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|The Road to Oz||L. Frank Baum|
Facing the Scoodlers
|Page 3 of 3||
"But what do you want us for?" asked the shaggy man, uneasily.
"Soup!" they all shouted, as if with one voice.
"Goodness me!" said Dorothy, trembling a little; "the Scoodlers must be reg'lar cannibals."
"Don't want to be soup," protested Button-Bright, beginning to cry.
"Hush, dear," said the little girl, trying to comfort him; "we don't any of us want to be soup. But don't worry; the shaggy man will take care of us."
"Will he?" asked Polychrome, who did not like the Scoodlers at all, and kept close to Dorothy.
"I'll try," promised the shaggy man; but he looked worried.
Happening just then to feel the Love Magnet in his pocket, he said to the creatures, with more confidence:
"Don't you love me?"
"Yes!" they shouted, all together.
"Then you mustn't harm me, or my friends," said the shaggy man, firmly.
"We love you in soup!" they yelled, and in a flash turned their white sides to the front.
"How dreadful!" said Dorothy. "This is a time, Shaggy Man, when you get loved too much."
"Don't want to be soup!" wailed Button-Bright again; and Toto began to whine dismally, as if he didn't want to be soup, either.
"The only thing to do," said the shaggy man to his friends, in a low tone, "is to get out of this pocket in the rocks as soon as we can, and leave the Scoodlers behind us. Follow me, my dears, and don't pay any attention to what they do or say."
With this, he began to march along the road to the opening in the rocks ahead, and the others kept close behind him. But the Scoodlers closed up in front, as if to bar their way, and so the shaggy man stooped down and picked up a loose stone, which he threw at the creatures to scare them from the path.
At this the Scoodlers raised a howl. Two of them picked their heads from their shoulders and hurled them at the shaggy man with such force that he fell over in a heap, greatly astonished. The two now ran forward with swift leaps, caught up their heads, and put them on again, after which they sprang back to their positions on the rocks.
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|The Road to Oz
L. Frank Baum
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