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

The Royal Book of Oz

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Three tables set for dinner with the most appetizing viands were walking jauntily down the street, talking fluent china.

"There must be people!" cried Dorothy.

"One dinner for each of us," rumbled the Cowardly Lion, licking his chops. "Come on!"

"Perchance they will invite us. If we follow the dinners, we'll come to the diners," said Sir Hokus mildly.

"Right—as usual." The Cowardly Lion looked embarrassed, for he had intended pouncing on the tables without further ceremony.

"Hush! Let's go quietly. If they hear us, they may run and upset the dishes," warned Dorothy. So the three walked softly after the dinner tables, their curiosity about the people of Fix growing keener at every step. Several chairs, a sofa and a clothes tree rushed past them, but as Dorothy said later to Ozma, after talking bushes, nothing surprised them. The tables turned the corner at the end of the avenue three abreast, and the sight that greeted Dorothy and her comrades was strange indeed. Down each side of a long street as far as they could see stood rows and rows of people. Each one was in the exact center of a chalked circle, and they were so still that Dorothy thought they must be statues.

But no sooner had the three tables made their appearance than bells began ringing furiously all up and down the street, and dinner tables and chairs came running from every direction. All the inhabitants of Fix City looked alike. They had large, round heads, broad placid faces, double chins, and no waists whatever. Their feet were flat and about three times as long as the longest you have ever seen. The women wore plain Mother Hubbard dresses and straw sailor hats, and the men gingham suits.

While the three friends were observing all this, the tables had been taking their places. One stopped before each Fix, and the chairs, after much bumping and quarreling, placed themselves properly. At a signal from the Fix in the center, the whole company sat down without so much as moving their feet. Dorothy, Sir Hokus and the Cowardly Lion had been too interested to speak, but at this minute a whole flock of the mischievous lanterns clustered over their heads, and at the sudden blare of light the whole street stopped eating and stared.

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