Tik-Tok of Oz HTML version

25. The Land of Love
"Well, is 'hee-haw' all you are able to say?" inquired the Sawhorse, as he examined Hank
with his knot eyes and slowly wagged the branch that served him for a tail.
They were in a beautiful stable in the rear of Ozma's palace, where the wooden
Sawhorse--very much alive--lived in a gold-paneled stall, and where there were rooms
for the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger, which were filled with soft cushions for
them to lie upon and golden troughs for them to eat from.
Beside the stall of the Sawhorse had been placed another for Hank, the mule. This was
not quite so beautiful as the other, for the Sawhorse was Ozma's favorite steed; but Hank
had a supply of cushions for a bed (which the Sawhorse did not need because he never
slept) and all this luxury was so strange to the little mule that he could only stand still and
regard his surroundings and his queer companions with wonder and amazement.
The Cowardly Lion, looking very dignified, was stretched out upon the marble floor of
the stable, eyeing Hank with a calm and critical gaze, while near by crouched the huge
Hungry Tiger, who seemed equally interested in the new animal that had just arrived. The
Sawhorse, standing stiffly before Hank, repeated his question:
"Is 'hee-haw' all you are able to say?"
Hank moved his ears in an embarrassed manner.
"I have never said anything else, until now," he replied; and then he began to tremble
with fright to hear himself talk.
"I can well understand that," remarked the Lion, wagging his great head with a swaying
motion. "Strange things happen in this Land of Oz, as they do everywhere else. I believe
you came here from the cold, civilized, outside world, did you not?"
"I did," replied Hank. "One minute I was outside of Oz--and the next minute I was inside!
That was enough to give me a nervous shock, as you may guess; but to find myself able
to talk, as Betsy does, is a marvel that staggers me."
"That is because you are in the Land of Oz," said the Sawhorse. "All animals talk, in this
favored country, and you must admit it is more sociable than to bray your dreadful 'hee-
haw,' which nobody can understand."
"Mules understand it very well," declared Hank.
"Oh, indeed! Then there must be other mules in your outside world," said the Tiger,
yawning sleepily.
"There are a great many in America," said Hank. "Are you the only Tiger in Oz?"
"No," acknowledged the Tiger, "I have many relatives living in the Jungle Country; but I
am the only Tiger living in the Emerald City."