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|The Patchwork Girl of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
They Meet the Woozy
|Page 4 of 6||
"Thank you! Thank you very much," cried the boy, joyfully. "May I pull out the hairs now?"
"Any time you like," answered the Woozy.
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 fast.
"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 harder."
"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 to cry.
The Woozy looked at the boy thoughtfully.
"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 the Woozy.
"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 way:
"How do you intend to get the beast out of this forest?"
That puzzled them all for a time.
"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 enclosure.
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|The Patchwork Girl of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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