The Road to Oz HTML version

4. King Dox
It was amusing to note the expression on the face of King Dox as he looked the boy over,
from his sailor hat to his stubby shoes, and it was equally diverting to watch Button-
Bright stare at the King in return. No fox ever beheld a fresher, fairer child's face, and no
child had ever before heard a fox talk, or met with one who dressed so handsomely and
ruled so big a city. I am sorry to say that no one had ever told the little boy much about
fairies of any kind; this being the case, it is easy to understand how much this strange
experience startled and astonished him.
"How do you like us?" asked the King.
"Don't know," said Button-Bright.
"Of course you don't. It's too short an acquaintance," returned his Majesty. "What do you
suppose my name is?"
"Don't know," said Button-Bright.
"How should you? Well, I'll tell you. My private name is Dox, but a King can't be called
by his private name; he has to take one that is official. Therefore my official name is
King Renard the Fourth. Ren-ard with the accent on the 'Ren'."
"What's 'ren'?" asked Button-Bright.
"How clever!" exclaimed the King, turning a pleased face toward his counselors. "This
boy is indeed remarkably bright. 'What's 'ren'?' he asks; and of course 'ren' is nothing at
all, all by itself. Yes, he's very bright indeed."
"That question is what your Majesty might call foxy," said one of the counselors, an old
grey fox.
"So it is," declared the King. Turning again to Button-Bright, he asked:
"Having told you my name, what would you call me?"
"King Dox," said the boy.
"'Cause 'ren''s nothing at all," was the reply.
"Good! Very good indeed! You certainly have a brilliant mind. Do you know why two
and two make four?"