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Chapter 12 – The Excitement of Bilbil the Goat

L. Frank BaumOct 04, 2016'Command+D' Bookmark this page

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Our story must now return to one of our characters
whom we have been forced to neglect. The temper of
Bilbil the goat was not sweet under any circumstances,
and whenever he had a grievance he was inclined to be
quite grumpy. So, when his master settled down in the
palace of King Gos for a quiet life with the boy
Prince, and passed his time in playing checkers and
eating and otherwise enjoying himself, he had no use
whatever for Bilbil, and shut the goat in an upstairs
room to prevent his wandering through the city and
quarreling with the citizens. But this Bilbil did not
like at all. He became very cross and disagreeable at
being left alone and he did not speak nicely to the
servants who came to bring him food; therefore those
people decided not to wait upon him any more, resenting
his conversation and not liking to be scolded by a
lean, scraggly goat, even though it belonged to a
conqueror. The servants kept away from the room and
Bilbil grew more hungry and more angry every hour. He
tried to eat the rugs and ornaments, but found them not
at all nourishing. There was no grass to be had unless
he escaped from the palace.

When Queen Cor came to capture Inga and Rinkitink,
both the prisoners were so filled with despair at their
own misfortune that they gave no thought whatever to
the goat, who was left in his room. Nor did Bilbil know
anything of the changed fortunes of his comrades until
he heard shouts and boisterous laughter in the
courtyard below. Looking out of a window, with the
intention of rebuking those who dared thus to disturb
him, Bilbil saw the courtyard quite filled with
warriors and knew from this that the palace had in some
way again fallen into the hands of the enemy.

Now, although Bilbil was often exceedingly
disagreeable to King Rinkitink, as well as to the
Prince, and sometimes used harsh words in addressing
them, he was intelligent enough to know them to be his
friends, and to know that King Gos and his people were
his foes. In sudden anger, provoked by the sight of the
warriors and the knowledge that he was in the power of
the dangerous men of Regos, Bilbil butted his head
against the door of his room and burst it open. Then he
ran to the head of the staircase and saw King Gos
coming up the stairs followed by a long line of his
chief captains and warriors.

The goat lowered his head, trembling with rage and
excitement, and just as the King reached the top stair
the animal dashed forward and butted His Majesty so
fiercely that the big and powerful King, who did not
expect an attack, doubled up and tumbled backward. His
great weight knocked over the man just behind him and
he in turn struck the next warrior and upset him, so
that in an instant the whole line of Bilbil’s foes was
tumbling heels over head to the bottom of the stairs,
where they piled up in a heap, struggling and shouting
and in the mixup hitting one another with their fists,
until every man of them was bruised and sore.

Finally King Gos scrambled out of the heap and rushed
up the stairs again, very angry indeed. Bilbil was
ready for him and a second time butted the King down
the stairs; but now the goat also lost his balance and
followed the King, landing full upon the confused heap
of soldiers. Then he kicked out so viciously with his
heels that he soon freed himself and dashed out of the
doorway of the palace.

“Stop him!” cried King Gos, running after.

But the goat was now so wild and excited that it was
not safe for anyone to stand in his way. None of the
men were armed and when one or two tried to head off
the goat, Bilbil sent them sprawling upon the ground.
Most of the warriors, however, were wise enough not to
attempt to interfere with his flight.

Coursing down the street, Bilbil found himself
approaching the bridge of boats and without pausing to
think where it might lead him he crossed over and
proceeded on his way. A few moments later a great stone
building blocked his path. It was the palace of Queen
Cor, and seeing the gates of the courtyard standing
wide open, Bilbil rushed through them without
slackening his speed.

 

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