The Magic of Oz by L. Frank Baum
19. Dorothy and the Bumble Bees
Dorothy was greatly distressed and had hard work to keep the tears from her eyes.
"Is that all you can do, Wizard?" she asked the little man.
"It's all I can think of just now," he replied sadly. "But I intend to keep on thinking as long--as long--well, as long as thinking will do any good."
They were all silent for a time, Dorothy and the Wizard sitting thoughtfully on the raft, and Trot and Cap'n Bill sitting thoughtfully on the toadstools and growing gradually smaller and smaller in size.
Suddenly Dorothy said: "Wizard, I've thought of something!"
"What have you thought of?" he asked, looking at the little girl with interest.
"Can you remember the Magic Word that transforms people?" she asked.
"Of course," said he.
"Then you can transform Trot and Cap'n Bill into birds or bumblebees, and they can fly away to the other shore. When they're there, you can transform 'em into their reg'lar shapes again!"
"Can you do that, Wizard?" asked Cap'n Bill, eagerly.
"I think so."
"Roots an' all?" inquired Trot.
"Why, the roots are now a part of you, and if you were transformed to a bumblebee the whole of you would be transformed, of course, and you'd be free of this awful island."
"All right; do it!" cried the sailor-man.
So the Wizard said slowly and distinctly:
"I want Trot and Cap'n Bill to become bumblebees--Pyrzqxgl!"
Fortunately, he pronounced the Magic Word in the right way, and instantly Trot and Cap'n Bill vanished from view, and up from the places where they had been flew two bumblebees.
"Hooray!" shouted Dorothy in delight; "they're saved!"
"I guess they are," agreed the Wizard, equally delighted.
The bees hovered over the raft an instant and then flew across the river to where the Lion and the Tiger waited. The Wizard picked up the paddle and paddled the raft across as fast as he could. When it reached the river bank, both Dorothy and the Wizard leaped ashore and the little man asked excitedly:
"Where are the bees?"
"The bees?" inquired the Lion, who was half asleep and did not know what had happened on the Magic Isle.
"Yes; there were two of them."
"Two bees?" said the Hungry Tiger, yawning. "Why, I ate one of them and the Cowardly Lion ate the other."
"Goodness gracious!" cried Dorothy horrified.
"It was little enough for our lunch," remarked the Tiger, "but the bees were the only things we could find."
"How dreadful!" wailed Dorothy, wringing her hands in despair. "You've eaten Trot and Cap'n Bill."
But just then she heard a buzzing overhead and two bees alighted on her shoulder.
"Here we are," said a small voice in her ear. "I'm Trot, Dorothy."
"And I'm Cap'n Bill," said the other bee.
Dorothy almost fainted, with relief, and the Wizard, who was close by and had heard the tiny voices, gave a laugh and said:
"You are not the only two bees in the forest, it seems, but I advise you to keep away from the Lion and the Tiger until you regain your proper forms."
"Do it now, Wizard!" advised Dorothy. "They're so small that you never can tell what might happen to 'em."
So the Wizard gave the command and pronounced the Magic Word, and in the instant Trot and Cap'n Bill stood beside them as natural as before they had met their fearful adventure. For they were no longer small in size, because the Wizard had transformed them from bumblebees into the shapes and sizes that nature had formerly given them. The ugly roots on their feet had disappeared with the transformation.
While Dorothy was hugging Trot, and Trot was softly crying because she was so happy, the Wizard shook hands with Cap'n Bill and congratulated him on his escape. The old sailor-man was so pleased that he also shook the Lion's paw and took off his hat and bowed politely to the cage of monkeys.
Then Cap'n Bill did a curious thing. He went to a big tree and, taking out his knife, cut away a big, broad piece of thick bark. Then he sat down on the ground and after taking a roll of stout cord from his pocket--which seemed to be full of all sorts of things--he proceeded to bind the flat piece of bark to the bottom of his good foot, over the leather sole.
"What's that for?" inquired the Wizard.
"I hate to be stumped," replied the sailor-man; "so I'm goin' back to that island."
"And get enchanted again?" exclaimed Trot, with evident disapproval.
"No; this time I'll dodge the magic of the island. I noticed that my wooden leg didn't get stuck, or take root, an' neither did the glass feet of the Glass Cat. It's only a thing that's made of meat--like man an' beasts--that the magic can hold an' root to the ground. Our shoes are leather, an' leather comes from a beast's hide. Our stockin's are wool, an' wool comes from a sheep's back. So, when we walked on the Magic Isle, our feet took root there an' held us fast. But not my wooden leg. So now I'll put a wooden bottom on my other foot an' the magic can't stop me."
"But why do you wish to go back to the island?" asked Dorothy.
"Didn't you see the Magic Flower in the gold flower-pot?" returned Cap'n Bill.
"Of course I saw it, and it's lovely and wonderful."
"Well, Trot an' I set out to get the magic plant for a present to Ozma on her birthday, and I mean to get it an' take it back with us to the Emerald City."
"That would be fine," cried Trot eagerly, "if you think you can do it, and it would be safe to try!"
"I'm pretty sure it is safe, the way I've fixed my foot," said the sailor, "an' if I should happen to get caught, I s'pose the Wizard could save me again."
"I suppose I could," agreed the Wizard. "Anyhow, if you wish to try it, Cap'n Bill, go ahead and we'll stand by and watch what happens."
So the sailor-man got upon the raft again and paddled over to the Magic Isle, landing as close to the golden flower-pot as he could. They watched him walk across the land, put both arms around the flower-pot and lift it easily from its place. Then he carried it to the raft and set it down very gently. The removal did not seem to affect the Magic Flower in any way, for it was growing daffodils when Cap'n Bill picked it up and on the way to the raft it grew tulips and gladioli. During the time the sailor was paddling across the river to where his friends awaited him, seven different varieties of flowers bloomed in succession on the plant.
"I guess the Magician who put it on the island never thought that any one would carry it off," said Dorothy.
"He figured that only men would want the plant, and any man who went upon the island to get it would be caught by the enchantment," added the Wizard.
"After this," remarked Trot, "no one will care to go on the island, so it won't be a trap any more."
"There," exclaimed Cap'n Bill, setting down the Magic Plant in triumph upon the river bank, "if Ozma gets a better birthday present than that, I'd like to know what it can be!"
"It'll s'prise her, all right," declared Dorothy, standing in awed wonder before the gorgeous blossoms and watching them change from yellow roses to violets.
"It'll s'prise ev'rybody in the Em'rald City," Trot asserted in glee, "and it'll be Ozma's present from Cap'n Bill and me."
"I think I ought to have a little credit," objected the Glass Cat. "I discovered the thing, and led you to it, and brought the Wizard here to save you when you got caught."
"That's true," admitted Trot, "and I'll tell Ozma the whole story, so she'll know how good you've been."