The Magic of Oz HTML version
The Wizard Learns the Magic Word
Now, the Goose was the transformation of old Ruggedo, who was at one time
King of the Nomes, and he was even more angry at Kiki Aru than were the others
who shapes had been changed. The Nome detested anything in the way of a
bird, because birds lay eggs and eggs are feared by all the Nomes more than
anything else in the world. A goose is a foolish bird, too, and Ruggedo was
dreadfully ashamed of the shape he was forced to wear. And it would make him
shudder to reflect that the Goose might lay an egg!
So the Nome was afraid of himself and afraid of everything around him. If an egg
touched him he could then be destroyed, and almost any animal he met in the
forest might easily conquer him. And that would be the end of old Ruggedo the
Aside from these fears, however, he was filled with anger against Kiki, whom he
had meant to trap by cleverly stealing from him the Magic Word. The boy must
have been crazy to spoil everything the way he did, but Ruggedo knew that the
arrival of the Wizard had scared Kiki, and he was not sorry the boy had
transformed the Wizard and Dorothy and made them helpless. It was his own
transformation that annoyed him and made him indignant, so he ran about the
forest hunting for Kiki, so that he might get a better shape and coax the boy to
follow his plans to conquer the Land of Oz.
Kiki Aru hadn't gone very far away, for he had surprised himself as well as the
others by the quick transformations and was puzzled as to what to do next.
Ruggedo the Nome was overbearing and tricky, and Kiki knew he was not to be
depended on; but the Nome could plan and plot, which the Hyup boy was not
wise enough to do, and so, when he looked down through the branches of a tree
and saw a Goose waddling along below and heard it cry out, "Kiki Aru! Quack--
quack! Kiki Aru!" the boy answered in a low voice, "Here I am," and swung
himself down to the lowest limb of the tree.
The Goose looked up and saw him.
"You've bungled things in a dreadful way!" exclaimed the Goose. "Why did you
"Because I wanted to," answered Kiki. "You acted as if I was your slave, and I
wanted to show these forest people that I am more powerful than you."
The Goose hissed softly, but Kiki did not hear that.