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|The Marvelous Land of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
The Awakening of the Saw-horse
|Page 3 of 4||
Then he led the Saw-Horse back to where Jack was vainly struggling to regain his feet, and after assisting the Pumpkinhead to stand upright Tip whittled out a new ear and fastened it to the horse's head.
"Now," said he, addressing his steed, "pay attention to what I'm going to tell you. 'Whoa!' means to stop; 'Get-Up!' means to walk forward; 'Trot!' means to go as fast as you can. Understand?"
"I believe I do," returned the horse.
"Very good. We are all going on a journey to the Emerald City, to see His Majesty, the Scarecrow; and Jack Pumpkinhead is going to ride on your back, so he won't wear out his joints."
"I don't mind," said the Saw-Horse. "Anything that suits you suits me."
Then Tip assisted Jack to get upon the horse.
"Hold on tight," he cautioned, "or you may fall off and crack your pumpkin head."
"That would be horrible!" said Jack, with a shudder. "What shall I hold on to?"
"Why, hold on to his ears," replied Tip, after a moment's hesitation.
"Don't do that!" remonstrated the Saw-Horse; "for then I can't hear."
That seemed reasonable, so Tip tried to think of something else.
"I'll fix it!" said he, at length. He went into the wood and cut a short length of limb from a young, stout tree. One end of this he sharpened to a point, and then he dug a hole in the back of the Saw-Horse, just behind its head. Next he brought a piece of rock from the road and hammered the post firmly into the animal's back.
"Stop! Stop!" shouted the horse; "you're jarring me terribly."
"Does it hurt?" asked the boy.
"Not exactly hurt," answered the animal; "but it makes me quite nervous to be jarred."
"Well, it's all over now" said Tip, encouragingly. "Now, Jack, be sure to hold fast to this post and then you can't fall off and get smashed."
So Jack held on tight, and Tip said to the horse:
The obedient creature at once walked forward, rocking from side to side as he raised his feet from the ground.
Tip walked beside the Saw-Horse, quite content with this addition to their party. Presently he began to whistle.
"What does that sound mean?" asked the horse.
"Don't pay any attention to it," said Tip. "I'm just whistling, and that only means I'm pretty well satisfied."
"I'd whistle myself, if I could push my lips together," remarked Jack. "I fear, dear father, that in some respects I am sadly lacking."
After journeying on for some distance the narrow path they were following turned into a broad roadway, paved with yellow brick. By the side of the road Tip noticed a sign-post that read:
"NINE MILES TO THE EMERALD CITY."
But it was now growing dark, so he decided to camp for the night by the roadside and to resume the journey next morning by daybreak. He led the Saw-Horse to a grassy mound upon which grew several bushy trees, and carefully assisted the Pumpkinhead to alight.
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|The Marvelous Land of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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