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

The Royal Book of Oz

"He seems to be frightened, himself," whispered Dorothy to the Knight. "But whatever is the matter with the Cowardly Lion?"

At that minute, the Cowardly Lion gave a great jerk and began backing with his four feet braced. The piece of giant leg that he had hold of stretched and stretched, and while Sir Hokus and Dorothy stared in amazement, it snapped off and the Cowardly Lion rolled head over paws.

"Taffy!" roared the Cowardly Lion, sitting up and trying to open his jaws, which were firmly stuck together.

"Taffy!" At this, Sir Hokus sprang nimbly on the giant's leg, ran up his chest, and perched bravely on his peppermint collar.

"Surrender, Knave!" he demanded threateningly. Dorothy, seeing she could do nothing to help the Cowardly Lion, followed. On her way up, she broke off a tiny piece of his coat and found it most delicious chocolate.

"Why, he's all made of candy!" she cried excitedly.

"Oh, hush!" sobbed the giant, rolling his great sourball eyes. "I'd be eaten in a minute if it were known."

"You were mighty anxious to eat us a while ago," said Dorothy, looking longingly at the giant's coat buttons. They seemed to be large marshmallows.

"Go away!" screamed the giant, shaking so that Dorothy slid into his vest pocket. "No one under forty feet is allowed in this forest!"

Dorothy climbed crossly out of the giant's pocket. "We didn't come because we wanted to," she assured him, wiping the chocolate off her nose.

"Odds bodikins! I cannot fight a great baby like this," sighed Sir Hokus, dodging just in time a great, sugary tear that had rolled down the giant's nose. "He's got to apologize for that song, though."

"Wait!" cried Dorothy suddenly. "I have an idea. If you set us down on the edge of the forest and give us all your vest buttons for lunch, we won't tell anyone you're made of candy. We'll let you go," she called loudly, for the giant had begun to sob again.

"Won't you? Will you?" sniffed the foolish giant.

"Never sing that song again!" commanded the Knight sternly.

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