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

The Royal Book of Oz

"Do you not find the affairs of state fatiguing, darling papa?" inquired the third Prince, fingering a jeweled chain that hung around his neck.

"I, as your eldest son, shall be delighted to relieve you should you wish to retire. Get back ten paces, you!" he roared at Happy Toko.

The poor Scarecrow had been so taken aback by this cool reception that he just stared in disbelief.

"If the three honorable Princes will retire themselves, I will speak with my grandsons," he said dryly, bowing in his most royal manner. The three Princes exchanged startled glances. Then, with three low salaams, they retired backward from the hall.

"And now, my dears—!" The Scarecrow looked wistfully at his fifteen silken-clad little grandsons. Their silver hair, plaited tightly into little queues, stood out stiffly on each side of their heads and gave them a very curious appearance. At his first word, the fifteen fell dutifully on their noses. As soon as they were right side up, the Scarecrow, beginning at the end of the row, addressed a joking question to each in his most approved Oz style. But over they went again, and answered merely:

"Yes, gracious Grand-papapapah!" or "No honorable Grandpapapapah!" And the constant bobbing up and down and papahing so confused the poor Scarecrow that he nearly gave up the conversation.

"It's no use trying to talk to these children," he wailed in disgust, "they're so solemn. Don't you ever laugh?" he cried in exasperation, for he had told them stories that would have sent the Oz youngsters into hysterics.

"It is not permissible for a Prince to laugh at the remarks of his honorable grandparent," whispered Happy Toko, while the fifteen little Princes banged their heads solemnly on the floor.

"Honorable fiddlesticks!" exclaimed the Scarecrow, slumping back on his throne. "Bring cushions." Happy Toko ran off nimbly, and soon the fifteen little Princes were seated in a circle at the Scarecrow's feet. "To prevent prostrations," said the Scarecrow.

"Yes, old Grandpapapapapah!

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