The Dainty China Country

           Afterclimbingdownfromthechinawallthetravelersfoundthemselvesinadisagreeablecountry,fullofbogsandmarshesandcoveredwithtall,rankgrass. Itwasdifficulttowalkwithoutfallingintomuddyholes,forthegrasswassothickthatithidthemfromsight. However,bycarefullypickingtheirway,theygotsafelyalonguntiltheyreachedsolidground. Butherethecountryseemedwilderthanever,andafteralongandtiresomewalkthroughtheunderbrushtheyenteredanotherforest,wherethetreeswerebiggerandolderthananytheyhadeverseen. 

           "Thisforestisperfectlydelightful,"declaredtheLion,lookingaroundhimwithjoy. "NeverhaveIseenamorebeautifulplace." 

           "Itseemsgloomy,"saidtheScarecrow. 

           "Notabitofit,"answeredtheLion. "Ishouldliketolivehereallmylife. Seehowsoftthedriedleavesareunderyourfeetandhowrichandgreenthemossisthatclingstotheseoldtrees. Surelynowildbeastcouldwishapleasanterhome." 

           "Perhapstherearewildbeastsintheforestnow,"saidDorothy. 

           "Isupposethereare,"returnedtheLion,"butIdonotseeanyofthemabout." 

           Theywalkedthroughtheforestuntilitbecametoodarktogoanyfarther. DorothyandTotoandtheLionlaydowntosleep,whiletheWoodmanandtheScarecrowkeptwatchoverthemasusual. 

           Whenmorningcame,theystartedagain. Beforetheyhadgonefartheyheardalowrumble,asofthegrowlingofmanywildanimals. 

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