The Road to Oz HTML version

14. Tik-Tok and Billina
They had not walked far across the flower-strewn meadows when they came upon a fine
road leading toward the northwest and winding gracefully among the pretty yellow hills.
"That way," said Dorothy, "must be the direction of the Emerald City. We'd better follow
the road until we meet some one or come to a house."
The sun soon dried Button-Bright's sailor suit and the shaggy man's shaggy clothes, and
so pleased were they at regaining their own heads that they did not mind at all the brief
discomfort of getting wet.
"It's good to be able to whistle again," remarked the shaggy man, "for those donkey lips
were so thick I could not whistle a note with them." He warbled a tune as merrily as any
"You'll look more natural at the birthday celebration, too," said Dorothy, happy in seeing
her friends so happy.
Polychrome was dancing ahead in her usual sprightly manner, whirling gaily along the
smooth, level road, until she passed from sight around the curve of one of the mounds.
Suddenly they heard her exclaim "Oh!" and she appeared again, running toward them at
full speed.
"What's the matter, Polly?" asked Dorothy, perplexed.
There was no need for the Rainbow's Daughter to answer, for turning the bend in the road
there came advancing slowly toward them a funny round man made of burnished copper,
gleaming brightly in the sun. Perched on the copper man's shoulder sat a yellow hen, with
fluffy feathers and a pearl necklace around her throat.
"Oh, Tik-tok!" cried Dorothy, running forward. When she came to him, the copper man
lifted the little girl in his copper arms and kissed her cheek with his copper lips.
"Oh, Billina!" cried Dorothy, in a glad voice, and the yellow hen flew to her arms, to be
hugged and petted by turns.
The others were curiously crowding around the group, and the girl said to them:
"It's Tik-tok and Billina; and oh! I'm so glad to see them again."
"Wel-come to Oz," said the copper man in a monotonous voice.
Dorothy sat right down in the road, the yellow hen in her arms, and began to stroke
Billina's back. Said the hen: