"There seem to be very few houses
after all," remarked Ojo, after they had walked
for a time in silence.
"Never mind," said Scraps; "we
are not looking for houses, but
rather the road of yellow bricks.
Won't it be funny to run across
something yellow in this dismal
"There are worse colors than
yellow in this country," asserted
the Glass Cat, in a spiteful
"Oh; do you mean the pink pebbles
you call your brains, and your
red heart and green eyes?" asked
the Patchwork Girl.
"No; I mean you, if you must
know it," growled the cat.
"You're jealous!" laughed Scraps. "You'd
give your whiskers for a lovely
variegated complexion like mine."
"I wouldn't!" retorted the
cat. "I've the clearest complexion
in the world, and I don't employ
a beauty-doctor, either."
"I see you don't," said
"Please don't quarrel," begged
Ojo. "This is an important journey,
and quarreling makes me discouraged.
To be brave, one must be cheerful,
so I hope you will be as good-tempered
They had traveled some distance
when suddenly they faced a high
fence which barred any further
progress straight ahead. It ran
directly across the road and
enclosed a small forest of tall
trees, set close together. When
the group of adventurers peered
through the bars of the fence
they thought this forest looked
more gloomy and forbidding than
any they had ever seen before.
They soon discovered that the
path they had been following
now made a bend and passed around
the enclosure, but what made
Ojo stop and look thoughtful
was a sign painted on the fence
"That means," he said, "that
there's a Woozy inside that fence,
and the Woozy must be a dangerous
animal or they wouldn't tell
people to beware of it."
"Let's keep out, then," replied
Scraps. "That path is outside
the fence, and Mr. Woozy may
have all his little forest to
himself, for all we care."
"But one of our errands is
to find a Woozy," Ojo explained. "The
Magician wants me to get three
hairs from the end of a Woozy's
"Let's go on and find some
other Woozy," suggested the cat. "This
one is ugly and dangerous, or
they wouldn't cage him up. Maybe
we shall find another that is
tame and gentle."
"Perhaps there isn't any other,
at all," answered Ojo. "The sign
doesn't say: 'Beware a Woozy';
it says: 'Beware the Woozy,'
which may, mean there's only
one in all the Land of Oz.
"Then," said Scraps, "suppose
we go in and find him? Very likely
if we ask him politely to let
us pull three hairs out of the
tip of his tail he won't hurt
"It would hurt him, I'm sure,
and that would make him cross," said
"You needn't worry, Bungle," remarked
the Patchwork Girl; "for if there
is danger you can climb a tree.
Ojo and I are not afraid; are
"I am, a little," the boy admitted; "but
this danger must be faced, if
we intend to save poor
How shall we get over the fence?"
Scraps, and at once she began
the rows of bars. Ojo followed
and found it more easy than he
had expected. When they got to
the top of the fence they began
to get down on the other side
and soon were in the forest.
The Glass Cat, being small, crept
between the lower bars and joined
Here there was no path of any
sort, so they entered the woods,
the boy leading the way, and
wandered through the trees until
they were nearly in the center
of the forest. They now came
upon a clear space in which stood
a rocky cave.
So far they had met no living
creature, but when Ojo saw the
cave he knew it must be the den
of the Woozy.
It is hard to face any savage
beast without a sinking of the
heart, but still more terrifying
is it to face an unknown beast,
which you have never seen even
a picture of. So there is little
wonder that the pulses of the
Munchkin boy beat fast as he
and his companions stood facing
the cave. The opening was perfectly
square, and about big enough
to admit a goat.
"I guess the Woozy is asleep," said
Scraps. "Shall I throw in a stone,
to waken him?"
"No; please don't," answered
Ojo, his voice trembling a little. "I'm
in no hurry."
But he had not long to wait,
for the Woozy heard the sound
of voices and came trotting out
of his cave. As this is the only
Woozy that has ever lived, either
in the Land of Oz or out of it,
I must describe it to you.
The creature was all squares
and flat surfaces and edges.
Its head was an exact square,
like one of the building-blocks
a child plays with; therefore
it had no ears, but heard sounds
through two openings in the upper
corners. Its nose, being in the
center of a square surface, was
flat, while the mouth was formed
by the opening of the lower edge
of the block. The body of the
Woozy was much larger than its
head, but was likewise block-shaped--being
twice as long as it was wide
and high. The tail was square
and stubby and perfectly straight,
and the four legs were made in
the same way, each being four-sided.
The animal was covered with a
thick, smooth skin and had no
hair at all except at the extreme
end of its tail, where there
grew exactly three stiff, stubby
hairs. The beast was dark blue
in color and his face was not
fierce nor ferocious in expression,
but rather good-humored and droll.
Seeing the strangers, the Woozy
folded his hind legs as if they
Lad been hinged and sat down
to look his visitors over.
"Well, well," he exclaimed; "what
a queer lot you are! at first
I thought some of those miserable
Munchkin farmers had come to
annoy me, but I am relieved to
find you in their stead. It is
plain to me that you are a remarkable
group--as remarkable in your
way as I am in mine--and so you
are welcome to my domain. Nice
place, isn't it? But lonesome-dreadfully
"Why did they shut you up here?" asked
Scraps, who was regarding the
queer, square creature with much
eat up all the honey-bees which
the Munchkin farmers who
live around here keep to make
"Are you fond of eating honey-bees?" inquired
are really delicious. But the
farmers did not like
to lose their bees and so they
tried to destroy me. Of course
they couldn't do that."
"My skin is
so thick and tough that nothing
can get through
it to hurt me. So, finding they
could not destroy me, they drove
me into this forest and built
a fence around me. Unkind, wasn't
"But what do you eat now?" asked
all. I've tried the leaves
from the trees and
the mosses and creeping vines,
but they don't seem to suit my
taste. So, there being no honey-bees
here, I've eaten nothing for
"You must be awfully hungry," said
the boy. "I've got some bread
and cheese in my basket. Would
you like that kind of food?"
"Give me a nibble and I will
try it; then I can tell you better
whether it is grateful to my
appetite," returned the Woozy.
So the boy opened his basket
and broke a piece off the loaf
of bread. He tossed it toward
the Woozy, who cleverly caught
it in his mouth and ate it in
"That's rather good," declared
the animal. "Any more?"
"Try some cheese," said
Ojo, and threw down a piece.
The Woozy ate that, too, and
smacked its long, thin lips.
"That's mighty good!" it exclaimed. "Any
Ojo. So he sat down on a Stump
and fed the
Woozy bread and cheese for a
long time; for, no matter how
much the boy broke off, the loaf
and the slice remained just as
"That'll do," said the Woozy,
at last; "I'm quite full. I hope
the strange food won't give me
"I hope not," said Ojo. "It's
what I eat."
"Well, I must say I'm much
obliged, and I'm glad you came," announced
the beast. "Is there anything
I can do in return for your kindness?"
"Yes," said Ojo earnestly, "you
have it in your power to do me
a great favor, if you will."
"What is it?" asked the Woozy. "Name
the favor and I will grant it."
"I--I want three hairs from
the tip of your tail," said Ojo,
with some hesitation.
"Three hairs! Why, that's all
I have--on my tail or anywhere
else," exclaimed the beast.
"I know; but
I want them very much."
"They are my sole ornaments,
my prettiest feature," said the
Woozy, uneasily. "If I give up
those three hairs I--I'm just
"Yet I must have them," insisted
the boy, firmly, and he then
told the Woozy all about the
accident to Unc Nunkie and Margolotte,
and how the three hairs were
to be a part of the magic charm
that would restore them to life.
The beast listened with attention
and when Ojo had finished the
recital it said, with a sigh.
"I always keep
my word, for I pride myself
on being square.
So you may have the three hairs,
and welcome. I think, under such
circumstances, it would be selfish
in me to refuse you."
"Thank you! Thank you very
much," cried the boy, joyfully. "May
I pull out the hairs now?"
"Any time you like," answered
So Ojo went up to the queer
creature and taking hold of one
of the hairs began to pull. He
pulled harder. He pulled with
all his might; but the hair remained
"What's the trouble?" asked
the Woozy, which Ojo had dragged
here and there all around the
clearing in his endeavor to pull
out the hair.
"It won't come," said
the boy, panting.
"I was afraid of that," declared
the beast. "You'll have to pull
"I'll help you," exclaimed
Scraps, coming to the boy's side. "You
pull the hair, and I'll pull
you, and together we ought to
get it out easily."
"Wait a jiffy," called the
Woozy, and then it went to a
tree and hugged it with its front
paws, so that its body couldn't
be dragged around by the pull. "All
ready, now. Go ahead!"
Ojo grasped the hair with both
hands and pulled with all his
strength, while Scraps seized
the boy around his waist and
added her strength to his. But
the hair wouldn't budge. Instead,
it slipped out of Ojo's hands
and he and Scraps both rolled
upon the ground in a heap and
never stopped until they bumped
against the rocky cave.
"Give it up," advised the Glass
Cat, as the boy arose and assisted
the Patchwork Girl to her feet. "A
dozen strong men couldn't pull
out those Hairs. I believe they're
clinched on the under side of
the Woozy's thick skin."
"Then what shall I do?" asked
the boy, despairingly. "If on
our return I fail to take these
three hairs to the Crooked Magician,
the other things I have come
to seek will be of no use at
all, and we cannot restore Unc
Nunkie and Margolotte to life."
"They're goners, I guess," said
the Patchwork Girl.
"Never mind," added the cat. "I
can't see that old Unc and Margolotte
are worth all this trouble, anyhow."
But Ojo did not feel that way.
He was so disheartened that he
sat down upon a stump and began
The Woozy looked at the boy
"Why don't you take me with
you?" asked the beast. "Then,
when at last you get to the Magician's
house, he can surely find some
way to pull out those three hairs."
Ojo was overjoyed at this suggestion.
"That's it!" he cried, wiping
away the tears and springing
to his feet with a smile. "If
I take the three hairs to the
Magician, it won't matter if
they are still in your body."
"It can't matter in the least," agreed
"Come on, then," said the boy,
picking up his basket; "let us
start at once. I have several
other things to find, you know."
But the Class Cat gave a little
laugh and inquired in her scornful
"How do you
intend to get the beast out
of this forest?"
That puzzled them all for a
"Let us go to the fence, and
then we may find a way," suggested
Scraps. So they walked through
the forest to the fence, reaching
it at a point exactly opposite
that where they had entered the
"How did you get in?" asked
"We climbed over," answered
"I can't do that," said the
beast. "I'm a very swift runner,
for I can overtake a honey-bee
as it flies; and I can jump very
high, which is the reason they
made such a tall fence to keep
me in. But I can't climb at all,
and I'm too big to squeeze between
the bars of the fence."
Ojo tried to think what to
"Can you dig?" he
"No," answered the Woozy, "for
I have no claws. My feet are
quite flat on the bottom of them.
Nor can I gnaw away the boards,
as I have no teeth."
"You're not such a terrible
creature, after all," remarked
"You haven't heard me growl,
or you wouldn't say that," declared
the Woozy. "When I growl, the
sound echoes like thunder all
through the valleys and woodlands,
and children tremble with fear,
and women cover their heads with
their aprons, and big men run
and hide. I suppose there is
nothing in the world so terrible
to listen to as the growl of
"Please don't growl, then," begged
"There is no
danger of my growling, for
I am not angry. Only when
angry do I utter my fearful,
growl. Also, when I am angry,
my eyes flash fire, whether I
growl or not."
"Real fire?" asked
"Of course, real fire. Do you
suppose they'd flash imitation
fire?" inquired the Woozy, in
an injured tone.
"In that case, I've solved
the riddle," cried Scraps, dancing
with glee. "Those fence-boards
are made of wood, and if the
Woozy stands close to the fence
and lets his eyes flash fire,
they might set fire to the fence
and burn it up. Then he could
walk away with us easily, being
"Ah, I have never thought of
that plan, or I would have been
free long ago," said the Woozy. "But
I cannot flash fire from my eyes
unless I am very angry."
"Can't you get angry 'bout
something, please?" asked Ojo.
You just say 'Krizzle-Kroo'
"Will that make you angry?" inquired
"What does it mean?" asked
"I don't know; that's what
makes me so angry," re-plied
He then stood
close to the fence, with his
head near one
of the boards, and Scraps called
out "Krizzle-Kroo!" Then Ojo
said "Krizzle-Kroo!" and the
Glass Cat said "Krizzle-Kroo!" The
Woozy began to tremble with anger
and small sparks darted from
his eyes. Seeing this, they all
cried "Krizzle-Kroo!" together,
and that made the beast's eyes
flash fire so fiercely that the
fence-board caught the sparks
and began to smoke. Then it burst
into flame, and the Woozy stepped
back and said triumphantly:
did the business, all right.
It was a happy thought
for you to yell all together,
for that made me as angry as
I have ever been. Fine sparks,
"Reg'lar fireworks," replied
In a few moments the board
had burned to a distance of several
feet, leaving an opening big
enough for them all to pass through.
Ojo broke some branches from
a tree and with them whipped
the fire until it was extinguished.
"We don't want to burn the
whole fence down," said he, "for
the flames would attract the
attention of the Munchkin farmers,
who would then come and capture
the Woozy again. I guess they'll
be rather surprised when they
find he's escaped."
"So they will," declared the
Woozy, chuckling gleefully. "When
they find I'm gone the farmers
will be badly scared, for they'll
expect me to eat up their honey-bees,
as I did before."
"That reminds me," said the
boy, "that you must promise not
to eat honey-bees while you are
in our company."
"None at all?"
"Not a bee.
You would get us all into trouble,
and we can't
afford to have any more trouble
than is necessary. I'll feed
you all the bread and cheese
you want, and that must satisfy
"All right; I'll promise," said
the Woozy, cheerfully. "And when
I promise anything you can depend
on it, 'cause I'm square."
"I don't see what difference
that makes," observed the Patchwork
Girl, as they found the path
and continued their journey. "The
shape doesn't make a thing honest,
"Of course it does," returned
the Woozy, very decidedly. "No
one could trust that Crooked
Magician, for instance, just
because he is crooked; but a
square Woozy couldn't do anything
crooked if he wanted to."
"I am neither square nor crooked," said
Scraps, looking down at her plump
"No; you're round, so you're
liable to do anything," asserted
the Woozy. "Do not blame me,
Miss Gorgeous, if I regard you
with suspicion. Many a satin
ribbon has a cotton back."
Scraps didn't understand this,
but she had an uneasy misgiving
that she had a cotton back herself.
It would settle down, at times,
and make her squat and dumpy,
and then she had to roll herself
in the road until her body stretched