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you’ll be happy there.” She handed the Golden Cap to Glinda, then threw her arms around the Lion’s neck and kissed him, gently patting his big head. Inwardly he harbored a surge of pent-up feelings, but his indomitable bravery forbade him from displaying them.

Then she turned to the Tin Woodman, who was weeping in a way most dangerous to his metal joints. “You mustn’t cry or you’ll rust your joints again,” she said with just a hint of reproach. “Will you be going back to the Land of the West to rule over the Winkies?” Not trusting his voice to speak, he merely nodded. Dorothy kissed his hot metal cheek and a look of tenderness and devotion welled up in his eyes.

Finally she turned to the Scarecrow, her first friend in Oz, the one she knew best of all. She touched his arm, and an enormous, overwhelming rush of fondness for the girl swept over him, prevailing over every other sensation. She gave him a little conspiratorial smile and said sub rosa, “I think I’ll miss you most of all.”

But he made no response. He just stood there as if permanently paralyzed, with one hand over his eyes and the other dangling lifelessly at his side.


Tears spilled through his fingers and dripped onto his feet. He made no sound. His whole body was shaking with his effort not to give way. But it was no use. “Don’t cry! There’s nothing to cry about,” Dorothy said, gently patting his back, her eyes glazing over. She felt her throat swell into an unbearably turgid lump, nearly suffocating her. Violent sobs suddenly broke from her, convulsing her narrow shoulders. She desperately flung her arms around the soft, stuffed body of the Scarecrow and kissed his painted face.

He tried to speak, but the words clung to the straw lining of his throat. “I’m sorry,” he finally said, in a strangled croak that brought with it a few strands of straw. “I’ll be all right…I’ll be all right.” He wiped a sleeve across his painted eyes.

As Glinda stepped down from her throne to give the little girl a good-bye kiss, fulgent patterns of sunlight crisscrossed the room. Dorothy, composing herself as well as she could, thanked the good Witch for her kindness. Glinda’s smile deepened, emphasizing the lines of kindness around her eyes. Now Dorothy took Toto solemnly in her arms and said, “I’m ready now.” Then, waving good-bye to them all, she clicked her heels together three times and said, “Take me home to Aunt Em!”

Instantly she was whirling through the air so swiftly that all she could hear was the sibilant wind rushing past her ears. The Silver Shoes took but three steps and then stopped so suddenly that Dorothy rolled over upon the grass several times. Then she sat up and looked around her.

“Good gracious!” she cried, for she was sitting on the broad Kansas prairie, and just before her was the new farmhouse Uncle Henry built after the

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