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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Frank Baum > Fairy tale "The Royal Book of Oz"

The Royal Book of Oz

"A rest? A rest is not what we want! We want breakfast!" growled the lion irritably and started to roar, but a yawn spoiled it. (One simply cannot look fierce by yawning.)

"You—" began the Poke. But Dorothy could not stand hearing the same slow speech again. Putting her fingers in her ears, she shouted back:

"What for?"

The Pokes regarded her sternly. Some even opened both eyes. Then the one who had first addressed them, covering a terrific gape with one hand, pointed with the other to a sign on a large post at the corner of the street.

"Speed limit 1/4 mile an hour" said the sign.

"We're arrested for speeding!" shouted Dorothy in the Cowardly Lion's ear.

"Did you say feeding?" asked the poor lion, waking up with a start. "If I go to sleep again before I'm fed, I'll starve to death!"

"Then keep awake," yawned Dorothy. By this time, the Pokes had surrounded them and were waving them imperiously ahead. They looked so threatening that Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion began to creep in the direction of a gloomy, gray castle. Of the journey neither of them remembered a thing, for with the gaping and yawning Pokes it was almost impossible to keep awake. But they must have walked in their sleep, for the next thing Dorothy knew, a harsh voice called slowly:

"Poke—him!"

Greatly alarmed, Dorothy opened her eyes. They were in a huge stone hall hung all over with rusty armor, and seated on a great stone chair, snoring so loudly that all the steel helmets rattled, was a Knight. The tallest and crossest of the Pokes rushed at him with a long poker, giving him such a shove that he sprawled to the floor.

"So—" yawned the Cowardly Lion, awakened by the clatter, "Knight has fallen!"

"Prisoners—Sir Hokus!" shouted the Chief Poker, lifting the Knight's plume and speaking into the helmet as if he were telephoning.

The Knight arose with great dignity, and after straightening his armor, let down his visor, and Dorothy saw a kind, timid face with melancholy blue eyes—not at all Pokish, as she explained to Ozma later.

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