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|Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz||L. Frank Baum|
The Valley of Voices
|Page 2 of 4||
They heard the sudden twittering of a bird, but could not find the creature anywhere. Slowly they walked along the path toward the nearest cottage, the piglets racing and gambolling beside them and Jim pausing at every step for another mouthful of grass.
Presently they came to a low plant which had broad, spreading leaves, in the center of which grew a single fruit about as large as a peach. The fruit was so daintily colored and so fragrant, and looked so appetizing and delicious that Dorothy stopped and exclaimed:
"What is it, do you s'pose?"
The piglets had smelled the fruit quickly, and before the girl could reach out her hand to pluck it every one of the nine tiny ones had rushed in and commenced to devour it with great eagerness.
"It's good, anyway," said Zeb, "or those little rascals wouldn't have gobbled it up so greedily."
"Where are they?" asked Dorothy, in astonishment.
They all looked around, but the piglets had disappeared.
"Dear me!" cried the Wizard; "they must have run away. But I didn't see them go; did you?"
"No!" replied the boy and the girl, together.
"Here,--piggy, piggy, piggy!" called their master, anxiously.
Several squeals and grunts were instantly heard at his feet, but the Wizard could not discover a single piglet.
"Where are you?" he asked.
"Why, right beside you," spoke a tiny voice. "Can't you see us?"
"No," answered the little man, in a puzzled tone.
"We can see you," said another of the piglets.
The Wizard stooped down and put out his hand, and at once felt the small fat body of one of his pets. He picked it up, but could not see what he held.
"It is very strange," said he, soberly. "The piglets have become invisible, in some curious way."
"I'll bet it's because they ate that peach!" cried the kitten.
"It wasn't a peach, Eureka," said Dorothy. "I only hope it wasn't poison."
"It was fine, Dorothy," called one of the piglets.
"We'll eat all we can find of them," said another.
"But WE mus'n't eat them," the Wizard warned the children, "or we too may become invisible, and lose each other. If we come across another of the strange fruit we must avoid it."
Calling the piglets to him he picked them all up, one by one, and put them away in his pocket; for although he could not see them he could feel them, and when he had buttoned his coat he knew they were safe for the present.
The travellers now resumed their walk toward the cottage, which they presently reached. It was a pretty place, with vines growing thickly over the broad front porch. The door stood open and a table was set in the front room, with four chairs drawn up to it. On the table were plates, knives and forks, and dishes of bread, meat and fruits. The meat was smoking hot and the knives and forks were performing strange antics and jumping here and there in quite a puzzling way. But not a single person appeared to be in the room.
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|Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
L. Frank Baum
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