Practice reading.


pauloviana2012 (51)

I speak:
I learn:
English, Spanish, French
Busuu berries :

 20. The Monkeys Have Trouble

“Now,” said the Wizard, “we must start for home. But how are we

going to carry that big gold flower-pot? Cap’n Bill can’t lug it all

the way, that’s certain.”

“No,” acknowledged the sailor-man; “it’s pretty heavy. I could carry

it for a little while, but I’d have to stop to rest every few minutes.”

“Couldn’t we put it on your back?” Dorothy asked the Cowardly Lion,

with a good-natured yawn.

“I don’t object to carrying it, if you can fasten it on,” answered

the Lion.

“If it falls off,” said Trot, “it might get smashed an’ be ruined.”

“I’ll fix it,” promised Cap’n Bill. “I’ll make a flat board out of

one of these tree trunks, an’ tie the board on the lion’s back, an’

set the flower-pot on the board.” He set to work at once to do this,

but as he only had his big knife for a tool his progress was slow.

So the Wizard took from his black bag a tiny saw that shone like

silver and said to it:

“Saw, Little Saw, come show your power;

Make us a board for the Magic Flower.”

And at once the Little Saw began to move and it sawed the log so

fast that those who watched it work were astonished. It seemed to

understand, too, just what the board was to be used for, for when it

was completed it was flat on top and hollowed beneath in such a manner

that it exactly fitted the Lion’s back.

“That beats whittlin’!” exclaimed Cap’n Bill, admiringly. “You

don’t happen to have TWO o’ them saws; do you, Wizard?”

“No,” replied the Wizard, wiping the Magic Saw carefully with his

silk handkerchief and putting it back in the black bag. “It’s the

only saw of its kind in the world; and if there were more like it, it

wouldn’t be so wonderful.”

They now tied the board on the Lion’s back, flat side up, and Cap’n

Bill carefully placed the Magic Flower on the board.

“For fear o’ accidents,” he said, “I’ll walk beside the Lion and

hold onto the flower-pot.”

Trot and Dorothy could both ride on the back of the Hungry Tiger,

and between them they carried the cage of monkeys. But this

arrangement left the Wizard, as well as the sailor, to make the

journey on foot, and so the procession moved slowly and the Glass Cat

grumbled because it would take so long to get to the Emerald City.

The Cat was sour-tempered and grumpy, at first, but before they had

journeyed far, the crystal creature had discovered a fine amusement.

The long tails of the monkeys were constantly sticking through the

bars of their cage, and when they did, the Glass Cat would slyly seize

the tails in her paws and pull them. That made the monkeys scream,

and their screams pleased the Glass Cat immensely. Trot and Dorothy

tried to stop this naughty amusement, but when they were not looking

the Cat would pull the tails again, and the creature was so sly and

quick that the monkeys could seldom escape. They scolded the Cat

angrily and shook the bars of their cage, but they could not get out

and the Cat only laughed at them.

After the party had left the forest and were on the plains of the

Munchkin Country, it grew dark, and they were obliged to make camp for

the night, choosing a pretty place beside a brook. By means of his

magic the Wizard created three tents, pitched in a row on the grass

and nicely fitted with all that was needful for the comfort of his

comrades. The middle tent was for Dorothy and Trot, and had in it two

cosy white beds and two chairs. Another tent, also with beds and

chairs, was for the Wizard and Cap’n Bill, while the third tent was

for the Hungry Tiger, the Cowardly Lion, the cage of Monkeys and the

Glass Cat. Outside the tents the Wizard made a fire and placed over

it a magic kettle from which he presently drew all sorts of nice

things for their supper, smoking hot.

After they had eaten and talked together for a while under the

twinkling stars, they all went to bed and the people were soon

asleep. The Lion and the Tiger had almost fallen asleep, too, when

they were roused by the screams of the monkeys, for the Glass Cat was

pulling their tails again. Annoyed by the uproar, the Hungry Tiger

cried: “Stop that racket!” and getting sight of the Glass Cat, he

raised his big paw and struck at the creature. The cat was quick

enough to dodge the blow, but the claws of the Hungry Tiger scraped

the monkey’s cage and bent two of the bars.

Then the Tiger lay down again to sleep, but the monkeys soon

discovered that the bending of the bars would allow them to squeeze

through. They did not leave the cage, however, but after whispering

together they let their tails stick out and all remained quiet.

Presently the Glass Cat stole near the cage again and gave a yank to

one of the tails. Instantly the monkeys leaped through the bars, one

after another, and although they were so small the entire dozen of

them surrounded the Glass Cat and clung to her claws and tail and ears

and made her a prisoner. Then they forced her out of the tent and

down to the banks of the stream. The monkeys had noticed that these

banks were covered with thick, slimy mud of a dark blue color, and

when they had taken the Cat to the stream, they smeared this mud all

over the glass body of the cat, filling the creature’s ears and eyes

with it, so that she could neither see nor hear. She was no longer

transparent and so thick was the mud upon her that no one could see

her pink brains or her ruby heart.

In this condition they led the pussy back to the tent and then got

inside their cage again.

By morning the mud had dried hard on the Glass Cat and it was a dull

blue color throughout. Dorothy and Trot were horrified, but the

Wizard shook his head and said it served the Glass Cat right for

teasing the monkeys.

Cap’n Bill, with his strong hands, soon bent the golden wires of the

monkeys’ cage into the proper position and then he asked the Wizard if

he should wash the Glass Cat in the water of the brook.

“Not just yet,” answered the Wizard. “The Cat deserves to be

punished, so I think I’ll leave that blue mud-which is as bad as

paint-upon her body until she gets to the Emerald City. The silly

creature is so vain that she will be greatly shamed when the Oz people

see her in this condition, and perhaps she’ll take the lesson to heart

and leave the monkeys alone hereafter.”

However, the Glass Cat could not see or hear, and to avoid carrying

her on the journey the Wizard picked the mud out of her eyes and ears

and Dorothy dampened her handkerchief and washed both the eyes and

ears clean.

As soon as she could speak the Glass Cat asked indignantly: “Aren’t

you going to punish those monkeys for playing such a trick on me?”

“No,” answered the Wizard. “You played a trick on them by pulling

their tails, so this is only tit-for-tat, and I’m glad the monkeys had

their revenge.”

He wouldn’t allow the Glass Cat to go near the water, to wash

herself, but made her follow them when they resumed their journey

toward the Emerald City.

“This is only part of your punishment,” said the Wizard, severely.

“Ozma will laugh at you, when we get to her palace, and so will the

Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman, and Tik-Tok, and the Shaggy Man, and

Button-Bright, and the Patchwork Girl, and-”

“And the Pink Kitten,” added Dorothy.

That suggestion hurt the Glass Cat more than anything else. The

Pink Kitten always quarreled with the Glass Cat and insisted that

flesh was superior to glass, while the Glass Cat would jeer at the

Pink Kitten, because it had no pink brains. But the pink brains were

all daubed with blue mud, just now, and if the Pink Kitten should see

the Glass Cat in such a condition, it would be dreadfully humiliating.

For several hours the Glass Cat walked along very meekly, but toward

noon it seized an opportunity when no one was looking and darted away

through the long grass. It remembered that there was a tiny lake of

pure water near by, and to this lake the Cat sped as fast as it could go.

The others never missed her until they stopped for lunch, and then

it was too late to hunt for her.

“I s’pect she’s gone somewhere to clean herself,” said Dorothy.

“Never mind,” replied the Wizard. “Perhaps this glass creature has

been punished enough, and we must not forget she saved both Trot and

Cap’n Bill.”

“After first leading ‘em onto an enchanted island,” added Dorothy.

“But I think, as you do, that the Glass Cat is punished enough, and

p’raps she won’t try to pull the monkeys’ tails again.”

The Glass Cat did not rejoin the party of travelers. She was still

resentful, and they moved too slowly to suit her, besides. When they

arrived at the Royal Palace, one of the first things they saw was the

Glass Cat curled up on a bench as bright and clean and transparent as

ever. But she pretended not to notice them, and they passed her by

without remark.


pauloviana2012 (51)

I speak:
I learn:
English, Spanish, French
Busuu berries :

 21. The College of Athletic Arts

Dorothy and her friends arrived at the Royal Palace at an opportune

time, for Ozma was holding high court in her Throne Room, where

Professor H. M. Wogglebug, T.E., was appealing to her to punish some of

the students of the Royal Athletic College, of which he was the Principal.

This College is located in the Munchkin Country, but not far from

the Emerald City. To enable the students to devote their entire time

to athletic exercises, such as boating, foot-ball, and the like,

Professor Wogglebug had invented an assortment of Tablets of Learning.

One of these tablets, eaten by a scholar after breakfast, would

instantly enable him to understand arithmetic or algebra or any other

branch of mathematics. Another tablet eaten after lunch gave a

student a complete knowledge of geography. Another tablet made it

possible for the eater to spell the most difficult words, and still

another enabled him to write a beautiful hand. There were tablets for

history, mechanics, home cooking and agriculture, and it mattered not

whether a boy or a girl was stupid or bright, for the tablets taught

them everything in the twinkling of an eye.

This method, which is patented in the Land of Oz by Professor

Wogglebug, saves paper and books, as well as the tedious hours devoted

to study in some of our less favored schools, and it also allows the

students to devote all their time to racing, base-ball, tennis and

other manly and womanly sports, which are greatly interfered with by

study in those Temples of Learning where Tablets of Learning are unknown.

But it so happened that Professor Wogglebug (who had invented so

much that he had acquired the habit) carelessly invented a Square-Meal

Tablet, which was no bigger than your little finger-nail but

contained, in condensed form, the equal of a bowl of soup, a portion

of fried fish, a roast, a salad and a dessert, all of which gave the

same nourishment as a square meal.

The Professor was so proud of these Square-Meal Tablets that he

began to feed them to the students at his college, instead of other

food, but the boys and girls objected because they wanted food that

they could enjoy the taste of. It was no fun at all to swallow a

tablet, with a glass of water, and call it a dinner; so they refused

to eat the Square-Meal Tablets. Professor Wogglebug insisted, and the

result was that the Senior Class seized the learned Professor one day

and threw him into the river-clothes and all. Everyone knows that a

wogglebug cannot swim, and so the inventor of the wonderful

Square-Meal Tablets lay helpless on the bottom of the river for three

days before a fisherman caught one of his legs on a fishhook and

dragged him out upon the bank.

The learned Professor was naturally indignant at such treatment, and

so he brought the entire Senior Class to the Emerald City and appealed

to Ozma of Oz to punish them for their rebellion.

I do not suppose the girl Ruler was very severe with the rebellious

boys and girls, because she had herself refused to eat the Square-Meal

Tablets in place of food, but while she was listening to the

interesting case in her Throne Room, Cap’n Bill managed to carry the

golden flower-pot containing the Magic Flower up to Trot’s room

without it being seen by anyone except Jellia Jamb, Ozma’s chief Maid

of Honor, and Jellia promised not to tell.

Also the Wizard was able to carry the cage of monkeys up to one of

the top towers of the palace, where he had a room of his own, to which

no one came unless invited. So Trot and Dorothy and Cap’n Bill and

the Wizard were all delighted at the successful end of their

adventure. The Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger went to the marble

stables behind the Royal Palace, where they lived while at home, and

they too kept the secret, even refusing to tell the Wooden Sawhorse,

and Hank the Mule, and the Yellow Hen, and the Pink Kitten where they

had been.

Trot watered the Magic Flower every day and allowed no one in her

room to see the beautiful blossoms except her friends, Betsy Bobbin

and Dorothy. The wonderful plant did not seem to lose any of its

magic by being removed from its island, and Trot was sure that Ozma

would prize it as one of her most delightful treasures.

Up in his tower the little Wizard of Oz began training his twelve

tiny monkeys, and the little creatures were so intelligent that they

learned every trick the Wizard tried to teach them. The Wizard

treated them with great kindness and gentleness and gave them the food

that monkeys love best, so they promised to do their best on the great

occasion of Ozma’s birthday.



pauloviana2012 (51)

I speak:
I learn:
English, Spanish, French
Busuu berries :

 22. Ozma’s Birthday Party

It seems odd that a fairy should have a birthday, for fairies, they

say, were born at the beginning of time and live forever. Yet, on the

other hand, it would be a shame to deprive a fairy, who has so many

other good things, of the delights of a birthday. So we need not

wonder that the fairies keep their birthdays just as other folks do,

and consider them occasions for feasting and rejoicing.

Ozma, the beautiful girl Ruler of the Fairyland of Oz, was a real

fairy, and so sweet and gentle in caring for her people that she was

greatly beloved by them all. She lived in the most magnificent palace

in the most magnificent city in the world, but that did not prevent

her from being the friend of the most humble person in her dominions.

She would mount her Wooden Sawhorse, and ride out to a farm house and

sit in the kitchen to talk with the good wife of the farmer while she

did her family baking; or she would play with the children and give

them rides on her famous wooden steed; or she would stop in a forest

to speak to a charcoal burner and ask if he was happy or desired

anything to make him more content; or she would teach young girls how

to sew and plan pretty dresses, or enter the shops where the jewelers

and craftsmen were busy and watch them at their work, giving to each

and all a cheering word or sunny smile.

And then Ozma would sit in her jeweled throne, with her chosen

courtiers all about her, and listen patiently to any complaint brought

to her by her subjects, striving to accord equal justice to all.

Knowing she was fair in her decisions, the Oz people never murmured at

her judgments, but agreed, if Ozma decided against them, she was right

and they wrong.

When Dorothy and Trot and Betsy Bobbin and Ozma were together, one

would think they were all about of an age, and the fairy Ruler no

older and no more “grown up” than the other three. She would laugh

and romp with them in regular girlish fashion, yet there was an air of

quiet dignity about Ozma, even in her merriest moods, that, in a

manner, distinguished her from the others. The three girls loved her

devotedly, but they were never able to quite forget that Ozma was the

Royal Ruler of the wonderful Fairyland of Oz, and by birth belonged to

a powerful race.

Ozma’s palace stood in the center of a delightful and extensive

garden, where splendid trees and flowering shrubs and statuary and

fountains abounded. One could walk for hours in this fascinating park

and see something interesting at every step. In one place was an

aquarium, where strange and beautiful fish swam; at another spot all

the birds of the air gathered daily to a great feast which Ozma’s

servants provided for them, and were so fearless of harm that they

would alight upon one’s shoulders and eat from one’s hand. There was

also the Fountain of the Water of Oblivion, but it was dangerous to

drink of this water, because it made one forget everything he had ever

before known, even to his own name, and therefore Ozma had placed a

sign of warning upon the fountain. But there were also fountains that

were delightfully perfumed, and fountains of delicious nectar, cool

and richly flavored, where all were welcome to refresh themselves.

Around the palace grounds was a great wall, thickly encrusted with

glittering emeralds, but the gates stood open and no one was forbidden

entrance. On holidays the people of the Emerald City often took their

children to see the wonders of Ozma’s gardens, and even entered the

Royal Palace, if they felt so inclined, for they knew that they and

their Ruler were friends, and that Ozma delighted to give them pleasure.

When all this is considered, you will not be surprised that the

people throughout the Land of Oz, as well as Ozma’s most intimate

friends and her royal courtiers, were eager to celebrate her birthday,

and made preparations for the festival weeks in advance. All the

brass bands practiced their nicest tunes, for they were to march in

the numerous processions to be made in the Winkie Country, the

Gillikin Country, the Munchkin Country and the Quadling Country, as

well as in the Emerald City. Not all the people could go to

congratulate their Ruler, but all could celebrate her birthday, in one

way or another, however far distant from her palace they might be.

Every home and building throughout the Land of Oz was to be decorated

with banners and bunting, and there were to be games, and plays, and a

general good time for every one.

It was Ozma’s custom on her birthday to give a grand feast at the

palace, to which all her closest friends were invited. It was a

queerly assorted company, indeed, for there are more quaint and unusual

characters in Oz than in all the rest of the world, and Ozma was more

interested in unusual people than in ordinary ones-just as you and I are.

On this especial birthday of the lovely girl Ruler, a long table was

set in the royal Banquet Hall of the palace, at which were place-cards

for the invited guests, and at one end of the great room was a smaller

table, not so high, for Ozma’s animal friends, whom she never forgot,

and at the other end was a big table where all of the birthday gifts

were to be arranged.

When the guests arrived, they placed their gifts on this table and

then found their places at the banquet table. And, after the guests

were all placed, the animals entered in a solemn procession and were

placed at their table by Jellia Jamb. Then, while an orchestra hidden

by a bank of roses and ferns played a march composed for the occasion,

the Royal Ozma entered the Banquet Hall, attended by her Maids of

Honor, and took her seat at the head of the table.

She was greeted by a cheer from all the assembled company, the

animals adding their roars and growls and barks and mewing and

cackling to swell the glad tumult, and then all seated themselves at

their tables.

At Ozma’s right sat the famous Scarecrow of Oz, whose straw-stuffed

body was not beautiful, but whose happy nature and shrewd wit had made

him a general favorite. On the left of the Ruler was placed the Tin

Woodman, whose metal body had been brightly polished for this event.

The Tin Woodman was the Emperor of the Winkie Country and one of the

most important persons in Oz.

Next to the Scarecrow, Dorothy was seated, and next to her was

Tik-Tok, the Clockwork Man, who had been wound up as tightly as his

clockwork would permit, so he wouldn’t interrupt the festivities by

running down. Then came Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, Dorothy’s own

relations, two kindly old people who had a cozy home in the Emerald

City and were very happy and contented there. Then Betsy Bobbin was

seated, and next to her the droll and delightful Shaggy Man, who was a

favorite wherever he went.

On the other side of the table, opposite the Tin Woodman was

placed Trot, and next to her, Cap’n Bill. Then was seated

Button-Bright and Ojo the Lucky, and Dr. Pipt and his good wife

Margalot, and the astonishing Frogman, who had come from the Yip

country to be present at Ozma’s birthday feast.

At the foot of the table, facing Ozma, was seated the queenly

Glinda, the good Sorceress of Oz, for this was really the place of

honor next to the head of the table where Ozma herself sat. On

Glinda’s right was the Little Wizard of Oz, who owed to Glinda all of

the magical arts he knew. Then came Jinjur, a pretty girl farmer of

whom Ozma and Dorothy were quite fond. The adjoining seat was

occupied by the Tin Soldier, and next to him was Professor H. M.

Wogglebug, T.E., of the Royal Athletic College.

On Glinda’s left was placed the jolly Patchwork Girl, who was a

little afraid of the Sorceress and so was likely to behave herself

pretty well. The Shaggy Man’s brother was beside the Patchwork Girl,

and then came that interesting personage, Jack Pumpkinhead, who had

grown a splendid big pumpkin for a new head to be worn on Ozma’s

birthday, and had carved a face on it that was even jollier in

expression than the one he had last worn. New heads were not unusual

with Jack, for the pumpkins did not keep long, and when the

seeds-which served him as brains-began to get soft and mushy, he

realized his head would soon spoil, and so he procured a new one from his

great field of pumpkins-grown by him so that he need never lack a head.

You will have noticed that the company at Ozma’s banquet table was

somewhat mixed, but every one invited was a tried and trusted friend of

the girl Ruler, and their presence made her quite happy.

No sooner had Ozma seated herself, with her back to the birthday

table, than she noticed that all present were eyeing with curiosity

and pleasure something behind her, for the gorgeous Magic Flower was

blooming gloriously and the mammoth blossoms that quickly succeeded

one another on the plant were beautiful to view and filled the entire

room with their delicate fragrance. Ozma wanted to look, too, to see

what all were staring at, but she controlled her curiosity because it

was not proper that she should yet view her birthday gifts.

So the sweet and lovely Ruler devoted herself to her guests, several

of whom, such as the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, the Patchwork Girl,

Tik-Tok, Jack Pumpkinhead and the Tin Soldier, never ate anything but

sat very politely in their places and tried to entertain those of the

guests who did eat.

And, at the animal table, there was another interesting group,

consisting of the Cowardly Lion, the Hungry Tiger, Toto-Dorothy’s

little shaggy black dog-Hank the Mule, the Pink Kitten, the Wooden

Sawhorse, the Yellow Hen, and the Glass Cat. All of these had good

appetites except the Sawhorse and the Glass Cat, and each was given a

plentiful supply of the food it liked best.

Finally, when the banquet was nearly over and the ice-cream was to be

served, four servants entered bearing a huge cake, all frosted and

decorated with candy flowers. Around the edge of the cake was a row of

lighted candles, and in the center were raised candy letters that

spelled the words:


Birthday Cake


Dorothy and the Wizard

“Oh, how beautiful!” cried Ozma, greatly delighted, and Dorothy said

eagerly: “Now you must cut the cake, Ozma, and each of us will eat a

piece with our ice-cream.”

Jellia Jamb brought a large golden knife with a jeweled handle, and

Ozma stood up in her place and attempted to cut the cake. But as soon

as the frosting in the center broke under the pressure of the knife

there leaped from the cake a tiny monkey three inches high, and he was

followed by another and another, until twelve monkeys stood on the

tablecloth and bowed low to Ozma.

“Congratulations to our gracious Ruler!” they exclaimed in a chorus,

and then they began a dance, so droll and amusing that all the company

roared with laughter and even Ozma joined in the merriment. But after

the dance the monkeys performed some wonderful acrobatic feats, and

then they ran to the hollow of the cake and took out some band

instruments of burnished gold-cornets, horns, drums, and the

like-and forming into a procession the monkeys marched up and down

the table playing a jolly tune with the ease of skilled musicians.

Dorothy was delighted with the success of her “Surprise Cake,” and

after the monkeys had finished their performance, the banquet came to

an end.

Now was the time for Ozma to see her other presents, so Glinda the

Good rose and, taking the girl Ruler by her hand, led her to the table

where all her gifts were placed in magnificent array. The Magic

Flower of course attracted her attention first, and Trot had to tell

her the whole story of their adventures in getting it. The little

girl did not forget to give due credit to the Glass Cat and the little

Wizard, but it was really Cap’n Bill who had bravely carried the

golden flower-pot away from the enchanted Isle.

Ozma thanked them all, and said she would place the Magic Flower in

her boudoir where she might enjoy its beauty and fragrance continually.

But now she discovered the marvelous gown woven by Glinda and her

maidens from strands drawn from pure emeralds, and being a girl who

loved pretty clothes, Ozma’s ecstasy at being presented with this

exquisite gown may well be imagined. She could hardly wait to put it

on, but the table was loaded with other pretty gifts and the night was

far spent before the happy girl Ruler had examined all her presents

and thanked those who had lovingly donated them.


pauloviana2012 (51)

I speak:
I learn:
English, Spanish, French
Busuu berries :

 23. The Fountain of Oblivion

The morning after the birthday fete, as the Wizard and Dorothy were walking

in the grounds of the palace, Ozma came out and joined them, saying:

“I want to hear more of your adventures in the Forest of Gugu, and

how you were able to get those dear little monkeys to use in Dorothy’s

Surprise Cake.”

So they sat down on a marble bench near to the Fountain of the Water of

Oblivion, and between them Dorothy and the Wizard related their adventures.

“I was dreadfully fussy while I was a woolly lamb,” said Dorothy,

“for it didn’t feel good, a bit. And I wasn’t quite sure, you know,

that I’d ever get to be a girl again.”

“You might have been a woolly lamb yet, if I hadn’t happened to have

discovered that Magic Transformation Word,” declared the Wizard.

“But what became of the walnut and the hickory-nut into which you

transformed those dreadful beast magicians?” inquired Ozma.

“Why, I’d almost forgotten them,” was the reply; “but I believe they

are still here in my pocket.”

Then he searched in his pockets and brought out the two nuts and

showed them to her.

Ozma regarded them thoughtfully.

“It isn’t right to leave any living creatures in such helpless

forms,” said she. “I think, Wizard, you ought to transform them into

their natural shapes again.”

“But I don’t know what their natural shapes are,” he objected, “for

of course the forms of mixed animals which they had assumed were not

natural to them. And you must not forget, Ozma, that their natures

were cruel and mischievous, so if I bring them back to life they might

cause us a great deal of trouble.”

“Nevertheless,” said the Ruler of Oz, “we must free them from their

present enchantments. When you restore them to their natural forms we

will discover who they really are, and surely we need not fear any two

people, even though they prove to be magicians and our enemies.”

“I am not so sure of that,” protested the Wizard, with a shake of

his bald head. “The one bit of magic I robbed them of-which was the

Word of Transformation-is so simple, yet so powerful, that neither

Glinda nor I can equal it. It isn’t all in the word, you know, it’s

the way the word is pronounced. So if the two strange magicians have

other magic of the same sort, they might prove very dangerous to us,

if we liberated them.”

“I’ve an idea!” exclaimed Dorothy. “I’m no wizard, and no fairy,

but if you do as I say, we needn’t fear these people at all.”

“What is your thought, my dear?” asked Ozma.

“Well,” replied the girl, “here is this Fountain of the Water of

Oblivion, and that’s what put the notion into my head. When the

Wizard speaks that ter’ble word that will change ‘em back to their

real forms, he can make ‘em dreadful thirsty, too, and we’ll put a cup

right here by the fountain, so it’ll be handy. Then they’ll drink the

water and forget all the magic they ever knew-and everything else, too.”

“That’s not a bad idea,” said the Wizard, looking at Dorothy approvingly.

“It’s a very GOOD idea,” declared Ozma. “Run for a cup, Dorothy.”

So Dorothy ran to get a cup, and while she was gone the Wizard said:

“I don’t know whether the real forms of these magicians are those of

men or beasts. If they’re beasts, they would not drink from a cup but

might attack us at once and drink afterward. So it might be safer for

us to have the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger here to protect us

if necessary.”

Ozma drew out a silver whistle which was attached to a slender gold

chain and blew upon the whistle two shrill blasts. The sound, though

not harsh, was very penetrating, and as soon as it reached the ears of

the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger, the two huge beasts quickly

came bounding toward them. Ozma explained to them what the Wizard was

about to do, and told them to keep quiet unless danger threatened. So

the two powerful guardians of the Ruler of Oz crouched beside the

fountain and waited.

Dorothy returned and set the cup on the edge of the fountain. Then

the Wizard placed the hickory-nut beside the fountain and said in a

solemn voice:

“I want you to resume your natural form, and to be very


In an instant there appeared, in the place of the hickory-nut, the

form of Kiki Aru, the Hyup boy. He seemed bewildered, at first, as if

trying to remember what had happened to him and why he was in this

strange place. But he was facing the fountain, and the bubbling water

reminded him that he was thirsty. Without noticing Ozma, the Wizard

and Dorothy, who were behind him, he picked up the cup, filled it with

the Water of Oblivion, and drank it to the last drop.

He was now no longer thirsty, but he felt more bewildered than ever, for

now he could remember nothing at all-not even his name or where he

came from. He looked around the beautiful garden with a pleased

expression, and then, turning, he beheld Ozma and the Wizard and

Dorothy regarding him curiously and the two great beasts crouching

behind them.

Kiki Aru did not know who they were, but he thought Ozma very lovely

and Dorothy very pleasant. So he smiled at them-the same innocent,

happy smile that a baby might have indulged in, and that pleased Dorothy,

who seized his hand and led him to a seat beside her on the bench.

“Why, I thought you were a dreadful magician,” she exclaimed,

“and you’re only a boy!”

“What is a magician?” he asked, “and what is a boy?”

“Don’t you know?” inquired the girl.

Kiki shook his head. Then he laughed.

“I do not seem to know anything,” he replied.

“It’s very curious,” remarked the Wizard. “He wears the dress of

the Munchkins, so he must have lived at one time in the Munchkin

Country. Of course the boy can tell us nothing of his history or his

family, for he has forgotten all that he ever knew.”

“He seems a nice boy, now that all the wickedness has gone from

him,” said Ozma. “So we will keep him here with us and teach him our

ways-to be true and considerate of others.”

“Why, in that case, it’s lucky for him he drank the Water of

Oblivion,” said Dorothy.

“It is indeed,” agreed the Wizard. “But the remarkable thing, to

me, is how such a young boy ever learned the secret of the Magic Word

of Transformation. Perhaps his companion, who is at present this

walnut, was the real magician, although I seem to remember that it was

this boy in the beast’s form who whispered the Magic Word into the

hollow tree, where I overheard it.”

“Well, we will soon know who the other is,” suggested Ozma. “He may

prove to be another Munchkin boy.”

The Wizard placed the walnut near the fountain and said, as slowly

and solemnly as before:

“I want you to resume your natural form, and to be very


Then the walnut disappeared and Ruggedo the Nome stood in its place.

He also was facing the fountain, and he reached for the cup, filled

it, and was about to drink when Dorothy exclaimed:

“Why, it’s the old Nome King!”

Ruggedo swung around and faced them, the cup still in his hand.

“Yes,” he said in an angry voice, “it’s the old Nome King, and I’m

going to conquer all Oz and be revenged on you for kicking me out of

my throne.” He looked around a moment, and then continued: “There

isn’t an egg in sight, and I’m stronger than all of you people put

together! I don’t know how I came here, but I’m going to fight the

fight of my life-and I’ll win!”

His long white hair and beard waved in the breeze; his eyes flashed

hate and vengeance, and so astonished and shocked were they by the

sudden appearance of this old enemy of the Oz people that they could

only stare at him in silence and shrink away from his wild glare.

Ruggedo laughed. He drank the water, threw the cup on the ground

and said fiercely:

“And now-and now-and-”

His voice grew gentle. He rubbed his forehead with a puzzled air

and stroked his long beard.

“What was I going to say?” he asked, pleadingly.

“Don’t you remember?” said the Wizard.

“No; I’ve forgotten.”

“Who ARE you?” asked Dorothy.

He tried to think. “I-I’m sure I don’t know,” he stammered.

“Don’t you know who WE are, either?” questioned the girl.

“I haven’t the slightest idea,” said the Nome.

“Tell us who this Munchkin boy is,” suggested Ozma.

Ruggedo looked at the boy and shook his head.

“He’s a stranger to me. You are all strangers. I-I’m a stranger

to myself,” he said.

Then he patted the Lion’s head and murmured, “Good doggie!” and the

Lion growled indignantly.

“What shall we do with him?” asked the Wizard, perplexed.

“Once before the wicked old Nome came here to conquer us, and then,

as now, he drank of the Water of Oblivion and became harmless. But we

sent him back to the Nome Kingdom, where he soon learned the old evil

ways again.

“For that reason,” said Ozma, “we must find a place for him in the

Land of Oz, and keep him here. For here he can learn no evil and will

always be as innocent of guile as our own people.”

And so the wandering ex-King of the Nomes found a new home, a

peaceful and happy home, where he was quite content and passed his

days in innocent enjoyment.



                                                       The end


pauloviana2012 (51)

I speak:
I learn:
English, Spanish, French
Busuu berries :






Section 1


The maid was a young woman of great natural calmness; she was

accustomed to let in visitors who had this air of being

annoyed and finding one umbrella too numerous for them. It

mattered nothing to her that the gentleman was asking for Dr.

Martineau as if he was asking for something with an

unpleasant taste. Almost imperceptibly she relieved him of

his umbrella and juggled his hat and coat on to a massive

mahogany stand. “What name, Sir?” she asked, holding open the

door of the consulting room.

“Hardy,” said the gentleman, and then yielding it reluctantly

with its distasteful three-year-old honour, “Sir Richmond


The door closed softly behind him and he found himself in

undivided possession of the large indifferent apartment in

which the nervous and mental troubles of the outer world

eddied for a time on their way to the distinguished

specialist. A bowl of daffodils, a handsome bookcase

containing bound Victorian magazines and antiquated medical

works, some paintings of Scotch scenery, three big armchairs,

a buhl clock, and a bronze Dancing Faun, by their want of any

collective idea enhanced rather than mitigated the

promiscuous disregard of the room. He drifted to the midmost

of the three windows and stared out despondently at Harley


For a minute or so he remained as still and limp as an empty

jacket on its peg, and then a gust of irritation stirred him.

“Damned fool I was to come here,” he said...”DAMNED fool!

“Rush out of the place? . . .

“I’ve given my name.” . . .

He heard the door behind him open and for a moment pretended

not to hear. Then he turned round. “I don’t see what you can

do for me,” he said.

“I’m sure _I_ don’t,” said the doctor. “People come here and


There was something reassuringly inaggressive about the

figure that confronted Sir Richmond. Dr. Martineau’s height

wanted at least three inches of Sir Richmond’s five feet

eleven; he was humanly plump, his face was round and pink and

cheerfully wistful, a little suggestive of the full moon, of

what the full moon might be if it could get fresh air and

exercise. Either his tailor had made his trousers too short

or he had braced them too high so that he seemed to have

grown out of them quite recently. Sir Richmond had been

dreading an encounter with some dominating and mesmeric

personality; this amiable presence dispelled his preconceived


Dr. Martineau, a little out of breath as though he had been

running upstairs, with his hands in his trouser pockets,

seemed intent only on disavowals. “People come here and talk.

It does them good, and sometimes I am able to offer a


“Talking to someone who understands a little,” he expanded

the idea.

“I’m jangling damnably...overwork.. . . .”

“Not overwork,” Dr. Martineau corrected. “Not overwork.

Overwork never hurt anyone. Fatigue stops that. A man can

work-good straightforward work, without internal resistance,

until he drops,-and never hurt himself. You must be working

against friction.”

“Friction! I’m like a machine without oil. I’m grinding to

death. . . . And it’s so DAMNED important I SHOULDN’T break

down. It’s VITALLY important.”

He stressed his words and reinforced them with a quivering

gesture of his upraised clenched hand. “My temper’s in rags.

I explode at any little thing. I’m RAW. I can’t work steadily

for ten minutes and I can’t leave off working.”

“Your name,” said the doctor, “is familiar. Sir Richmond

Hardy? In the papers. What is it?”


“Of course! The Fuel Commission. Stupid of me! We certainly

can’t afford to have you ill.”

“I AM ill. But you can’t afford to have me absent from that


“Your technical knowledge-”

“Technical knowledge be damned! Those men mean to corner the

national fuel supply. And waste it! For their profits. That’s

what I’m up against. You don’t know the job I have to do. You

don’t know what a Commission of that sort is. The moral

tangle of it. You don’t know how its possibilities and

limitations are canvassed and schemed about, long before a

single member is appointed. Old Cassidy worked the whole

thing with the prime minister. I can see that now as plain as

daylight. I might have seen it at first. . . . Three experts

who’d been got at; they thought _I_’d been got at; two Labour

men who’d do anything you wanted them to do provided you

called them ‘level-headed.’ Wagstaffe the socialist art

critic who could be trusted to play the fool and make

nationalization look silly, and the rest mine owners, railway

managers, oil profiteers, financial adventurers. . . . “

He was fairly launched. “It’s the blind folly of it! In the

days before the war it was different. Then there was

abundance. A little grabbing or cornering was all to the

good. All to the good. It prevented things being used up too

fast. And the world was running by habit; the inertia was

tremendous. You could take all sorts of liberties. But all

this is altered. We’re living in a different world. The

public won’t stand things it used to stand. It’s a new

public. It’s-wild. It’ll smash up the show if they go too

far. Everything short and running shorter-food, fuel,

material. But these people go on. They go on as though

nothing had changed. . . . Strikes, Russia, nothing will warn

them. There are men on that Commission who would steal the

brakes off a mountain railway just before they went down in

it. . . . It’s a struggle with suicidal imbeciles. It’s-!

But I’m talking! I didn’t come here to talk Fuel.”

“You think there may be a smash-up?”

“I lie awake at night, thinking of it.”

“A social smash-up.”

“Economic. Social. Yes. Don’t you?”

“A social smash-up seems to me altogether a possibility. All

sorts of people I find think that,” said the doctor. “All

sorts of people lie awake thinking of it.”

“I wish some of my damned Committee would!”

The doctor turned his eyes to the window. “I lie awake too,”

he said and seemed to reflect. But he was observing his

patient acutely-with his ears.

“But you see how important it is,” said Sir Richmond, and

left his sentence unfinished.

“I’ll do what I can for you,” said the doctor, and considered

swiftly what line of talk he had best follow.


pauloviana2012 (51)

I speak:
I learn:
English, Spanish, French
Busuu berries :

 Section 2

“This sense of a coming smash is epidemic,” said the doctor.

“It’s at the back of all sorts of mental trouble. It is a new

state of mind. Before the war it was abnormal-a phase of

neurasthenia. Now it is almost the normal state with whole

classes of intelligent people. Intelligent, I say. The others

always have been casual and adventurous and always will be. A

loss of confidence in the general background of life. So that

we seem to float over abysses.”

“We do,” said Sir Richmond.

“And we have nothing but the old habits and ideas acquired in

the days of our assurance. There is a discord, a jarring.”

The doctor pursued his train of thought. “A new, raw and

dreadful sense of responsibility for the universe.

Accompanied by a realization that the job is overwhelmingly

too big for us.”

“We’ve got to stand up to the job,” said Sir Richmond.

“Anyhow, what else is there to do? We MAY keep things

together. . . . “I’ve got to do my bit. And if only I could

hold myself at it, I could beat those fellows. But that’s

where the devil of it comes in. Never have I been so desirous

to work well in my life. And never have I been so slack and

weak-willed and inaccurate. ... Sloppy. . . . Indolent. . . .

VISCIOUS! . . . “

The doctor was about to speak, but Sir Richmond interrupted

him. “What’s got hold of me? What’s got hold of me? I used to

work well enough. It’s as if my will had come untwisted and

was ravelling out into separate strands. I’ve lost my unity.

I’m not a man but a mob. I’ve got to recover my vigour. At

any cost.”

Again as the doctor was about to speak the word was taken out

of his mouth. “And what I think of it, Dr. Martineau, is

this: it’s fatigue. It’s mental and moral fatigue. Too much

effort. On too high a level. And too austere. One strains and

fags. FLAGS! ‘Flags’ I meant to say. One strains and flags

and then the lower stuff in one, the subconscious stuff,

takes control.”

There was a flavour of popularized psychoanalysis about this,

and the doctor drew in the corners of his mouth and gave his

head a critical slant. “M’m.” But this only made Sir Richmond

raise his voice and quicken his speech. “I want,” he said, “a

good tonic. A pick-me-up, a stimulating harmless drug of some

sort. That’s indicated anyhow. To begin with. Something to

pull me together, as people say. Bring me up to the scratch


“I don’t like the use of drugs,” said the doctor.

The expectation of Sir Richmond’s expression changed to

disappointment. “But that’s not reasonable,” he cried.

“That’s not reasonable. That’s superstition. Call a thing a

drug and condemn it! Everything is a drug. Everything that

affects you. Food stimulates or tranquillizes. Drink. Noise

is a stimulant and quiet an opiate. What is life but response

to stimulants? Or reaction after them? When I’m exhausted I

want food. When I’m overactive and sleepless I want

tranquillizing. When I’m dispersed I want pulling together.”

“But we don’t know how to use drugs,” the doctor objected.

“But you ought to know.”

Dr. Martineau fixed his eye on a first floor window sill on

the opposite side of Harley Street. His manner suggested a

lecturer holding on to his theme.

“A day will come when we shall be able to manipulate drugsall

sorts of drugs-and work them in to our general way of

living. I have no prejudice against them at all. A time will

come when we shall correct our moods, get down to our

reserves of energy by their help, suspend fatigue, put off

sleep during long spells of exertion. At some sudden crisis

for example. When we shall know enough to know just how far

to go with this, that or the other stuff. And how to wash out

its after effects . . . . I quite agree with you,-in

principle . . . . But that time hasn’t come yet. . . .

Decades of research yet. . . . If we tried that sort of thing

now, we should be like children playing with poisons and

explosives. . . . It’s out of the question.”

“I’ve been taking a few little things already. Easton Syrup

for example.”

“Strychnine. It carries you for a time and drops you by the

way. Has it done you any good-any NETT good? It has-I can

see-broken your sleep.”

The doctor turned round again to his patient and looked up

into his troubled face.

“Given physiological trouble I don’t mind resorting to a

drug. Given structural injury I don’t mind surgery. But

except for any little mischief your amateur drugging may have

done you do not seem to me to be either sick or injured.

You’ve no trouble either of structure or material. You areworried-

ill in your mind, and otherwise perfectly sound.

It’s the current of your thoughts, fermenting. If the trouble

is in the mental sphere, why go out of the mental sphere for

a treatment? Talk and thought; these are your remedies. Cool

deliberate thought. You’re unravelled. You say it yourself.

Drugs will only make this or that unravelled strand behave

disproportionately. You don’t want that. You want to take

stock of yourself as a whole-find out where you stand.

“But the Fuel Commission?”

“Is it sitting now?”

“Adjourned till after Whitsuntide. But there’s heaps of work

to be done.

“Still,” he added, “this is my one chance of any treatment.”

The doctor made a little calculation. “Three weeks. . . .

It’s scarcely time enough to begin.”

“You’re certain that no regimen of carefully planned and

chosen tonics-”

“Dismiss the idea. Dismiss it.” He decided to take a plunge.

“I’ve just been thinking of a little holiday for myself. But

I’d like to see you through this. And if I am to see you

through, there ought to be some sort of beginning now. In

this three weeks. Suppose. . . . “

Sir Richmond leapt to his thought. “I’m free to go anywhere.”

“Golf would drive a man of your composition mad?”

“It would.”

“That’s that. Still-. The country must be getting beautiful

again now,-after all the rain we have had. I have a little

two-seater. I don’t know. . . . The repair people promise to

release it before Friday.”

“But _I_ have a choice of two very comfortable little cars.

Why not be my guest?”

“That might be more convenient.”

“I’d prefer my own car.”

“Then what do you say?”

“I agree. Peripatetic treatment.”

“South and west. We could talk on the road. In the evenings.

By the wayside. We might make the beginnings of a treatment.

. . . A simple tour. Nothing elaborate. You wouldn’t bring a


“I always drive myself.”



pauloviana2012 (51)

I speak:
I learn:
English, Spanish, French
Busuu berries :

 Section 3

“There’s something very pleasant, said the doctor, envisaging

his own rash proposal, “in travelling along roads you don’t

know and seeing houses and parks and villages and towns for

which you do not feel in the slightest degree responsible.

They hide all their troubles from the road. Their backyards

are tucked away out of sight, they show a brave face; there’s

none of the nasty self-betrayals of the railway approach. And

everything will be fresh still. There will still be a lot of

apple-blossom-and bluebells. . . . And all the while we can

be getting on with your affair.”

He was back at the window now. “I want the holiday myself,”

he said.

He addressed Sir Richmond over his shoulder. “Have you noted

how fagged and unstable EVERYBODY is getting? Everybody

intelligent, I mean.”

“It’s an infernally worrying time.”

“Exactly. Everybody suffers.”

“It’s no GOOD going on in the old ways-”

“It isn’t. And it’s a frightful strain to get into any new

ways. So here we are.

“A man,” the doctor expanded, “isn’t a creature in vacuo.

He’s himself and his world. He’s a surface of contact, a

system of adaptations, between his essential self and his

surroundings. Well, our surroundings have become-how shall I

put it?-a landslide. The war which seemed such a definable

catastrophe in 1914 was, after all, only the first loud crack

and smash of the collapse. The war is over and-nothing is

over. This peace is a farce, reconstruction an exploded

phrase. The slide goes on,-it goes, if anything, faster,

without a sign of stopping. And all our poor little

adaptations! Which we have been elaborating and trusting all

our lives! . . . One after another they fail us. We are

stripped. . . . We have to begin all over again. . . . I’m

fifty-seven and I feel at times nowadays like a chicken new

hatched in a thunderstorm.”

The doctor walked towards the bookcase and turned.

“Everybody is like isn’t-what are you going to do?

It isn’t-what am I going to do? It’s-what are we all going

to do! . . Lord! How safe and established everything was in

1910, say. We talked of this great war that was coming, but

nobody thought it would come. We had been born in peace,

comparatively speaking; we had been brought up in peace.

There was talk of wars. There were wars-little wars-that

altered nothing material. . . . Consols used to be at 112 and

you fed your household on ten shillings a head a week. You

could run over all Europe, barring Turkey and Russia, without

even a passport. You could get to Italy in a day. Never were

life and comfort so safe-for respectable people. And we WERE

respectable people. . . . That was the world that made us

what we are. That was the sheltering and friendly greenhouse

in which we grew. We fitted our minds to that. . . . And here

we are with the greenhouse falling in upon us lump by lump,

smash and clatter, the wild winds of heaven tearing in

through the gaps.”

Upstairs on Dr. Martineau’s desk lay the typescript of the

opening chapters of a book that was intended to make a great

splash in the world, his PSYCHOLOGY OF A NEW AGE. He had his

metaphors ready.

“We said: ‘This system will always go on. We needn’t bother

about it.’ We just planned our lives accordingly. It was like

a bird building its nest of frozen snakes. My father left me

a decent independence. I developed my position; I have lived

between here and the hospital, doing good work, enormously

interested, prosperous, mildly distinguished. I had been born

and brought up on the good ship Civilization. I assumed that

someone else was steering the ship all right. I never knew; I

never enquired.”

“Nor did I” said Sir Richmond, “but-”

“And nobody was steering the ship,” the doctor went on.

“Nobody had ever steered the ship. It was adrift.”

“I realized that. I-”

“It is a new realization. Always hitherto men have lived by

faith-as children do, as the animals do. At the back of the

healthy mind, human or animal, has been this persuasion:

‘This is all right. This will go on. If I keep the rule, if I

do so and so, all will be well. I need not trouble further;

things are cared for.’”

“If we could go on like that!” said Sir Richmond.

“We can’t. That faith is dead. The war-and the peace-have

killed it.”

The doctor’s round face became speculative. His resemblance

to the full moon increased. He seemed to gaze at remote

things. “It may very well be that man is no more capable of

living out of that atmosphere of assurance than a tadpole is

of living out of water. His mental existence may be

conditional on that. Deprived of it he may become incapable

of sustained social life. He may become frantically selfseeking-

incoherent . . . a stampede. . . . Human sanity


“That’s our trouble,” the doctor completed. “Our fundamental

trouble. All our confidences and our accustomed adaptations

are destroyed. We fit together no longer. We are-loose. We

don’t know where we are nor what to do. The psychology of the

former time fails to give safe responses, and the psychology

of the New Age has still to develop.”


pauloviana2012 (51)

I speak:
I learn:
English, Spanish, French
Busuu berries :

 Section 4

“That is all very well,” said Sir Richmond in the resolute

voice of one who will be pent no longer. “That is all very

well as far as it goes. But it does not cover my case. I am

not suffering from inadaptation. I HAVE adapted. I have

thought things out. I think-much as you do. Much as you do.

So it’s not that. But- . . . Mind you, I am perfectly clear

where I am. Where we are. What is happening to us all is the

breakup of the entire system. Agreed! We have to make another

system or perish amidst the wreckage. I see that clearly.

Science and plan have to replace custom and tradition in

human affairs. Soon. Very soon. Granted. Granted. We used to

say all that. Even before the war. Now we mean it. We’ve

muddled about in the old ways overlong. Some new sort of

world, planned and scientific, has to be got going.

Civilization renewed. Rebuilding civilization-while the

premises are still occupied and busy. It’s an immense

enterprise, but it is the only thing to be done. In some ways

it’s an enormously attractive enterprise. Inspiring. It grips

my imagination. I think of the other men who must be at work.

Working as I do rather in the dark as yet. With whom I shall

presently join up. . . The attempt may fail; all things human

may fail; but on the other hand it may succeed. I never had

such faith in anything as I have in the rightness of the work

I am doing now. I begin at that. But here is where my

difficulty comes in. The top of my brain, my innermost self

says all that I have been saying, but- The rest of me

won’t follow. The rest of me refuses to attend, forgets,

straggles, misbehaves.”


The word irritated Sir Richmond. “Not ‘exactly’ at all.

‘Amazingly,’ if you like. . . . I have this unlimited faith

in our present tremendous necessity-for work-for devotion;

I believe my share, the work I am doing, is essential to the

whole thing-and I work sluggishly. I work reluctantly. I

work damnably.”

“Exact-” The doctor checked himself . “All that is

explicable. Indeed it is. Listen for a moment to me! Consider

what you are. Consider what we are. Consider what a man is

before you marvel at his ineptitudes of will. Face the

accepted facts. Here is a creature not ten thousand

generations from the ape, his ancestor. Not ten thousand. And

that ape again, not a score of thousands from the monkey, his

forebear. A man’s body, his bodily powers, are just the body

and powers of an ape, a little improved, a little adapted to

novel needs. That brings me to my point. CAN HIS MIND AND

WILL BE ANYTHING BETTER? For a few generations, a few

hundreds at most, knowledge and wide thought have flared out

on the darknesses of life. . . . But the substance of man is

ape still. He may carry a light in his brain, but his

instincts move in the darkness. Out of that darkness he draws

his motives.”

“Or fails to draw them,” said Sir Richmond.

“Or fails. . . . And that is where these new methods of

treatment come in. We explore that failure. Together. What

the psychoanalyst does-and I will confess that I owe much to

the psychoanalyst-what he does is to direct thwarted,

disappointed and perplexed people to the realities of their

own nature. Which they have been accustomed to ignore and

forget. They come to us with high ambitions or lovely

illusions about themselves, torn, shredded, spoilt. They are

morally denuded. Dreams they hate pursue them; abhorrent

desires draw them; they are the prey of irresistible yet

uncongenial impulses; they succumb to black despairs. The

first thing we ask them is this: ‘What else could you


“What else could I expect?” Sir Richmond repeated, looking

down on him. “H’m!”

“The wonder is not that you are sluggish, reluctantly

unselfish, inattentive, spasmodic. The wonder is that you are

ever anything else. . . . Do you realize that a few million

generations ago, everything that stirs in us, everything that

exalts human life, self-devotions, heroisms, the utmost

triumphs of art, the love-for love it is-that makes you and

me care indeed for the fate and welfare of all this round

world, was latent in the body of some little lurking beast

that crawled and hid among the branches of vanished and

forgotten Mesozoic trees? A petty egg-laying, bristle-covered

beast it was, with no more of the rudiments of a soul than

bare hunger, weak lust and fear. . . . People always seem to

regard that as a curious fact of no practical importance. It

isn’t: it’s a vital fact of the utmost practical importance.

That is what you are made of. Why should you expect-because

a war and a revolution have shocked you-that you should

suddenly be able to reach up and touch the sky?”

“H’m!” said Sir Richmond. “Have I been touching the sky!”

“You are trying to play the part of an honest rich man.”

“I don’t care to see the whole system go smash.”

“Exactly,” said the doctor, before he could prevent himself.

“But is it any good to tell a man that the job he is

attempting is above him-that he is just a hairy reptile

twice removed-and all that sort of thing?”

“Well, it saves him from hoping too much and being too

greatly disappointed. It recalls him to the proportions of

the job. He gets something done by not attempting everything.

. . . And it clears him up. We get him to look into himself,

to see directly and in measurable terms what it is that puts

him wrong and holds him back. He’s no longer vaguely

incapacitated. He knows.”

“That’s diagnosis. That’s not treatment.”

“Treatment by diagnosis. To analyze a mental knot is to untie


“You propose that I shall spend my time, until the Commission

meets, in thinking about myself. I wanted to forget myself.”

“Like a man who tries to forget that his petrol is running

short and a cylinder missing fire. . . . No. Come back to the

question of what you are,” said the doctor. “A creature of

the darkness with new lights. Lit and half-blinded by science

and the possibilities of controlling the world that it opens

out. In that light your will is all for service; you care

more for mankind than for yourself. You begin to understand

something of the self beyond your self. But it is a partial

and a shaded light as yet; a little area about you it makes

clear, the rest is still the old darkness-of millions of

intense and narrow animal generations. . . . You are like

someone who awakens out of an immemorial sleep to find

himself in a vast chamber, in a great and ancient house, a

great and ancient house high amidst frozen and lifeless

mountains-in a sunless universe. You are not alone in it.

You are not lord of all you survey. Your leadership is

disputed. The darkness even of the room you are in is full of

ancient and discarded but quite unsubjugated powers and

purposes. . . . They thrust ambiguous limbs and claws

suddenly out of the darkness into the light of your

attention. They snatch things out of your hand, they trip

your feet and jog your elbow. They crowd and cluster behind

you. Wherever your shadow falls, they creep right up to you,

creep upon you and struggle to take possession of you. The

souls of apes, monkeys, reptiles and creeping things haunt

the passages and attics and cellars of this living house in

which your consciousness has awakened . . . . “

The doctor gave this quotation from his unpublished book the

advantages of an abrupt break and a pause.

Sir Richmond shrugged his shoulders and smiled. “And you

propose a vermin hunt in the old tenement?”

“The modern man has to be master in his own house. He has to

take stock and know what is there.”

“Three weeks of self vivisection.”

“To begin with. Three weeks of perfect honesty with yourself.

As an opening. . . . It will take longer than that if we are

to go through with the job.”

It is a considerable-process.”

“It is.”

“Yet you shrink from simple things like drugs!”

“Self-knowledge-without anaesthetics.”

“Has this sort of thing ever done anyone any good at all?”

“It has turned hundreds back to sanity and steady work.”

“How frank are we going to be? How full are we going to be?

Anyhow-we can break off at any time. . . . We’ll try it.

We’ll try it. . . . And so for this journey into the west of

England. . . . And-if we can get there-I’m not sure that we

can get there-into the secret places of my heart.



pauloviana2012 (51)

I speak:
I learn:
English, Spanish, French
Busuu berries :

 Where the Sidewalk Ends

by Shel Silverstein



There is a place where the sidewalk ends

And before the street begins,

And there the grass grows soft and white,

And there the sun burns crimson bright,

And there the moon-bird rests from his flight

To cool in the peppermint wind.


Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black

And the dark street winds and bends.

Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow

We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,

And watch where the chalk-white arrows go

To the place where the sidewalk ends.


Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,

And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,

For the children, they mark, and the children, they know

The place where the sidewalk ends.




Shel Silverstein Biography


A truly unique and multi-faceted artist, Shel Silverstein was a renowned poet, playwright, illustrator, screenwriter, and songwriter. Best known for his immensely popular children’s books including The Giving Tree, Falling Up, and A Light in the Attic, Silverstein has delighted tens of millions of readers around the world, becoming one of the most popular and best-loved children's authors of all time.


Born in Chicago on September 25, 1930, Sheldon Allan Silverstein grew up to attain an enormous public following, but always preferred to say little about himself. “When I was a kid,” he told Publishers Weekly in 1975, “I would much rather have been a good baseball player or a hit with the girls. But I couldn’t play ball. I couldn’t dance. So I started to draw and to write. I was lucky that I didn’t have anyone to copy, be impressed by. I had developed my own style.”


Silverstein drew his first cartoons for the adult readers of Pacific Stars and Stripes when he was a G.I. in Japan and Korea in the 1950’s. He also learned to play the guitar and to write songs, a talent that would later produce such hits as “A Boy Named Sue” for Johnny Cash and “The Cover of the Rolling Stone” for Dr. Hook.


Shel Silverstein never planned on writing for children – surprising for an artist whose children’s works would soon become available in more than 30 languages around the world. In the early 1960’s Tomi Ungerer, a friend whose own career in children’s books was blossoming, introduced Silverstein to his editor, Harper Collins’ legendary Ursula Nordstrom. That connection led to the publication of The Giving Tree in 1964. The book sold modestly at first, but soon the gentle parable about a boy and the tree that loved him was admired by readers of all ages, recommended by counselors and teachers, and being read aloud from pulpits. Decades after its initial publication, with more than five and a half million copies sold, The Giving Tree holds a permanent spot atop lists of perennial bestsellers.


Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein’s first collection of poems, was published in 1974 and was hailed as an instant classic. Its poems and drawings were applauded for their zany wit, irreverent wisdom, and tender heart. Two more collections followed: A Light in the Attic in 1981, and Falling Up in 1996. Both books dominated bestseller lists for months, with A Light in the Attic shattering all previous records for its 182-week stay on the New York Times list. His poetry books are widely used in schools as a child’s first introduction to poetry.


Silverstein enjoyed a long, successful career as a songwriter with credits that included the popular “Unicorn Song” for the Irish Rovers and “I’m Checking Out” written for the film Postcards from the Edge and nominated for an Academy Award in 1991. In 1984, Silverstein won a Grammy Award for Best Children’s Album for Where the Sidewalk Ends – “recited, sung and shouted” by the author. He performed his own songs on a number of albums and wrote others for friends, including 1998’s Old Dogs with country stars Waylon Jennings, Mel Tillis, Bobby Bare, and Jerry Reed; and his last children’s recording Underwater Land with singer/songwriter and longtime friend Pat Dailey.



Shel Silverstein loved to spend time in Greenwich Village, Key West, Martha’s Vineyard, and Sausalito, California. Up until his death in May 1999, he continued to create plays, songs, poems, stories, and drawings, and most importantly, in Shel’s own words, “have a good time.”


Those good times show in the charm and humor of Underwater Land. Its seventeen tracks are a perfect blend of Silverstein’s irreverent wit and Dailey’s inviting vocal style. Produced by Silverstein, and featuring his whimsical artwork, the CD is now available from Olympia Records.


pauloviana2012 (51)

I speak:
I learn:
English, Spanish, French
Busuu berries :




The patient left the house with much more self possession

than he had shown when entering it. Dr. Martineau had thrust

him back from his intenser prepossessions to a more

generalized view of himself, had made his troubles objective

and detached him from them. He could even find something

amusing now in his situation. He liked the immense scope of

the theoretical duet in which they had indulged. He felt that

most of it was entirely true-and, in some untraceable

manner, absurd. There were entertaining possibilities in the

prospect of the doctor drawing him out-he himself partly

assisting and partly resisting.

He was a man of extensive reservations. His private life was

in some respects exceptionally private.

“I don’t confide . . . . Do I even confide in myself? I

imagine I do . . . . Is there anything in myself that I

haven’t looked squarely in the face? . . . How much are we

going into? Even as regards facts?

“Does it really help a man-to see himself?. . .”

Such thoughts engaged him until he found himself in his

study. His desk and his writing table were piled high with a

heavy burthen of work. Still a little preoccupied with Dr.

Martineau’s exposition, he began to handle this

confusion. . . .

At half past nine he found himself with three hours of good

work behind him. It had seemed like two. He had not worked

like this for many weeks. “This is very cheering,” he said.

“And unexpected. Can old Moon-face have hypnotized me?

Anyhow-. . . Perhaps I’ve only imagined I was ill. . . .

Dinner?” He looked at his watch and was amazed at the time.

“Good Lord! I’ve been at it three hours. What can have

happened? Funny I didn’t hear the gong.”

He went downstairs and found Lady Hardy reading a magazine in

a dining-room armchair and finely poised between devotion and

martyrdom. A shadow of vexation fell athwart his mind at the

sight of her.

“I’d no idea it was so late,” he said. “I heard no gong.”

“After you swore so at poor Bradley I ordered that there

should be no gongs when we were alone. I did come up to your

door about half past eight. I crept up. But I was afraid I

might upset you if I came in.”

“But you’ve not waited-”

“I’ve had a mouthful of soup.” Lady Hardy rang the bell.

“I’ve done some work at last,” said Sir Richmond, astride on

the hearthrug.

“I’m glad,” said Lady Hardy, without gladness. “I waited for

three hours.”

Lady Hardy was a frail little blue-eyed woman with uneven

shoulders and a delicate sweet profile. Hers was that type of

face that under even the most pleasant and luxurious

circumstances still looks bravely and patiently enduring. Her

refinement threw a tinge of coarseness over his eager

consumption of his excellent clear soup.

“What’s this fish, Bradley?” he asked.

“Turbot, Sir Richmond.”

“Don’t you have any?” he asked his wife.

“I’ve had a little fish, “ said Lady Hardy.

When Bradley was out of the room, Sir Richmond remarked: “I

saw that nerves man, Dr. Martineau, to-day. He wants me to

take a holiday. “

The quiet patience of the lady’s manner intensified. She said

nothing. A flash of resentment lit Sir Richmond’s eyes. When

he spoke again, he seemed to answer unspoken accusations.

“Dr. Martineau’s idea is that he should come with me.”

The lady adjusted herself to a new point of view.

“But won’t that be reminding you of your illness and


“He seems a good sort of fellow. . . . I’m inclined to like

him. He’ll be as good company as anyone. . . . This TOURNEDOS

looks excellent. Have some.”

“I had a little bird,” said Lady Hardy, “when I found you

weren’t coming.”

“But I say-don’t wait here if you’ve dined. Bradley can see

to me.”

She smiled and shook her head with the quiet conviction of

one who knew her duty better. “Perhaps I’ll have a little ice

pudding when it comes,” she said.

Sir Richmond detested eating alone in an atmosphere of

observant criticism. And he did not like talking with his

mouth full to an unembarrassed interlocutor who made no

conversational leads of her own. After a few mouthfuls he

pushed his plate away from him. “Then let’s have up the ice

pudding,” he said with a faint note of bitterness.

“But have you finished-?”

“The ice pudding!” he exploded wrathfully. “The ice pudding!”

Lady Hardy sat for a moment, a picture of meek distress.

Then, her delicate eyebrows raised, and the corners of her

mouth drooping, she touched the button of the silver tablebell.