The Road to Oz HTML version

16. Visiting the Pumpkin-Field
Dorothy let Button-Bright wind up the clock-work in the copper man this morning--his
thinking machine first, then his speech, and finally his action; so he would doubtless run
perfectly until they had reached the Emerald City. The copper man and the tin man were
good friends, and not so much alike as you might think. For one was alive and the other
moved by means of machinery; one was tall and angular and the other short and round.
You could love the Tin Woodman because he had a fine nature, kindly and simple; but
the machine man you could only admire without loving, since to love such a thing as he
was as impossible as to love a sewing-machine or an automobile. Yet Tik-tok was
popular with the people of Oz because he was so trustworthy, reliable and true; he was
sure to do exactly what he was wound up to do, at all times and in all circumstances.
Perhaps it is better to be a machine that does its duty than a flesh-and-blood person who
will not, for a dead truth is better than a live falsehood.
About noon the travelers reached a large field of pumpkins--a vegetable quite appropriate
to the yellow country of the Winkies--and some of the pumpkins which grew there were
of remarkable size. Just before they entered upon this field they saw three little mounds
that looked like graves, with a pretty headstone to each one of them.
"What is this?" asked Dorothy, in wonder.
"It's Jack Pumpkinhead's private graveyard," replied the Tin Woodman.
"But I thought nobody ever died in Oz," she said.
"Nor do they; although if one is bad, he may be condemned and killed by the good
citizens," he answered.
Dorothy ran over to the little graves and read the words engraved upon the tombstones.
The first one said:
Which Spoiled April 9th.
She then went to the next stone, which read:
Here Lies the Mortal Part of
Which Spoiled October 2nd.
On the third stone were carved these words: