Read Books Online, for Free
|The Wonderful Wizard of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
11. The Wonderful City of Oz
|Page 6 of 7||
"I am Oz, the Great and Terrible," spoke the Beast, in a voice that was one great roar. "Who are you, and why do you seek me?"
"I am a Woodman, and made of tin. Therefore I have no heart, and cannot love. I pray you to give me a heart that I may be as other men are."
"Why should I do this?" demanded the Beast.
"Because I ask it, and you alone can grant my request," answered the Woodman.
Oz gave a low growl at this, but said, gruffly: "If you indeed desire a heart, you must earn it."
"How?" asked the Woodman.
"Help Dorothy to kill the Wicked Witch of the West," replied the Beast. "When the Witch is dead, come to me, and I will then give you the biggest and kindest and most loving heart in all the Land of Oz."
So the Tin Woodman was forced to return sorrowfully to his friends and tell them of the terrible Beast he had seen. They all wondered greatly at the many forms the Great Wizard could take upon himself, and the Lion said:
"If he is a Beast when I go to see him, I shall roar my loudest, and so frighten him that he will grant all I ask. And if he is the lovely Lady, I shall pretend to spring upon her, and so compel her to do my bidding. And if he is the great Head, he will be at my mercy; for I will roll this head all about the room until he promises to give us what we desire. So be of good cheer, my friends, for all will yet be well."
The next morning the soldier with the green whiskers led the Lion to the great Throne Room and bade him enter the presence of Oz.
The Lion at once passed through the door, and glancing around saw, to his surprise, that before the throne was a Ball of Fire, so fierce and glowing he could scarcely bear to gaze upon it. His first thought was that Oz had by accident caught on fire and was burning up; but when he tried to go nearer, the heat was so intense that it singed his whiskers, and he crept back tremblingly to a spot nearer the door.
Then a low, quiet voice came from the Ball of Fire, and these were the words it spoke:
"I am Oz, the Great and Terrible. Who are you, and why do you seek me?"
And the Lion answered, "I am a Cowardly Lion, afraid of everything. I came to you to beg that you give me courage, so that in reality I may become the King of Beasts, as men call me."
"Why should I give you courage?" demanded Oz.
"Because of all Wizards you are the greatest, and alone have power to grant my request," answered the Lion.
The Ball of Fire burned fiercely for a time, and the voice said, "Bring me proof that the Wicked Witch is dead, and that moment I will give you courage. But as long as the Witch lives, you must remain a coward."
|Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
|The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
L. Frank Baum
Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004