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don’t know anything at all,” he said sadly. Then, in a sudden fit of lucid forethought, especially for one made of straw, he asked, “Do you think the Great Wizard might be able to give me some brains?”

“I don’t know,” said Dorothy, “but you may come with me if you like. Even if the Great Oz won’t give you any brains, you’ll be no worse off than you are now.”

The Scarecrow sensed that this was a chance, however tenuous, to get some brains and thereby preclude the mortification of being thought a fool—his great fear, second only to his fear of a lighted match! And the thought of a convivial triumvirate intrigued him, especially after the overwhelming lassitude he’d suffered in the desolate purgatory of the cornfield.

And so, with Toto following desultorily in their wake, the two of them—a would-be interloper turned lionized savior and a despondent, benighted sack of straw turned jovial wayfarer—started along the yellow brick road for the promise of the Emerald City.

Chapter 4 “The Tin Woodman”

Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and Toto walked for a long while, past the suburbs and exurbs, to the hinterlands of Oz. Here, the yellow brick road became rough and irregular, with increasingly widening gaps between the bricks. Dorothy and Toto easily jumped over these interstices, but, with crack-jumping apparently beyond the purview of his understanding, the Scarecrow continued walking as though the road were still smooth and regular. Over and over he fell flat on his face and Dorothy repeatedly had to straighten him up. Being made of straw, these falls never hurt the Scarecrow, who smiled blithely at each mishap.

Around noon, Dorothy was famished, so she stopped to eat by a placid pond. She noticed a pretty little promontory jutting out into the water but was too ravenous to bother walking out on it.

She offered some bread from her basket to the Scarecrow, but he declined. His show of asceticism seemed unreasonable to her, so she gave him a questioning look. “I never get hungry,” he told her, “because I have no stomach; only straw.” Then he said that he was lucky he never became hungry. If he were to eat, he explained, he would swallow the straw where his mouth was, distorting the shape of his head. Disfigurement added to ignorance would be a burden too onerous to bear. Dorothy ruminated on this awhile; then, realizing that what the Scarecrow said was true, nodded and continued her repast in silence.

Finally satiated, Dorothy handed the basket to the Scarecrow and said, “Let’s go.”

As they walked along the road, the Scarecrow tried to think of something interesting to say to show the girl that he was not quite as empty-headed as she might suppose. Then it struck him—some witty repartee would be just the thing! But when he tried to think of something clever to say, nothing came to him except an inchoate jumble of trite clichés. Oh, how he cursed himself for being such a dolt! Now he felt it incumbent

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