FictionForest

Chapter 26 – Dorothy Forgives

L. Frank BaumOct 05, 2016'Command+D' Bookmark this page

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The gray dove which had once been Ugu the Shoemaker sat on its tree in
the far Quadling Country and moped, chirping dismally and brooding
over its misfortunes. After a time, the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman
came along and sat beneath the tree, paying no heed to the mutterings
of the gray dove. The Tin Woodman took a small oilcan from his tin
pocket and carefully oiled his tin joints with it.

While he was thus engaged, the Scarecrow remarked, “I feel much better,
dear comrade, since we found that heap of nice, clean straw and you
stuffed me anew with it.”

“And I feel much better now that my joints are oiled,” returned the
Tin Woodman with a sigh of pleasure. “You and I, friend Scarecrow,
are much more easily cared for than those clumsy meat people, who
spend half their time dressing in fine clothes and who must live in
splendid dwellings in order to be contented and happy. You and I do
not eat, and so we are spared the dreadful bother of getting three
meals a day. Nor do we waste half our lives in sleep, a condition
that causes the meat people to lose all consciousness and become as
thoughtless and helpless as logs of wood.”

“You speak truly,” responded the Scarecrow, tucking some wisps of
straw into his breast with his padded fingers. “I often feel sorry
for the meat people, many of whom are my friends. Even the beasts are
happier than they, for they require less to make them content. And
the birds are the luckiest creatures of all, for they can fly swiftly
where they will and find a home at any place they care to perch.
Their food consists of seeds and grains they gather from the fields,
and their drink is a sip of water from some running brook. If I could
not be a Scarecrow or a Tin Woodman, my next choice would be to live
as a bird does.”

The gray dove had listened carefully to this speech and seemed to find
comfort in it, for it hushed its moaning. And just then the Tin
Woodman discovered Cayke’s dishpan, which was on the ground quite near
to him. “Here is a rather pretty utensil,” he said, taking it in his
tin hand to examine it, “but I would not care to own it. Whoever
fashioned it of gold and covered it with diamonds did not add to its
usefulness, nor do I consider it as beautiful as the bright dishpans
of tin one usually sees. No yellow color is ever so handsome as the
silver sheen of tin,” and he turned to look at his tin legs and body
with approval.

“I cannot quite agree with you there,” replied the Scarecrow. “My
straw stuffing has a light yellow color, and it is not only pretty to
look at, but it crunkles most delightfully when I move.”

“Let us admit that all colors are good in their proper places,” said
the Tin Woodman, who was too kind-hearted to quarrel, “but you must
agree with me that a dishpan that is yellow is unnatural. What shall
we do with this one, which we have just found?”

“Let us carry it back to the Emerald City,” suggested the Scarecrow.
“Some of our friends might like to have it for a foot-bath, and in
using it that way, its golden color and sparkling ornaments would not
injure its usefulness.”

So they went away and took the jeweled dishpan with them. And after
wandering through the country for a day or so longer, they learned the
news that Ozma had been found. Therefore they straightway returned to
the Emerald City and presented the dishpan to Princess Ozma as a token
of their joy that she had been restored to them. Ozma promptly gave
the diamond-studded gold dishpan to Cayke the Cookie Cook, who was
delighted at regaining her lost treasure that she danced up and down
in glee and then threw her skinny arms around Ozma’s neck and kissed
her gratefully. Cayke’s mission was now successfully accomplished,
but she was having such a good time at the Emerald City that she
seemed in no hurry to go back to the Country of the Yips.

It was several weeks after the dishpan had been restored to the Cookie
Cook when one day, as Dorothy was seated in the royal gardens with
Trot and Betsy beside her, a gray dove came flying down and alighted
at the girl’s feet.

“I am Ugu the Shoemaker,” said the dove in a
soft, mourning voice, “and I have come to ask you to forgive me for
the great wrong I did in stealing Ozma and the magic that belonged to
her and to others.”

“Are you sorry, then?” asked Dorothy, looking hard at the bird.

“I am VERY sorry,” declared Ugu. “I’ve been thinking over my misdeeds
for a long time, for doves have little else to do but think, and I’m
surprised that I was such a wicked man and had so little regard for
the rights of others. I am now convinced that even had I succeeded in
making myself ruler of all Oz, I should not have been happy, for many
days of quiet thought have shown me that only those things one
acquires honestly are able to render one content.”

“I guess that’s so,” said Trot.

“Anyhow,” said Betsy, “the bad man seems truly sorry, and if he has
now become a good and honest man, we ought to forgive him.”

“I fear I cannot become a good MAN again,” said Ugu, “for the
transformation I am under will always keep me in the form of a dove.
But with the kind forgiveness of my former enemies, I hope to become a
very good dove and highly respected.”

“Wait here till I run for my Magic Belt,” said Dorothy, “and I’ll
transform you back to your reg’lar shape in a jiffy.”

“No, don’t do that!” pleaded the dove, fluttering its wings in an
excited way. “I only want your forgiveness. I don’t want to be a man
again. As Ugu the Shoemaker I was skinny and old and unlovely. As a
dove I am quite pretty to look at. As a man I was ambitious and
cruel, while as a dove I can be content with my lot and happy in my
simple life. I have learned to love the free and independent life of
a bird, and I’d rather not change back.”

“Just as you like, Ugu,” said Dorothy, resuming her seat. “Perhaps
you are right, for you’re certainly a better dove than you were a man,
and if you should ever backslide an’ feel wicked again, you couldn’t
do much harm as a gray dove.”

“Then you forgive me for all the trouble I caused you?” he asked
earnestly.

“Of course. Anyone who’s sorry just has to be forgiven.”

“Thank you,” said the gray dove, and flew away again.

THE END

The Wonderful Oz Books by L. Frank Baum

The Wizard of Oz
The Land of Oz
Ozma of Oz
Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
The Road to Oz
The Emerald City of Oz
The Patchwork Girl of Oz
Tik-Tok of Oz
The Scarecrow of Oz
Rinkitink in Oz
The Lost Princess of Oz
The Tin Woodman of Oz
The Magic of Oz
Glinda of Oz

End of Project Gutenberg’s Etext of The Lost Princess of Oz, by Baum

 

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