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|The Tin Woodman of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
The Tin Woodman Talks to Himself
|Page 2 of 6||
"I'll speak to him about it," said the Tin Woodman. "Do you remember loving a pretty Munchkin girl named Nimmie Amee?"
"No," answered the Head. "That is a foolish question. The heart in my body -- when I had a body -- might have loved someone, for all I know, but a head isn't made to love; it's made to think."
"Oh; do you think, then?"
"I used to think."
"You must have been shut up in this cupboard for years and years. What have you thought about, in all that time?"
"Nothing. That's another foolish question. A little reflection will convince you that I have had nothing to think about, except the boards on the inside of the cupboard door, and it didn't take me long to think of everything about those boards that could be thought of. Then, of course, I quit thinking."
"And are you happy?"
"Happy? What's that?"
"Don't you know what happiness is?" inquired the Tin Woodman.
"I haven't the faintest idea whether it's round or square, or black or white, or what it is. And, if you will pardon my lack of interest in it, I will say that I don't care."
The Tin Woodman was much puzzled by these answers. His traveling companions had grouped themselves at his back, and had fixed their eyes on the Head and listened to the conversation with much interest, but until now, they had not interrupted because they thought the Tin Woodman had the best right to talk to his own head and renew acquaintance with it.
But now the Tin Soldier remarked:
"I wonder if my old head happens to be in any of these cupboards," and he proceeded to open all the cupboard doors. But no other head was to be found on any of the shelves.
"Oh, well; never mind," said Woot the Wanderer; "I can't imagine what anyone wants of a cast-off head, anyhow."
"I can understand the Soldier's interest," asserted Polychrome, dancing around the grimy workshop until her draperies formed a cloud around her dainty form. "For sentimental reasons a man might like to see his old head once more, just as one likes to revisit an old home."
"And then to kiss it good-bye," added the Scarecrow.
"I hope that tin thing won't try to kiss me goodbye!" exclaimed the Tin Woodman's former head. "And I don't see what right you folks have to disturb my peace and comfort, either."
"You belong to me," the Tin Woodman declared.
"I do not!"
"You and I are one."
"We've been parted," asserted the Head. "It would be unnatural for me to have any interest in a man made of tin. Please close the door and leave me alone."
"I did not think that my old Head could be so disagreeable," said the Emperor. "I -- I'm quite ashamed of myself; meaning you."
"You ought to be glad that I've enough sense to know what my rights are," retorted the Head. "In this cupboard I am leading a simple life, peaceful and dignified, and when a mob of people in whom I am not interested disturb me, they are the disagreeable ones; not I."
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|The Tin Woodman of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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