The Lost Princess of Oz
The Merry-Go-Round Mountains
The Rolling Prairie was not difficult to travel over, although it was all uphill and
downhill, so for a while they made good progress. Not even a shepherd was to be met
with now, and the farther they advanced the more dreary the landscape became. At noon
they stopped for a "picnic luncheon," as Betsy called it, and then they again resumed their
journey. All the animals were swift and tireless, and even the Cowardly Lion and the
Mule found they could keep up with the pace of the Woozy and the Sawhorse.
It was the middle of the afternoon when first they came in sight of a cluster of low
mountains. These were cone-shaped, rising from broad bases to sharp peaks at the tops.
From a distance the mountains appeared indistinct and seemed rather small--more like
hills than mountains--but as the travelers drew nearer, they noted a most unusual
circumstance: the hills were all whirling around, some in one direction and some the
"I guess these are the Merry-Go-Round Mountains, all right," said Dorothy.
"They must be," said the Wizard.
"They go 'round, sure enough," agreed Trot, "but they don't seem very merry."
There were several rows of these mountains, extending both to the right and to the left for
miles and miles. How many rows there might be none could tell, but between the first
row of peaks could be seen other peaks, all steadily whirling around one way or another.
Continuing to ride nearer, our friends watched these hills attentively, until at last, coming
close up, they discovered there was a deep but narrow gulf around the edge of each
mountain, and that the mountains were set so close together that the outer gulf was
continuous and barred farther advance. At the edge of the gulf they all dismounted and
peered over into its depths. There was no telling where the bottom was, if indeed there
was any bottom at all. From where they stood it seemed as if the mountains had been set
in one great hole in the ground, just close enough together so they would not touch, and
that each mountain was supported by a rocky column beneath its base which extended far
down in the black pit below. From the land side it seemed impossible to get across the
gulf or, succeeding in that, to gain a foothold on any of the whirling mountains.
"This ditch is too wide to jump across," remarked Button-Bright.
"P'raps the Lion could do it," suggested Dorothy.
"What, jump from here to that whirling hill?" cried the Lion indignantly. "I should say
not! Even if I landed there and could hold on, what good would it do? There's another
spinning mountain beyond it, and perhaps still another beyond that. I don't believe any
living creature could jump from one mountain to another when both are whirling like tops
and in different directions."