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|The Marvelous Land of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
Mr. H. M. Woggle-Bug, T. E.
|Page 3 of 4||
"Let us all think," said Tip; "and perhaps we shall find a way to repair the Saw-Horse."
So they sat in a row upon the grass and began to think, while the Saw-Horse occupied itself by gazing curiously upon its broken limb.
"Does it hurt?" asked the Tin Woodman, in a soft, sympathetic voice.
"Not in the least," returned the Saw-Horse; "but my pride is injured to find that my anatomy is so brittle."
For a time the little group remained in silent thought. Presently the Tin Woodman raised his head and looked over the fields.
"What sort of creature is that which approaches us?" he asked, wonderingly.
The others followed his gaze, and discovered coming toward them the most extraordinary object they had ever beheld. It advanced quickly and noiselessly over the soft grass and in a few minutes stood before the adventurers and regarded them with an astonishment equal to their own.
The Scarecrow was calm under all circumstances.
"Good morning!" he said, politely.
The stranger removed his hat with a flourish, bowed very low, and then responded:
"Good morning, one and all. I hope you are, as an aggregation, enjoying excellent health. Permit me to present my card."
With this courteous speech it extended a card toward the Scarecrow, who accepted it, turned it over and over, and handed it with a shake of his head to Tip.
The boy read aloud:
"MR. H. M. WOGGLE-BUG, T. E."
"Dear me!" ejaculated the Pumpkinhead, staring somewhat intently.
"How very peculiar!" said the Tin Woodman.
Tip's eyes were round and wondering, and the Saw-Horse uttered a sigh and turned away its head.
"Are you really a Woggle-Bug?" enquired the Scarecrow.
"Most certainly, my dear sir!" answered the stranger, briskly. "Is not my name upon the card?"
"It is," said the Scarecrow. "But may I ask what 'H. M.' stands for?"
"'H. M.' means Highly Magnified," returned the Woggle-Bug, proudly.
"Oh, I see." The Scarecrow viewed the stranger critically. "And are you, in truth, highly magnified?"
"Sir," said the Woggle-Bug, "I take you for a gentleman of judgment and discernment. Does it not occur to you that I am several thousand times greater than any Woggle-Bug you ever saw before? Therefore it is plainly evident that I am Highly Magnified, and there is no good reason why you should doubt the fact."
"Pardon me," returned the Scarecrow. "My brains are slightly mixed since I was last laundered. Would it be improper for me to ask, also, what the 'T.E.' at the end of your name stands for?"
"Those letters express my degree," answered the Woggle-Bug, with a condescending smile. "To be more explicit, the initials mean that I am Thoroughly Educated."
"Oh!" said the Scarecrow, much relieved.
Tip had not yet taken his eyes off this wonderful personage. What he saw was a great, round, buglike body supported upon two slender legs which ended in delicate feet -- the toes curling upward. The body of the Woggle-Bug was rather flat, and judging from what could be seen of it was of a glistening dark brown color upon the back, while the front was striped with alternate bands of light brown and white, blending together at the edges. Its arms were fully as slender as its legs, and upon a rather long neck was perched its head -- not unlike the head of a man, except that its nose ended in a curling antenna, or "feeler," and its ears from the upper points bore antennae that decorated the sides of its head like two miniature, curling pig tails. It must be admitted that the round, black eyes were rather bulging in appearance; but the expression upon the Woggle-Bug's face was by no means unpleasant.
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|The Marvelous Land of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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