Read Books Online, for Free
|The Patchwork Girl of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
The Giant Porcupine
|Page 2 of 5||
"How long must we keep this up, Shags?" asked Scraps, who was constantly tripping and tumbling down, only to get up again with a laugh at her mishap.
"Just a little way farther," replied the Shaggy Man.
A few minutes later he called to them to turn about quickly and step forward, and as they obeyed the order they found themselves treading solid ground.
"That task is well over," observed the Shaggy Man. "It's a little tiresome to walk backward, but that is the only way to pass this part of the road, which has a trick of sliding back and carrying with it anyone who is walking upon it."
With new courage and energy they now trudged forward and after a time came to a place where the road cut through a low hill, leaving high banks on either side of it. They were traveling along this cut, talking together, when the Shaggy Man seized Scraps with one arm and Ojo with another and shouted: "Stop!"
"What's wrong now?" asked the Patchwork Girl.
"See there!" answered the Shaggy Man, pointing with his finger.
Directly in the center of the road lay a motionless object that bristled all over with sharp quills, which resembled arrows. The body was as big as a ten-bushel basket, but the projecting quills made it appear to be four times bigger.
"Well, what of it?" asked Scraps.
"That is Chiss, who causes a lot of trouble along this road," was the reply.
"Chiss! What is Chiss?
"I think it is merely an overgrown porcupine, but here in Oz they consider Chiss an evil spirit. He's different from a reg'lar porcupine, because he can throw his quills in any direction, which an American porcupine cannot do. That's what makes old Chiss so dangerous. If we get too near, he'll fire those quills at us and hurt us badly."
"Then we will be foolish to get too near, said Scraps.
"I'm not afraid," declared the Woozy. "The Chiss is cowardly, I'm sure, and if it ever heard my awful, terrible, frightful growl, it would be scared stiff."
"Oh; can you growl?" asked the Shaggy Man.
"That is the only ferocious thing about me," asserted the Woozy with evident pride. "My growl makes an earthquake blush and the thunder ashamed of itself. If I growled at that creature you call Chiss, it would immediately think the world had cracked in two and bumped against the sun and moon, and that would cause the monster to run as far and as fast as its legs could carry it."
"In that case," said the Shaggy Man, "you are now able to do us all a great favor. Please growl."
"But you forget," returned the Woozy; "my tremendous growl would also frighten you, and if you happen to have heart disease you might expire."
"True; but we must take that risk," decided the Shaggy Man, bravely. "Being warned of what is to occur we must try to bear the terrific noise of your growl; but Chiss won't expect it, and it will scare him away."
The Woozy hesitated.
"I'm fond of you all, and I hate to shock you," it said.
|Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
|The Patchwork Girl of Oz
L. Frank Baum
Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004