nearly so well cared for here as they were
farther back. There were fewer houses and fewer fruit trees, and
the farther they went the more dismal and lonesome the country became.

At noon they sat down by the roadside, near a little brook,
and Dorothy opened her basket and got out some bread. She offered
a piece to the Scarecrow, but he refused.

"I am never hungry," he said, "and it is a lucky thing I am not,
for my mouth is only painted, and if I should cut a hole in it so
I could eat, the straw I am stuffed with would come out, and that
would spoil the shape of my head."

Dorothy saw at once that this was true, so she only nodded and
went on eating her bread.

"Tell me something about yourself and the country you came from,"
said the Scarecrow, when she had finished her dinner. So she told him
all about Kansas, and how gray everything was there, and how the cyclone
had carried her to this queer Land of Oz.

The Scarecrow listened carefully, and said, "I cannot
understand why you should wish to leave this beautiful country and
go back to the dry, gray place you call Kansas."

"That is because you have no brains" answered the girl.
"No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of
flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country,
be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home."

The Scarecrow sighed.

"Of course I cannot understand it," he said. "If your heads
were stuffed with straw, like mine, you would probably all live in
the beautiful places, and then Kansas would have no people at all.
It is fortunate for Kansas that you have brains."

"Won't you tell me a story, while we are resting?" asked the child.

The Scarecrow looked at her reproachfully, and answered:

"My life has been so short that I really know nothing whatever.
I was only made day before yesterday. What happened in the world
before that time is all unknown to me. Luckily, when the farmer
made my head, one of the first things he did was to paint my ears,
so that I heard what was going on. There was another Munchkin with him,
and the first thing I heard was the farmer saying, `How do you like
those ears?'

"`They aren't straight,'" answered the other.

"`Never mind,'" said the farmer. "`They are ears just the same,'"
which was true enough.

"`Now I'll make the eyes,'" said the farmer. So he painted my
right eye, and as soon as it was finished I found myself looking
at him and at everything around me with a great deal of curiosity,
for this was my first glimpse of the world.

"`That's a rather pretty eye,'" remarked the Munchkin who was
watching the farmer. "`Blue paint is just the color for eyes.'

"`I think I'll make the other a little bigger,'" said the
farmer. And when the second eye was done I could see much better
than before. Then he made my nose and my mouth. But I did not
speak, because at that time I didn't know what a mouth was for.
I had the fun of watching them make my body and my arms and legs;
and when they fastened on my head, at last, I felt very proud,
for I thought I was just as good a man as anyone.

"`This fellow will scare the crows fast enough,' said the
farmer. `He looks just like a man.'

"`Why, he is a man,' said the other, and I quite agreed with him.
The farmer carried me under his arm to the cornfield, and set me up
on a tall stick, where you found me. He and his friend soon after
walked away and left me alone.

"I did not like to be deserted this way. So I tried to walk
after them. But my feet would not touch the ground, and I was
forced to stay on that pole. It was a lonely life to lead, for I
had nothing to think of, having been made such a little while before.
Many crows and other birds flew into the cornfield, but as soon as
they saw me they flew away again, thinking I was a Munchkin; and this
pleased me and made me feel that I was quite an important person.
By and by an old crow flew near me, and after looking at me carefully
he perched upon my shoulder and said:

"`I wonder if that farmer thought to fool me in this clumsy
manner. Any crow of sense could see that you are only stuffed
with straw.' Then he hopped down at my feet and ate all the corn
he wanted. The other birds, seeing he was not harmed by me, came
to eat the corn too, so in a short time there was a great flock of
them about me.

"I felt sad at this, for it showed I was not such a good
Scarecrow after all; but the old crow comforted me, saying,
`If you only had brains in your head you would be as good a man
as any of them, and a better man than some of them. Brains are
the only things worth having in this world, no matter whether one
is a crow or a man.'

"After the crows had gone I thought this over, and decided I
would try hard to get some brains. By good luck you came along
and pulled me off the stake, and from what you say I am sure the
Great Oz will give me brains as soon as we get to the Emerald City."

"I hope so," said Dorothy earnestly, "since you seem anxious
to have them."

"Oh, yes; I am anxious," returned the Scarecrow. "It is such
an uncomfortable feeling to know one is a fool."

"Well," said the girl, "let us go." And she handed the basket
to the Scarecrow.

There were no fences at all by the roadside now, and the land
was rough and untilled. Toward evening they came to a great
forest, where the trees grew so big and close together that their
branches met over the road of yellow brick. It was almost dark
under the trees, for the branches shut out the daylight; but the
travelers did not stop, and went on into the forest.

"If this road goes in, it must come out," said the Scarecrow,
"and as the Emerald City is at the other end of the road, we must
go wherever it leads us."

"Anyone would know that," said Dorothy.

"Certainly; that is why I know it," returned the Scarecrow.
"If it required brains to figure it out, I never should have said it."

After an hour or so the light faded away, and they found
themselves stumbling along in the darkness. Dorothy could not see
at all, but Toto could, for some dogs see very well in the dark;
and the Scarecrow declared he could see as well as by day. So she
took hold of his arm and managed to get along fairly well.

"If you see any house, or any place where we can pass the
night," she said, "you must tell me; for it is very uncomfortable
walking in the dark."

Soon after the Scarecrow stopped.

"I see a little cottage at the right of us," he said,
"built of logs and branches. Shall we go there?"

"Yes, indeed," answered the child. "I am all tired out."

So the Scarecrow led her through the trees until they reached
the cottage, and Dorothy entered and found a bed of dried leaves
in one corner. She lay down at once, and with Toto beside her
soon fell into a sound sleep. The Scarecrow, who was never tired,
stood up in another corner and waited patiently until morning came.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Talking Books: The Wizard of Oz, Chapter 3:

3. How Dorothy Saved the Scarecrow :

When Dorothy was left alone she began to feel hungry. So she
went to the cupboard and cut herself some bread, which she spread
with butter. She gave some to Toto, and taking a pail from the
shelf she carried it down to the little brook and filled it with
clear, sparkling water. Toto ran over to the trees and began to
bark at the birds sitting there. Dorothy went to get him, and saw
such delicious fruit hanging from the branches that she gathered
some of it, finding it just what she wanted to help out her breakfast.

Then she went back to the house, and having helped herself and
Toto to a good drink of the cool, clear water, she set about
making ready for the journey to the City of Emeralds.

Dorothy had only one other dress, but that happened to be
clean and was hanging on a peg beside her bed. It was gingham,
with checks of white and blue; and although the blue was somewhat
faded with many washings, it was still a pretty frock. The girl
washed herself carefully, dressed herself in the clean gingham,
and tied her pink sunbonnet on her head. She took a little basket
and filled it with bread from the cupboard, laying a white cloth
over the top. Then she looked down at her feet and noticed how
old and worn her shoes were.

"They surely will never do for a long journey, Toto," she said.
And Toto looked up into her face with his little black eyes and wagged
his tail to show he knew what she meant.

At that moment Dorothy saw lying on the table the silver shoes
that had belonged to the Witch of the East.

"I wonder if they will fit me," she said to Toto. "They would be
just the thing to take a long walk in, for they could not wear out."

She took off her old leather shoes and tried on the silver
ones, which fitted her as well as if they had been made for her.

Finally she picked up her basket.

"Come along, Toto," she said. "We will go to the Emerald City
and ask the Great Oz how to get back to Kansas again."

She closed the door, locked it, and put the key carefully in
the pocket of her dress. And so, with Toto trotting along soberly
behind her, she started on her journey.

There were several roads near by, but it did not take her long
to find the one paved with yellow bricks. Within a short time she
was walking briskly toward the Emerald City, her silver shoes
tinkling merrily on the hard, yellow road-bed. The sun shone
bright and the birds sang sweetly, and Dorothy did not feel
nearly so bad as you might think a little girl would who had
been suddenly whisked away from her own country and set down
in the midst of a strange land.

She was surprised, as she walked along, to see how pretty the
country was about her. There were neat fences at the sides of the
road, painted a dainty blue color, and beyond them were fields of
grain and vegetables in abundance. Evidently the Munchkins were
good farmers and able to raise large crops. Once in a while she
would pass a house, and the people came out to look at her and bow
low as she went by; for everyone knew she had been the means of
destroying the Wicked Witch and setting them free from bondage.
The houses of the Munchkins were odd-looking dwellings, for each
was round, with a big dome for a roof. All were painted blue,
for in this country of the East blue was the favorite color.

Toward evening, when Dorothy was tired with her long walk and
began to wonder where she should pass the night, she came to a
house rather larger than the rest. On the green lawn before it
many men and women were dancing. Five little fiddlers played as
loudly as possible, and the people were laughing and singing,
while a big table near by was loaded with delicious fruits and
nuts, pies and cakes, and many other good things to eat.

The people greeted Dorothy kindly, and invited her to supper and
to pass the night with them; for this was the home of one of the
richest Munchkins in the land, and his friends were gathered with
him to celebrate their freedom from the bondage of the Wicked Witch.

Dorothy ate a hearty supper and was waited upon by the rich
Munchkin himself, whose name was Boq. Then she sat upon a settee
and watched the people dance.

When Boq saw her silver shoes he said, "You must be a great sorceress."

"Why?" asked the girl.

"Because you wear silver shoes and have killed the Wicked Witch.
Besides, you have white in your frock, and only witches and sorceresses
wear white."

"My dress is blue and white checked," said Dorothy, smoothing
out the wrinkles in it.

"It is kind of you to wear that," said Boq. "Blue is the
color of the Munchkins, and white is the witch color. So we know
you are a friendly witch."

Dorothy did not know what to say to this, for all the people
seemed to think her a witch, and she knew very well she was only
an ordinary little girl who had come by the chance of a cyclone
into a strange land.

When she had tired watching the dancing, Boq led her into
the house, where he gave her a room with a pretty bed in it.
The sheets were made of blue cloth, and Dorothy slept soundly in
them till morning, with Toto curled up on the blue rug beside her.

She ate a hearty breakfast, and watched a wee Munchkin baby,
who played with Toto and pulled his tail and crowed and laughed in
a way that greatly amused Dorothy. Toto was a fine curiosity to
all the people, for they had never seen a dog before.

"How far is it to the Emerald City?" the girl asked.

"I do not know," answered Boq gravely, "for I have never been
there. It is better for people to keep away from Oz, unless they
have business with him. But it is a long way to the Emerald City,
and it will take you many days. The country here is rich and
pleasant, but you must pass through rough and dangerous places
before you reach the end of your journey."

This worried Dorothy a little, but she knew that only the
Great Oz could help her get to Kansas again, so she bravely
resolved not to turn back.

She bade her friends good-bye, and again started along the road
of yellow brick. When she had gone several miles she thought she
would stop to rest, and so climbed to the top of the fence beside
the road and sat down. There was a great cornfield beyond the fence,
and not far away she saw a Scarecrow, placed high on a pole to keep
the birds from the ripe corn.

Dorothy leaned her chin upon her hand and gazed thoughtfully
at the Scarecrow. Its head was a small sack stuffed with straw,
with eyes, nose, and mouth painted on it to represent a face.
An old, pointed blue hat, that had belonged to some Munchkin,
was perched on his head, and the rest of the figure was a blue suit
of clothes, worn and faded, which had also been stuffed with straw.
On the feet were some old boots with blue tops, such as every man
wore in this country, and the figure was raised above the stalks
of corn by means of the pole stuck up its back.

While Dorothy was looking earnestly into the queer, painted
face of the Scarecrow, she was surprised to see one of the eyes
slowly wink at her. She thought she must have been mistaken at first,
for none of the scarecrows in Kansas ever wink; but presently the
figure nodded its head to her in a friendly way. Then she climbed
down from the fence and walked up to it, while Toto ran around the
pole and barked.

"Good day," said the Scarecrow, in a rather husky voice.

"Did you speak?" asked the girl, in wonder.

"Certainly," answered the Scarecrow. "How do you do?"

"I'm pretty well, thank you," replied Dorothy politely.
"How do you do?"

"I'm not feeling well," said the Scarecrow, with a smile,
"for it is very tedious being perched up here night and day to
scare away crows."

"Can't you get down?" asked Dorothy.

"No, for this pole is stuck up my back. If you will please
take away the pole I shall be greatly obliged to you."

Dorothy reached up both arms and lifted the figure off the pole,
for, being stuffed with straw, it was quite light.

"Thank you very much," said the Scarecrow, when he had been
set down on the ground. "I feel like a new man."

Dorothy was puzzled at this, for it sounded queer to hear a
stuffed man speak, and to see him bow and walk along beside her.

"Who are you?" asked the Scarecrow when he had stretched
himself and yawned. "And where are you going?"

"My name is Dorothy," said the girl, "and I am going to the
Emerald City, to ask the Great Oz to send me back to Kansas."

"Where is the Emerald City?" he inquired. "And who is Oz?"

"Why, don't you know?" she returned, in surprise.

"No, indeed. I don't know anything. You see, I am stuffed,
so I have no brains at all," he answered sadly.

"Oh," said Dorothy, "I'm awfully sorry for you."

"Do you think," he asked, "if I go to the Emerald City with you,
that Oz would give me some brains?"

"I cannot tell," she returned, "but you may come with me,
if you like. If Oz will not give you any brains you will be
no worse off than you are now."

"That is true," said the Scarecrow. "You see," he continued
confidentially, "I don't mind my legs and arms and body being
stuffed, because I cannot get hurt. If anyone treads on my toes
or sticks a pin into me, it doesn't matter, for I can't feel it.
But I do not want people to call me a fool, and if my head stays
stuffed with straw instead of with brains, as yours is, how am I
ever to know anything?"

"I understand how you feel," said the little girl, who was
truly sorry for him. "If you will come with me I'll ask Oz to
do all he can for you."

"Thank you," he answered gratefully.

They walked back to the road. Dorothy helped him over the
fence, and they started along the path of yellow brick for the
Emerald City.

Toto did not like this addition to the party at first.
He smelled around the stuffed man as if he suspected there
might be a nest of rats in the straw, and he often growled
in an unfriendly way at the Scarecrow.

"Don't mind Toto," said Dorothy to her new friend.
"He never bites."

"Oh, I'm not afraid," replied the Scarecrow. "He can't hurt
the straw. Do let me carry that basket for you. I shall not mind
it, for I can't get tired. I'll tell you a secret," he continued,
as he walked along. "There is only one thing in the world I am
afraid of."

"What is that?" asked Dorothy; "the Munchkin farmer who made you?"

"No," answered the Scarecrow; "it's a lighted match."