Chapter 3 – How Dorothy Saved the Scarecrow
When Dorothy was left alone, she began to feel hungry. She went to the cupboard and cut up some bread which she spread with butter. She gave some to Toto. She then took a bucket from the shelf and 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. Dorothy went to get him, and she saw such delicious fruit hanging from the branches that she gathered some. It was perfect for her breakfast.
Then she went back to the house and had some cool water with Toto. After that, she started to get ready for the journey to the City of Emeralds.
Dorothy had only one other dress. It was clean and hanging on a peg beside her bed. It was a cotton dress with a blue and white checkered pattern. The dress had been washed many times, so the blue was a little faded, but it was still pretty. The girl washed herself carefully, dressed herself in the clean dress, and tied a pink sun bonnet on her head. She took a little basket and filled it with bread from the cupboard. Then, she looked down at her feet and noticed that her shoes were very old and worn out.
“These shoes won’t carry me far, Toto,” she said. Toto looked up at her face with his little black eyes and wagged his tail. It seemed like Toto was listening to the girl.
At that moment, Dorothy noticed the silver shoes on the table.
“I wonder if they will fit me,” she said to Toto. “They would be the perfect shoes for a long walk because they won’t wear out.”
She took off her old leather shoes and tried on the silver ones, which fit her perfectly.
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 following behind her, she started on her journey.
There were several roads nearby, but she quickly spotted the road that was paved with yellow brick. Within a short time, she was walking briskly toward the Emerald City, her silver shoes clicking happily on the hard, yellow brick road. The sun shone brightly and the birds sang sweetly. Dorothy did not feel bad, even though she had been whisked away from her own country and set down in a strange land.
As she walked along, she was surprised to see how pretty the country was. There were fences at the sides of the road, painted a dainty blue color. Behind the fences were fields of grain and vegetables. It seemed like the Munchkins were good farmers. Once in a while, she passed a house, and the people came out to look at her. They bowed low as she went by. Everyone knew that Dorothy was the one who destroyed the Wicked Witch and set them free. The houses of the Munchkins were odd. Each house was round with a big dome for a roof. All were painted blue.
Towards evening, when Dorothy was tired from her long walk and wondering where she should sleep, she saw a house that was larger than the rest. On the house’s green lawn, many men and women were dancing. Five Munchkins were playing fiddles loudly and everyone was laughing and singing. A big table was loaded with delicious fruits, nuts, pies, cakes, and many other good things to eat.
The people greeted Dorothy kindly and invited her to dinner and to stay overnight with them. This was the home of one of the richest Munchkins in the land, and his friends were enjoying a party to celebrate their freedom from the Wicked Witch.
Dorothy ate a big dinner. The rich Munchkin, whose name was Boq, sat down with Dorothy and they 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 you killed the Wicked Witch. Besides, you have white in your dress, 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. All the people seemed to think that she was a witch, but she knew that she was just an ordinary little girl who had come by the chance of a cyclone.
When she was tired of watching the dancing, Boq led her into the house. He gave her a room with a pretty bed in it. The sheets were made of blue cloth. Dorothy slept soundly until morning with Toto curled up on the blue rug beside her.
She ate a hearty breakfast and watched a little Munchkin baby, who played with Toto and pulled his tail. The Munchkins were curious about Toto because they had never seen a dog before.
“How far is it to the Emerald City?” the girl asked.
“I do not know,” answered Boq, “because I have never been there. It is better for people to stay 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 decided not to turn back.
She said goodbye to her friends and started walking down the yellow brick road again. When she had gone several miles, she thought to stop and rest. She climbed to the top of the fence beside the road and sat down. There was a great corn field beyond the fence and she saw a scarecrow that was not far away. It was placed high on a pole to keep the birds away from the corn.
Dorothy put her chin in her hands and gazed at the scarecrow. Its head was a small sack full of straw. Eyes, a nose and a mouth were painted on it to look like a face. It had an old, pointed blue hat. Its body, also stuffed with straw, wore blue clothes. There were old blue boots on its feet. The scarecrow was raised above the tall corn by a pole stuck up its back.
While Dorothy gazed at the scarecrow, she was surprised when the scarecrow’s eyes moved. It winked at her. She thought she was mistaken, at first, because none of the scarecrows in Kansas ever wink. The scarecrow in front of her nodded its head in a friendly manner. She climbed down from the fence and walked up to it. Toto ran around the pole and barked.
“Good day,” said the scarecrow. He had a husky voice.
“Did you speak?” asked the girl, in wonder.
“Certainly,” answered the scarecrow. “How are you?”
“I’m pretty well, thank you,” replied Dorothy, politely, “How are you?”
“I’m not feeling well,” said the scarecrow, with a smile, “because it is very boring being up here day and night to scare away crows.”
“Can’t you get down?” asked Dorothy.
“No. This pole is stuck up my back. If you take away the pole, I will be so grateful.”
Dorothy reached up both arms and lifted the scarecrow off the pole. He was stuffed with straw, so he was really 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 amazed. It was so strange to hear a scarecrow speak and to see him bow and walk beside her.
The scarecrow stretched and yawned.
“Who are you?” he asked, “and where are you going?”
“My name is Dorothy 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 asked, “and who is Oz?”
“Don’t you know?” Dorothy asked, surprised.
“No. Indeed, I don’t know anything. You see, I am stuffed with straw, 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 the great Oz would give me some brains?”
“I can’t tell,” she answered, “but you can come with me, if you like. Even if the great Oz doesn’t help you, you won’t lose anything.”
“That is true,” said the scarecrow. “You see,” he continued, “I don’t mind my legs and arms and body being stuffed, because I can not get hurt. If anyone steps on my toes or sticks a pin into me, it doesn’t matter because I can not feel it. But I do not want people to call me a fool. And if my head stays stuffed with straw instead of brains, I will never know anything.”
“I understand how you feel,” said the 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 walking down the yellow brick road towards the Emerald City.
Toto did not like this addition to the party. He smelled around the stuffed man suspiciously. He often growled at the scarecrow.
“Don’t mind Toto,” said Dorothy to the scarecrow, “he never bites.”
“Oh, I’m not afraid,” replied the scarecrow. “He can’t hurt the straw. Let me carry that basket for you. I do not mind because I can’t get tired. I’ll tell you a secret. There is only one thing in the world that I am afraid of.”
“What is that?” asked Dorothy. “Are you afraid of the Munchkin farmer who created you?”
“No,” said the scarecrow, “I’m afraid of a lighted match.”
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