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|Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz||L. Frank Baum|
The Vegetable Kingdom
|Page 1 of 4||
After the Wizard had wiped the dampness from his sword and taken it apart and put the pieces into their leathern case again, the man with the star ordered some of his people to carry the two halves of the Sorcerer to the public gardens.
Jim pricked up his ears when he heard they were going to the gardens, and wanted to join the party, thinking he might find something proper to eat; so Zeb put down the top of the buggy and invited the Wizard to ride with them. The seat was amply wide enough for the little man and the two children, and when Jim started to leave the hall the kitten jumped upon his back and sat there quite contentedly.
So the procession moved through the streets, the bearers of the Sorcerer first, the Prince next, then Jim drawing the buggy with the strangers inside of it, and last the crowd of vegetable people who had no hearts and could neither smile nor frown.
The glass city had several fine streets, for a good many people lived there; but when the procession had passed through these it came upon a broad plain covered with gardens and watered by many pretty brooks that flowed through it. There were paths through these gardens, and over some of the brooks were ornamental glass bridges.
Dorothy and Zeb now got out of the buggy and walked beside the Prince, so that they might see and examine the flowers and plants better.
"Who built these lovely bridges?" asked the little girl.
"No one built them," answered the man with the star. "They grow."
"That's queer," said she. "Did the glass houses in your city grow, too?"
"Of course," he replied. "But it took a good many years for them to grow as large and fine as they are now. That is why we are so angry when a Rain of Stones comes to break our towers and crack our roofs."
"Can't you mend them?" she enquired.
"No; but they will grow together again, in time, and we must wait until they do."
They first passed through many beautiful gardens of flowers, which grew nearest the city; but Dorothy could hardly tell what kind of flowers they were, because the colors were constantly changing under the shifting lights of the six suns. A flower would be pink one second, white the next, then blue or yellow; and it was the same way when they came to the plants, which had broad leaves and grew close to the ground.
When they passed over a field of grass Jim immediately stretched down his head and began to nibble.
"A nice country this is," he grumbled, "where a respectable horse has to eat pink grass!"
"It's violet," said the Wizard, who was in the buggy.
"Now it's blue," complained the horse. "As a matter of fact, I'm eating rainbow grass."
"How does it taste?" asked the Wizard.
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|Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
L. Frank Baum
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