Majors and Minors
“This is strange,” exclaimed Dorothy. “What shall we do?” “The trees seem to have made up their minds to fight us, and stop our journey,” remarked the Lion. “I believe I will try it myself,” said the Woodman, and shouldering his axe, he marched up to the first tree that had handled the Scarecrow so roughly.
When a big branch bent down to seize him the Woodman chopped at it so fiercely that he cut it in two. At once the tree began shaking all its branches as if in pain, and the Tin Woodman passed safely under it. “Come on!” he shouted to the others. “Be quick!” They all ran forward and passed under the tree without injury, except Toto, who was caught by a small branch and shaken until he howled. But the Woodman promptly chopped off the branch and set the little dog free. The other trees of the forest did nothing to keep them back, so they made up their minds that only the first row of trees could bend down their branches, and that probably these were the policemen of the forest, and given this wonderful power in order to keep strangers out of it. The four travelers walked with ease through the trees until they came to the farther edge of the wood.
Then, to their surprise, they found before them a high wall which seemed to be made of white china. It was smooth, like the surface of a dish, and higher than their heads. “What shall we do now?” asked Dorothy. “I will make a ladder,” said the Tin Woodman, “for we certainly must climb over the wall.” While the Woodman was making a ladder from wood which he found in the forest Dorothy lay down and slept, for she was tired by the long walk. The Lion also curled himself up to sleep and Toto lay beside him. The Scarecrow watched the Woodman while he worked, and said to him: “I cannot think why this wall is here, nor what it is made of.” “Rest your brains and do not worry about the wall,” replied the Woodman. “When we have climbed over it, we shall know what is on the other side.”
After a time the ladder was finished. It looked clumsy, but the Tin Woodman was sure it was strong and would answer their purpose. The Scarecrow waked Dorothy and the Lion and Toto, and told them that the ladder was ready. The Scarecrow climbed up the ladder first, but he was so awkward that Dorothy had to follow close behind and keep him from falling off. When he got his head over the top of the wall the Scarecrow said, “Oh, my!” “Go on,” exclaimed Dorothy. So the Scarecrow climbed farther up and sat down on the top of the wall, and Dorothy put her head over and cried, “Oh, my!” just as the Scarecrow had done. Then Toto came up, and immediately began to bark, but Dorothy made him be still. The Lion climbed the ladder next, and the Tin Woodman came last; but both of them cried, “Oh, my!” as soon as they looked over the wall.