The Tin Woodman of Oz HTML version
18. The Tin Woodman Talks to Himself
The Tin Woodman had just noticed the cupboards and was curious to know what they
contained, so he went to one of them and opened the door. There were shelves inside, and
upon one of the shelves which was about on a level with his tin chin the Emperor
discovered a Head -- it looked like a doll's head, only it was larger, and he soon saw it
was the Head of some person. It was facing the Tin Woodman and as the cupboard door
swung back, the eyes of the Head slowly opened and looked at him. The Tin Woodman
was not at all surprised, for in the Land of Oz one runs into magic at every turn.
"Dear me!" said the Tin Woodman, staring hard. "It seems as if I had met you,
somewhere, before. Good morning, sir!"
"You have the advantage of me," replied the Head. "I never saw you before in my life."
"Still, your face is very familiar," persisted the Tin Woodman. "Pardon me, but may I ask
if you -- eh -- eh -- if you ever had a Body?"
"Yes, at one time," answered the Head, "but that is so long ago I can't remember it. Did
you think," with a pleasant smile, "that I was born just as I am? That a Head would be
created without a Body?"
"No, of course not," said the other. "But how came you to lose your body?"
"Well, I can't recollect the details; you'll have to ask Ku-Klip about it," returned the Head.
"For, curious as it may seem to you, my memory is not good since my separation from
the rest of me. I still possess my brains and my intellect is as good as ever, but my
memory of some of the events I formerly experienced is quite hazy."
"How long have you been in this cupboard?" asked the Emperor.
"I don't know."
"Haven't you a name?"
"Oh, yes," said the Head; "I used to be called Nick Chopper, when I was a woodman and
cut down trees for a living."
"Good gracious!" cried the Tin Woodman in astonishment. "If you are Nick Chopper's
Head, then you are Me -- or I'm You -- or -- or -- What relation are we, anyhow?"
"Don't ask me," replied the Head. "For my part, I'm not anxious to claim relationship with
any common, manufactured article, like you. You may be all right in your class, but your
class isn't my class. You're tin."