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|The Road to Oz||L. Frank Baum|
The Shaggy Man's Transformation
|Page 3 of 5||
"That's a matter of taste," said Dorothy.
"Where is the Truth Pond?" asked the shaggy man, earnestly.
"Somewhere in the Land of Oz; but just the exact location of it I can not tell," was the answer.
"Don't worry, Shaggy Man," said Dorothy, smiling because her friend wagged his new ears so comically. "If the Truth Pond is in Oz, we'll be sure to find it when we get there."
"Oh! Are you going to the Land of Oz?" asked King Kik-a-bray.
"I don't know," she replied, "but we've been told we are nearer the Land of Oz than to Kansas, and if that's so, the quickest way for me to get home is to find Ozma."
"Haw-haw! Do you know the mighty Princess Ozma?" asked the King, his tone both surprised and eager.
"'Course I do; she's my friend," said Dorothy.
"Then perhaps you'll do me a favor," continued the white donkey, much excited.
"What is it?" she asked.
"Perhaps you can get me an invitation to Princess Ozma's birthday celebration, which will be the grandest royal function ever held in Fairyland. I'd love to go."
"Hee-haw! You deserve punishment, rather than reward, for giving me this dreadful head," said the shaggy man, sorrowfully.
"I wish you wouldn't say 'hee-haw' so much," Polychrome begged him; "it makes cold chills run down my back."
"But I can't help it, my dear; my donkey head wants to bray continually," he replied. "Doesn't your fox head want to yelp every minute?" he asked Button-Bright.
"Don't know," said the boy, still staring at the shaggy man's ears. These seemed to interest him greatly, and the sight also made him forget his own fox head, which was a comfort.
"What do you think, Polly? Shall I promise the donkey king an invitation to Ozma's party?" asked Dorothy of the Rainbow's Daughter, who was flitting about the room like a sunbeam because she could never keep still.
"Do as you please, dear," answered Polychrome. "He might help to amuse the guests of the Princess."
"Then, if you will give us some supper and a place to sleep to-night, and let us get started on our journey early to-morrow morning," said Dorothy to the King, "I'll ask Ozma to invite you--if I happen to get to Oz."
"Good! Hee-haw! Excellent!" cried Kik-a-bray, much pleased. "You shall all have fine suppers and good beds. What food would you prefer, a bran mash or ripe oats in the shell?"
"Neither one," replied Dorothy, promptly.
"Perhaps plain hay, or some sweet juicy grass would suit you better," suggested Kik-a-bray, musingly.
"Is that all you have to eat?" asked the girl.
"What more do you desire?"
"Well, you see we're not donkeys," she explained, "and so we're used to other food. The foxes gave us a nice supper in Foxville."
"We'd like some dewdrops and mist-cakes," said Polychrome.
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|The Road to Oz
L. Frank Baum
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