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to stave off anything and everything untoward, Dorothy set off on her journey.

She located the yellow brick road with no problem, and soon found herself walking through some pretty countryside. There were natty little blue fences along the side of the road, and beyond them were miles of fecund fields. As she and Toto passed by each little, round, blue house, she noticed that the Munchkins who lived there came out to genuflect to her. Because she was both a child and a rank outsider, their deification of her seemed strange, but then she realized that these people knew it was she who had freed them from bondage.

After walking several miles, Dorothy stopped for a short rest. Sitting on a fence that skirted a large cornfield, she noticed in the field, attached to a tall pole, a Scarecrow, ostensibly placed there to frighten away any marauding crows. The Scarecrow’s head was nothing more than a straw-filled sack with painted eyes and nose. And its body, a sartorial disaster, was a threadbare, tattered, old blue suit, also stuffed with straw.

The Scarecrow’s queer, painted visage attracted Dorothy’s attention. As she stared at it, she saw one of the eyes wink at her! She thought that during her hiatus she might have dozed off and was only dreaming, because no scarecrows she’d ever seen in Kansas had ever winked. But now, fully awake, she saw the tatterdemalion figure genially nod his head at her.

Normally, Dorothy would have been chary of speaking to such an oddity as a sentient Scarecrow, but because he seemed such an affable sort, Dorothy approached him without trepidation. Toto ran around and around the pole, barking gleefully.

“Good day. How do you do?” said the Scarecrow.

“Very well. How do you do?” answered Dorothy.

“Not well at all,” said the Scarecrow, who, in a most polite manner, began to bemoan his fate. The underlying problem was that the pole forced his body into an unnatural position. He hoped he might become inured to the discomfort, but that didn’t seem to be happening. On top of that, he felt listless, no doubt from staying in one position all day. Certainly, the enervating tedium of his life was enough to subject anyone to feelings of languor, even depression. He told Dorothy that he would be much obliged if she would remove him from the pole. She was able to lift him off easily because, being made of straw, the Scarecrow was quite light.

Once on the ground, the Scarecrow asked Dorothy who she was and where she was going. Dorothy told him her name and explained that she was going to the Emerald City to ask the Great Wizard to find a way to send her back to Kansas. But then she discovered that the Scarecrow had never heard of the Emerald City or the Great Wizard or even Kansas! Her surprise was so apparent that the Scarecrow felt it necessary to explain. “Because I’m made of straw, I have no brains, and so I

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