FictionForest

Chapter 12 – Ozma and Dorothy

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

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In her magnificent palace in the Emerald City, the
beautiful girl Ruler of all the wonderful Land of Oz
sat in her dainty boudoir with her friend Princess
Dorothy beside her. Ozma was studying a roll of
manuscript which she had taken from the Royal Library,
while Dorothy worked at her embroidery and at times
stooped to pat a shaggy little black dog that lay at
her feet. The little dog’s name was Toto, and he was
Dorothy’s faithful companion.

To judge Ozma of Oz by the standards of our world,
you would think her very young — perhaps fourteen or
fifteen years of age — yet for years she had ruled the
Land of Oz and had never seemed a bit older. Dorothy
appeared much younger than Ozma. She had been a little
girl when first she came to the Land of Oz, and she was
a little girl still, and would never seem to be a day
older while she lived in this wonderful fairyland.

Oz was not always a fairyland, I am told. Once it was
much like other lands, except it was shut in by a
dreadful desert of sandy wastes that lay all around it,
thus preventing its people from all contact with the
rest of the world. Seeing this isolation, the fairy
band of Queen Lurline, passing over Oz while on a
journey, enchanted the country and so made it a
Fairyland. And Queen Lurline left one of her fairies to
rule this enchanted Land of Oz, and then passed on and
forgot all about it.

From that moment no one in Oz ever died. Those who
were old remained old; those who were young and strong
did not change as years passed them by; the children
remained children always, and played and romped to
their hearts’ content, while all the babies lived in
their cradles and were tenderly cared for and never
grew up. So people in Oz stopped counting how old they
were in years, for years made no difference in their
appearance and could not alter their station. They did
not get sick, so there were no doctors among them.
Accidents might happen to some, on rare occasions, it
is true, and while no one could die naturally, as other
people do, it was possible that one might be totally
destroyed. Such incidents, however, were very unusual,
and so seldom was there anything to worry over that the
Oz people were as happy and contented as can be.

Another strange thing about this fairy Land of Oz was
that whoever managed to enter it from the outside world
came under the magic spell of the place and did not
change in appearance as long as they lived there. So
Dorothy, who now lived with Ozma, seemed just the same
sweet little girl she had been when first she came to
this delightful fairyland.

Perhaps all parts of Oz might not be called truly
delightful, but it was surely delightful in the
neighborhood of the Emerald City, where Ozma reigned.
Her loving influence was felt for many miles around,
but there were places in the mountains of the Gillikin
Country, and the forests of the Quadling Country, and
perhaps in far-away parts of the Munchkin and Winkie
Countries, where the inhabitants were somewhat rude and
uncivilized and had not yet come under the spell of
Ozma’s wise and kindly rule. Also, when Oz first became
a fairyland, it harbored several witches and magicians
and sorcerers and necromancers, who were scattered in
various parts, but most of these had been deprived of
their magic powers, and Ozma had issued a royal edict
forbidding anyone in her dominions to work magic except
Glinda the Good and the Wizard of Oz. Ozma herself,
being a real fairy, knew a lot of magic, but she only
used it to benefit her subjects.

This little explanation will help you to understand
better the story you are reaching, but most of it is
already known to those who are familiar with the Oz
people whose adventures they have followed in other Oz
books.

Ozma and Dorothy were fast friends and were much
together. Everyone in Oz loved Dorothy almost as well
as they did their lovely Ruler, for the little Kansas
girl’s good fortune had not spoiled her or rendered her
at all vain. She was just the same brave and true and
adventurous child as before she lived in a royal palace
and became the chum of the fairy Ozma.

In the room in which the two sat — which was one of
Ozma’s private suite of apartments — hung the famous
Magic Picture. This was the source of constant interest
to little Dorothy. One had but to stand before it and
wish to see what any person was doing, and at once a
scene would flash upon the magic canvas which showed
exactly where that person was, and like our own moving
pictures would reproduce the actions of that person as
long as you cared to watch them. So today, when Dorothy
tired of her embroidery, she drew the curtains from
before the Magic Picture and wished to see what her
friend Button Bright was doing. Button Bright, she saw,
was playing ball with Ojo, the Munchkin boy, so Dorothy
next wished to see what her Aunt Em was doing. The
picture showed Aunt Em quietly engaged in darning socks
for Uncle Henry, so Dorothy wished to see what her old
friend the Tin Woodman was doing.

The Tin Woodman was then just leaving his tin castle
in the company of the Scarecrow and Woot the Wanderer.
Dorothy had never seen this boy before, so she wondered
who he was. Also she was curious to know where the
three were going, for she noticed Woot’s knapsack and
guessed they had started on a long journey. She asked
Ozma about it, but Ozma did not know

That afternoon Dorothy again saw the travelers in the
Magic Picture, but they were merely tramping through
the country and Dorothy was not much interested in
them. A couple of days later, however, the girl, being
again with Ozma, wished to see her friends, the
Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman in the Magic Picture, and
on this occasion found them in the great castle of Mrs.
Yoop, the Giantess, who was at the time about to
transform them. Both Dorothy and Ozma now became
greatly interested and watched the transformations with
indignation and horror.

“What a wicked Giantess!” exclaimed Dorothy.

“Yes,” answered Ozma, “she must be punished for this
cruelty to our friends, and to the poor boy who is with
them.”

After this they followed the adventure of the little
Brown Bear and the Tin Owl and the Green Monkey with
breathless interest, and were delighted when they
escaped from Mrs. Yoop. They did not know, then, who
the Canary was, but realized it must be the
transformation of some person of consequence, whom the
Giantess had also enchanted.

When, finally, the day came when the adventurers
headed south into the Munchkin Country, Dorothy asked
anxiously:

“Can’t something be done for them, Ozma? Can’t you
change ’em back into their own shapes? They’ve suffered
enough from these dreadful transformations, seems to
me.”

“I’ve been studying ways to help them, ever since
they were transformed,” replied Ozma. “Mrs. Yoop is now
the only yookoohoo in my dominions, and the yookoohoo
magic is very peculiar and hard for others to
understand, yet I am resolved to make the attempt to
break these enchantments. I may not succeed, but I
shall do the best I can. From the directions our
friends are taking, I believe they are going to pass by
Jinjur’s Ranch, so if we start now we may meet them
there. Would you like to go with me, Dorothy?”

“Of course,” answered the little girl; “I wouldn’t
miss it for anything.”

“Then order the Red Wagon,” said Ozma of Oz, “and we
will start at once.”

Dorothy ran to do as she was bid, while Ozma went to
her Magic Room to make ready the things she believed
she would need. In half an hour the Red Wagon stood
before the grand entrance of the palace, and before it
was hitched the Wooden Sawhorse, which was Ozma’s
favorite steed.

This Sawhorse, while made of wood, was very much
alive and could travel swiftly and without tiring. To
keep the ends of his wooden legs from wearing down
short, Ozma had shod the Sawhorse with plates of pure
gold. His harness was studded with brilliant emeralds
and other jewels and so, while he himself was not at
all handsome, his outfit made a splendid appearance.

Since the Sawhorse could understand her spoken words,
Ozma used no reins to guide him. She merely told him
where to go. When she came from the palace with
Dorothy, they both climbed into the Red Wagon and then
the little dog, Toto, ran up and asked:

“Are you going to leave me behind, Dorothy?” Dorothy
looked at Ozma, who smiled in return and said:

“Toto may go with us, if you wish him to.”

So Dorothy lifted the little dog into the wagon, for,
while he could run fast, he could not keep up with the
speed of the wonderful Sawhorse.

Away they went, over hills and through meadows,
covering the ground with astonishing speed. It is not
surprising, therefore, that the Red Wagon arrived
before Jinjur’s house just as that energetic young lady
had finished scrubbing the Green Monkey and was about
to lead him to the caramel patch.

 

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