The Marvelous Land of Oz HTML version
Old Mombi indulges in Witchcraft
They soon discovered that the Saw-Horse limped, for his new leg was a trifle too long. So
they were obliged to halt while the Tin Woodman chopped it down with his axe, after
which the wooden steed paced along more comfortably. But the Saw-Horse was not
entirely satisfied, even yet.
"It was a shame that I broke my other leg!" it growled.
"On the contrary," airily remarked the Woggle-Bug, who was walking alongside, "you
should consider the accident most fortunate. For a horse is never of much use until he has
"I beg your pardon," said Tip, rather provoked, for he felt a warm interest in both the
Saw-Horse and his man Jack; "but permit me to say that your joke is a poor one, and as
old as it is poor."
"Still, it is a Joke," declared the Woggle-Bug; firmly, "and a Joke derived from a play
upon words is considered among educated people to be eminently proper."
"What does that mean?" enquired the Pumpkinhead, stupidly.
"It means, my dear friend," explained the Woggle-Bug, "that our language contains many
words having a double meaning; and that to pronounce a joke that allows both meanings
of a certain word, proves the joker a person of culture and refinement, who has,
moreover, a thorough command of the language."
"I don't believe that," said Tip, plainly; "anybody can make a pun."
"Not so," rejoined the Woggle-Bug, stiffly. "It requires education of a high order. Are
you educated, young sir?"
"Not especially," admitted Tip.
"Then you cannot judge the matter. I myself am Thoroughly Educated, and I say that
puns display genius. For instance, were I to ride upon this Saw- Horse, he would not only
be an animal he would become an equipage. For he would then be a horse-and-buggy."
At this the Scarecrow gave a gasp and the Tin Woodman stopped short and looked
reproachfully at the Woggle-Bug. At the same time the Saw-Horse loudly snorted his
derision; and even the Pumpkinhead put up his hand to hide the smile which, because it
was carved upon his face, he could not change to a frown.
But the Woggle-Bug strutted along as if he had made some brilliant remark, and the
Scarecrow was obliged to say: