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|The Emerald City of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
15. How Dorothy Happened to Get Lost
|Page 2 of 5||
"And I," said the Wizard, "have been to Europe and Ireland."
"So you see," continued the zebra, addressing the crab, "here are people of real consequence, who know what they are talking about."
"Then they know there's more water in the world than there is land," asserted the crab, in a shrill, petulant voice.
"They know you are wrong to make such an absurd statement, and they will probably think you are a lobster instead of a crab," retorted the animal.
At this taunt the crab reached out its other claw and seized the zebra's ear, and the creature gave a cry of pain and began prancing up and down, trying to shake off the crab, which clung fast.
"Stop pinching!" cried the zebra. "You promised not to pinch if I would carry you here!"
"And you promised to treat me respectfully," said the crab, letting go the ear.
"Well, haven't I?" demanded the zebra.
"No; you called me a lobster," said the crab.
"Ladies and gentlemen," continued the zebra, "please pardon my poor friend, because he is ignorant and stupid, and does not understand. Also the pinch of his claw is very annoying. So pray tell him that the world contains more land than water, and when he has heard your judgment I will carry him back and dump him into his pool, where I hope he will be more modest in the future."
"But we cannot tell him that," said Dorothy, gravely, "because it would not be true."
"What!" exclaimed the zebra, in astonishment; "do I hear you aright?"
"The soft-shell crab is correct," declared the Wizard. "There is considerably more water than there is land in the world."
"Impossible!" protested the zebra. "Why, I can run for days upon the land, and find but little water."
"Did you ever see an ocean?" asked Dorothy.
"Never," admitted the zebra. "There is no such thing as an ocean in the Land of Oz."
"Well, there are several oceans in the world," said Dorothy, "and people sail in ships upon these oceans for weeks and weeks, and never see a bit of land at all. And the joggerfys will tell you that all the oceans put together are bigger than all the land put together."
At this the crab began laughing in queer chuckles that reminded Dorothy of the way Billina sometimes cackled.
"NOW will you give up, Mr. Zebra?" it cried, jeeringly; "now will you give up?"
The zebra seemed much humbled.
"Of course I cannot read geographys," he said.
"You could take one of the Wizard's School Pills," suggested Billina, "and that would make you learned and wise without studying."
The crab began laughing again, which so provoked the zebra that he tried to shake the little creature off. This resulted in more ear-pinching, and finally Dorothy told them that if they could not behave they must go back to the forest.
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|The Emerald City of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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