The Marvelous Land of Oz HTML version
1. Tip Manufactures a Pumpkinhead
In the Country of the Gillikins, which is at the North of the Land of Oz, lived a youth
called Tip. There was more to his name than that, for old Mombi often declared that his
whole name was Tippetarius; but no one was expected to say such a long word when
"Tip" would do just as well.
This boy remembered nothing of his parents, for he had been brought when quite young
to be reared by the old woman known as Mombi, whose reputation, I am sorry to say,
was none of the best. For the Gillikin people had reason to suspect her of indulging in
magical arts, and therefore hesitated to associate with her.
Mombi was not exactly a Witch, because the Good Witch who ruled that part of the Land
of Oz had forbidden any other Witch to exist in her dominions. So Tip's
guardian,however much she might aspire to working magic, realized it was unlawful to
be more than a Sorceress, or at most a Wizardess.
Tip was made to carry wood from the forest, that the old woman might boil her pot. He
also worked in the corn-fields, hoeing and husking; and he fed the pigs and milked the
four-horned cow that was Mombi's especial pride.
But you must not suppose he worked all the time, for he felt that would be bad for him.
When sent to the forest Tip often climbed trees for birds' eggs or amused himself chasing
the fleet white rabbits or fishing in the brooks with bent pins. Then he would hastily
gather his armful of wood and carry it home. And when he was supposed to be working
in the corn-fields, and the tall stalks hid him from Mombi's view, Tip would often dig in
the gopher holes, or if the mood seized him --lie upon his back between the rows of corn
and take a nap. So, by taking care not to exhaust his strength, he grew as strong and
rugged as a boy may be.
Mombi's curious magic often frightened her neighbors, and they treated her shyly, yet
respectfully, because of her weird powers. But Tip frankly hated her, and took no pains to
hide his feelings. Indeed, he sometimes showed less respect for the old woman than he
should have done, considering she was his guardian.
There were pumpkins in Mombi's corn-fields, lying golden red among the rows of green
stalks; and these had been planted and carefully tended that the four-horned cow might
eat of them in the winter time. But one day, after the corn had all been cut and stacked,
and Tip was carrying the pumpkins to the stable, he took a notion to make a "Jack
Lantern" and try to give the old woman a fright with it.
So he selected a fine, big pumpkin -- one with a lustrous, orange-red color -- and began
carving it. With the point of his knife he made two round eyes, a three-cornered nose, and
a mouth shaped like a new moon. The face, when completed, could not have been
considered strictly beautiful; but it wore a smile so big and broad, and was so Jolly in
expression, that even Tip laughed as he looked admiringly at his work.