Chapter 23 – Glinda the Good Witch Grants Dorothy’s Wish
Before they went to see Glinda, however, they were taken to a room of the castle. There, Dorothy washed her face and combed her hair. The lion shook the dust out of his mane. The scarecrow patted his body into shape. And the tin man polished his tin and oiled his joints.
When they were all presentable, they followed the soldier into a big room where the Witch Glinda sat on her throne of rubies.
She appeared both beautiful and young. Her hair was deep red and fell in flowing ringlets over her shoulders. Her dress was pure white, but her eyes were blue, and they looked kindly at the little girl.
“What can I do for you, my child?” she asked.
Dorothy told the witch her whole story: how the cyclone had brought her to the Land of Oz, how she had found her companions, and about the wonderful adventures they had experienced.
“My greatest wish now,” she added, “is to get back to Kansas, because Aunt Em will surely think that something dreadful has happened to me. And that will make her put on a black mourning dress. I am sure that Uncle Henry can’t afford such an expensive dress.”
Glinda leaned forward and kissed the sweet face of the loving little girl.
“Bless your dear heart,” she said, “I am sure I can help you get back to Kansas.”
Then she added, “But, if I do, you must give me the Golden Cap.”
“Willingly!” exclaimed Dorothy, “actually, it is useless to me now. When you have it, you can command the Winged Monkeys three times.”
“And I think I will need their service exactly three times,” answered Glinda, smiling.
Dorothy gave her the Golden Cap, and the witch said to the scarecrow, “What will you do when Dorothy has left us?”
“I will return to the Emerald City,” he replied, “because Oz has made me its ruler and the people like me. The only think that worries me is how to cross the hill of the Hammer Heads.”
“Using the Golden Cap, I will command the Winged Monkeys to carry you to the gates of the Emerald City,” said Glinda, “because it would be a shame to deprive the people of such a wonderful ruler.”
“Am I really wonderful?” asked the scarecrow.
“You are wonderful and unusual,” replied Glinda.
Turning to the tin man, she asked, “What will you do when Dorothy leaves this country?”
He leaned on his ax and thought for a moment. Then he said, “The Winkies were very kind to me, and wanted me to rule over them after the Wicked Witch died. I like the Winkies, and if I could get back to the Country of the West, I would love to rule over them forever.”
“My second command to the Winged Monkey,” said Glinda, “will be that they carry you safely to the land of the Winkies. Your brain may not be as large as the scarecrow’s, but when you are polished, you are shinier than he is. I am sure you will rule the Winkies wisely and well.”
Then the witch looked at the big, shaggy lion and asked, “When Dorothy has returned to her home, what will you do?”
“Past the hill of the Hammer Heads,” he answered, “is a grand old forest, and all the beasts that live there have made me their king. If I could only get back to this forest, I would live happily there.”
“My third command to the Winged Monkeys,” said Glinda, “will be to carry you to your forest. Then, having used up the powers of the Golden Cap, I will give it to the King of the Monkeys, so that he and his band will thereafter be free forever.”
The scarecrow, the tin man and the lion thanked the Good Witch earnestly for her kindness, and Dorothy exclaimed:
“You are certainly as good as you are beautiful! But you haven’t told me how to get back to Kansas.”
“Your Silver Shoes will carry you over the desert,” replied Glinda. “If you had known their power, you could have gone back to your Aunt Em on the very first day you came to this country.”
“But then, I wouldn’t have gotten my wonderful brain!” cried the scarecrow. “I might have spent my entire life in the farmer’s corn field.”
“And I wouldn’t have gotten my lovely heart,” said the tin man. “I might have stood and rusted in the forest until the end of the world.”
“And I would have been a coward forever,” declared the lion, “and no beast in all the forest would have spoken to me.”
“This is all true,” said Dorothy, “and I am glad I was able to help these good friends. But now that everyone has what they desire, and each is happy with a kingdom to rule, I think I want to go back to Kansas.”
“The Silver Shoes,” said the Good Witch, “have wonderful powers. And one of the most amazing things about them is that they can carry you to any place in the world with just three steps. And each step will be made in the wink of an eye. All you have to do is click the heels together three times and command the shoes to carry you wherever you wish to go.”
“If that is so,” said the child joyfully, “I will ask them to carry me back to Kansas at once.”
She threw her arms around the lion’s neck and kissed him, patting his big head tenderly. Then, she kissed the tin man, who was weeping dangerously. She hugged the soft, stuffed body of the scarecrow and realized that she was also crying at this sad goodbye.
Glinda the Good stepped down from her ruby throne to give the little girl a goodbye kiss, and Dorothy thanked her for all the kindness she had shown.
Dorothy took Toto up in her arms and, saying one last goodbye, she clicked the heels of her shoes together three times, saying:
“Take me home to Aunt Em!”
Instantly, she was whirling through the air, so swiftly that all she could see or feel was the wind whistling past her ears.
The Silver Shoes took three steps, and then she stopped so suddenly that she rolled over on the grass several times before she realized where she was.
After a moment, she sat up and looked around her.
“Good gracious!” she cried.
She was sitting in the Kansas fields. Right in front of her was the new house that Uncle Henry had built after the cyclone had carried away the old one. Uncle Henry was milking the cows in the barnyard. Toto jumped out of her arms and was running toward the barn, barking furiously.
Dorothy stood up and realized that she was in her socks. The Silver Shoes had fallen off in her flight through the air and were lost forever in the desert.