The Deadly Poppy Field

           "Wecannotbefarfromtheroadofyellowbrick,now,"remarkedtheScarecrow,ashestoodbesidethegirl,"forwehavecomenearlyasfarastherivercarriedusaway." 

           TheTinWoodmanwasabouttoreplywhenheheardalowgrowl,andturninghishead(whichworkedbeautifullyonhinges)hesawastrangebeastcomeboundingoverthegrasstowardthem. Itwas,indeed,agreatyellowWildcat,andtheWoodmanthoughtitmustbechasingsomething,foritsearswerelyingclosetoitsheadanditsmouthwaswideopen,showingtworowsofuglyteeth,whileitsredeyesglowedlikeballsoffire. AsitcamenearertheTinWoodmansawthatrunningbeforethebeastwasalittlegrayfieldmouse,andalthoughhehadnoheartheknewitwaswrongfortheWildcattotrytokillsuchapretty,harmlesscreature. 

           SotheWoodmanraisedhisaxe,andastheWildcatranbyhegaveitaquickblowthatcutthebeast’sheadcleanofffromitsbody,anditrolledoverathisfeetintwopieces. 

           Thefieldmouse,nowthatitwasfreedfromitsenemy,stoppedshort; andcomingslowlyuptotheWoodmanitsaid,inasqueakylittlevoice: 

           "Oh,thankyou!Thankyoueversomuchforsavingmylife." 

           "Don’tspeakofit,Ibegofyou,"repliedtheWoodman. "Ihavenoheart,youknow,soIamcarefultohelpallthosewhomayneedafriend,evenifithappenstobeonlyamouse." 

           "Onlyamouse!"criedthelittleanimal,indignantly. "Why,IamaQueentheQueenofalltheFieldMice!" 

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