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|Glinda of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
Red Reera, the Yookoohoo
|Page 2 of 3||
The goldfish ducked its head down just as Reera reentered the cottage. She saw Ervic bent over the kettle, so she came and joined him.
"Can your fishes talk?" she asked.
"Sometimes," he replied, "for all fishes in the Land of Oz know how to speak. Just now they were asking me for some bread. They are hungry."
"Well, they can have some bread," said Reera. "But it is nearly supper-time, and if you would allow me to transform your fishes into girls they could join us at the table and have plenty of food much nicer than crumbs. Why not let me transform them?"
"Well," said Ervic, as if hesitating, "ask the fishes. If they consent, why -- why, then, I'll think it over."
Reera bent over the kettle and asked:
"Can you hear me, little fishes?"
All three popped their heads above water.
"We can hear you," said the bronzefish.
"I want to give you other forms, such as rabbits, or turtles or girls, or something; but your master, the surly Skeezer, does not wish me to. However, he has agreed to the plan if you will consent."
"We'd like to be girls," said the silverfish.
"No, no!" exclaimed Ervic.
"If you promise to make us three beautiful girls, we will consent," said the goldfish.
"No, no!" exclaimed Ervic again.
"Also make us Adepts at Magic," added the bronzefish.
"I don't know exactly what that means," replied Reera musingly, "but as no Adept at Magic is as powerful as Yookoohoo, I'll add that to the transformation."
"We won't try to harm you, or to interfere with your magic in any way," promised the goldfish. "On the contrary, we will be your friends."
"Will you agree to go away and leave me alone in my cottage, whenever I command you to do so?" asked Reera.
"We promise that," cried the three fishes.
"Don't do it! Don't consent to the transformation," urged Ervic.
"They have already consented," said the Yookoohoo, laughing in his face, "and you have promised me to abide by their decision. So, friend Skeezer, I shall perform the transformation whether you like it or not."
Ervic seated himself on the bench again, a deep scowl on his face but joy in his heart. Reera moved over to the cupboard, took something from the drawer and returned to the copper kettle. She was clutching something tightly in her right hand, but with her left she reached within the kettle, took out the three fishes and laid them carefully on the floor, where they gasped in distress at being out of water.
Reera did not keep them in misery more than a few seconds, for she touched each one with her right hand and instantly the fishes were transformed into three tall and slender young women, with fine, intelligent faces and clothed in handsome, clinging gowns. The one who had been a goldfish had beautiful golden hair and blue eyes and was exceedingly fair of skin; the one who had been a bronzefish had dark brown hair and clear gray eyes and her complexion matched these lovely features. The one who had been a silverfish had snow-white hair of the finest texture and deep brown eyes. The hair contrasted exquisitely with her pink cheeks and ruby-red lips, nor did it make her look a day older than her two companions.
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|Glinda of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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