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Rinkitink In Oz L. Frank Baum

The Cunning of Queen Cor

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Inga bowed, but made no answer. Then she turned to Rinkitink and said:

"As for you, I cannot decide how to make you useful to me, as you are altogether too fat and awkward to work in the fields. It may be, however, that I can use you as a pincushion.

"What!" cried Rinkitink in horror, "would you stick pins into the King of Gilgad?"

"Why not?" returned Queen Cor. "You are as fat as a pincushion, as you must yourself admit, and whenever I needed a pin I could call you to me." Then she laughed at his frightened look and asked: "By the way, are you ticklish?"

This was the question Rinkitink had been dreading. He gave a moan of despair and shook his head.

"I should love to tickle the bottom of your feet with a feather," continued the cruel woman. "Please take off your shoes."

"Oh, your Majesty!" pleaded poor Rinkitink, "I beg you to allow me to amuse you in some other way. I can dance, or I can sing you a song."

"Well," she answered, shaking with laughter, "you may sing a song -- if it be a merry one. But you do not seem in a merry mood."

"I feel merry -- indeed, Your Majesty, I do!" protested Rinkitink, anxious to escape the tickling. But even as he professed to "feel merry" his round, red face wore an expression of horror and anxiety that was realty comical.

"Sing, then!" commanded Queen Cor, who was greatly amused.

Rinkitink gave a sigh of relief and after clearing his throat and trying to repress his sobs he began to sing this song-gently, at first, but finally roaring it out at the top of his voice:

"Oh! There was a Baby Tiger lived in a men-ag-er-ie --

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Fizzy-fezzy-fuzzy -- they wouldn't set him free; And ev'rybody thought that he was gentle as could be --

Fizzy-fezzy-fuzzy -- Ba-by Ti-ger!

"Oh! They patted him upon his head and shook him by the paw --

Fizzy-fezzy-fuzzy -- he had a bone to gnaw; But soon he grew the biggest Tiger that you ever saw --

Fizzy-fezzy-fuzzy -- what a Ti-ger!

"Oh! One day they came to pet the brute and he began to fight --

Fizzy-fezzy-fuzzy-how he did scratch and bite! He broke the cage and in a rage he darted out of sight --

Fizzy-fezzy-fuzzy was a Ti-ger!"

"And is there a moral to the song?" asked Queen Cor, when King Rinkitink had finished his song with great spirit.

"If there is," replied Rinkitink, "it is a warning not to fool with tigers."

The little Prince could not help smiling at this shrewd answer, but Queen Cor frowned and gave the King a sharp look.

"Oh," said she; "I think I know the difference between a tiger and a lapdog. But I'll bear the warning in mind, just the same."

For, after all her success in capturing them, she was a little afraid of these people who had once displayed such extraordinary powers.

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Rinkitink In Oz
L. Frank Baum

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