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Dorothy and the Lion saw the Scarecrow still perched on his pole in the middle of the river, his usual cheerful countenance metamorphosed into a scowl. They tried to think of a way to help him but couldn’t, so they just sat on the riverbank and gazed at him commiseratively.

After a while, a Stork happened to fly by and, seeing Dorothy and her friends, stopped to rest near them. When the large bird gazed at them quizzically, Dorothy introduced herself and her friends and told the Stork about their trip to the Emerald City. “The only problem,” Dorothy finished, looking wistfully toward the river, “is that we’ve lost the Scarecrow.”

The Stork eyed the Scarecrow thoughtfully and said, “If he weren’t so big, I would get him for you.”

“But he’s very, very light because he’s made of straw,” urged Dorothy beseechingly, hoping this riposte would convince the bird to at least try.

“I’ll try,” said the Stork, “but if he’s too cumbersome, I’ll have to drop him in the river.” And with that the bird suddenly flew to the Scarecrow.

She tried to lift him, but he desperately clung to the still-stuck pole. “Pull up if I pull up,” she coached him palindromically. Then with her strong, sharp talons she pulled on his shoulders as he did on the pole, and she easily carried him, pole still in hand, to the shore.

The Scarecrow was so happy to be on dry land with his cronies again that, after flinging away the pole, he capered about ebulliently, stopping only to momentarily hug each of them. Finally, exhausted from his own revelry, he quit the histrionics, sat down, and said with sincere gratitude to his rescuer, “If I ever get any brains, I’d like to do some kindness for you in return.” But the Stork, politely deprecating what she had done, altruistically assured the Scarecrow that no repayment was expected, and with that the bird wished them luck and flew off.

Chapter 8 “The Poppies”

As they all walked further upstream, they heard the dulcet songs of birds and the gentle plash of the river waves as they lapped the shoreline. Their eyes were drawn by brilliantly colored flowers that dotted the bucolic landscape. Yellow, white, blue, and purple ones were scattered about, but it was the great clusters of brilliant, scarlet poppies that dazzled Dorothy’s eyes. The further they walked, the thicker the flowers became, until they formed a carpet beneath their feet.

As they continued walking, all the while breathing in the spicy scent of the flowers, they began to notice a plethora of red poppies and a paucity of the other blossoms. Soon they found themselves in the center of a vast meadow of poppies. Now, nearly everyone knows that when you have great numbers of poppies, their fragrance is so potent that anyone who breathes it falls asleep. And if the sleeper isn’t carried away from the cloying perfume, he’ll sleep on forever!

But Dorothy didn’t know this, and soon the somniferous effect of the

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