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|The Magic of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
15. The Lonesome Duck
|Page 4 of 5||
"You must be a Magician Duck," remarked Cap'n Bill.
"Well, ordinary ducks don't have diamond palaces an' magic food, like you do."
"True; and that's another reason why I'm lonesome. You must remember I'm the only Duck in the Land of Oz, and I'm not like any other duck in the outside world."
"Seems to me you LIKE bein' lonesome," observed Cap'n Bill.
"I can't say I like it, exactly," replied the Duck, "but since it seems to be my fate, I'm rather proud of it."
"How do you s'pose a single, solitary Duck happened to be in the Land of Oz?" asked Trot, wonderingly.
"I used to know the reason, many years ago, but I've quite forgotten it," declared the Duck. "The reason for a thing is never so important as the thing itself, so there's no use remembering anything but the fact that I'm lonesome."
"I guess you'd be happier if you tried to do something," asserted Trot. "If you can't do anything for yourself, you can do things for others, and then you'd get lots of friends and stop being lonesome."
"Now you're getting disagreeable," said the Lonesome Duck, "and I shall have to go and leave you."
"Can't you help us any," pleaded the girl. "If there's anything magic about you, you might get us out of this scrape."
"I haven't any magic strong enough to get you off the Magic Isle," replied the Lonesome Duck. "What magic I possess is very simple, but I find it enough for my own needs."
"If we could only sit down a while, we could stand it better," said Trot, "but we have nothing to sit on."
"Then you will have to stand it," said the Lonesome Duck.
"P'raps you've enough magic to give us a couple of stools," suggested Cap'n Bill.
"A duck isn't supposed to know what stools are," was the reply.
"But you're diff'rent from all other ducks."
"That is true." The strange creature seemed to reflect for a moment, looking at them sharply from its round black eyes. Then it said: "Sometimes, when the sun is hot, I grow a toadstool to shelter me from its rays. Perhaps you could sit on toadstools."
"Well, if they were strong enough, they'd do," answered Cap'n Bill.
"Then, before I do I'll give you a couple," said the Lonesome Duck, and began waddling about in a small circle. It went around the circle to the right three times, and then it went around to the left three times. Then it hopped backward three times and forward three times.
"What are you doing?" asked Trot.
"Don't interrupt. This is an incantation," replied the Lonesome Duck, but now it began making a succession of soft noises that sounded like quacks and seemed to mean nothing at all. And it kept up these sounds so long that Trot finally exclaimed:
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|The Magic of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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