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The Magic of Oz

Two Bad Ones
Kiki turned around and saw a queer old man standing near. He didn't stand
straight, for he was crooked. He had a fat body and thin legs and arms. He had a
big, round face with bushy, white whiskers that came to a point below his waist,
and white hair that came to a point on top of his head. He wore dull-gray clothes
that were tight fitting, and his pockets were all bunched out as if stuffed full of
something.
"I didn't know you were here," said Kiki.
"I didn't come until after you did," said the queer old man.
"Who are you?" asked Kiki.
"My name's Ruggedo. I used to be the Nome King; but I got kicked out of my
country, and now I'm a wanderer."
"What made them kick you out?" inquired the Hyup boy.
"Well, it's the fashion to kick kings nowadays. I was a pretty good King--to
myself--but those dreadful Oz people wouldn't let me alone. So I had to
abdicate."
"What does that mean?"
"It means to be kicked out. But let's talk about something pleasant. Who are you
and where did you come from?"
"I'm called Kiki Aru. I used to live on Mount Munch in the Land of Oz, but now I'm
a wanderer like yourself."
The Nome King gave him a shrewd look.
"I heard that bird say that you transformed yourself into a magpie and back
again. Is that true?"
Kiki hesitated, but saw no reason to deny it. He felt that it would make him
appear more important.
"Well--yes," he said.
 
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