They walked along listening to the singing of the bright-colored birds and looking at the lovely flowers which now became so thick that the ground was carpeted with them. There were big yellow and white and blue and purple blossoms, besides great clusters of scarlet poppies, which were so brilliant in color they almost dazzled Dorothy's eyes.
"Aren't they beautiful?" the girl asked, as she bieathed in the spicy scent of the flowers.
"I suppose so," answered the Scarecrow. "When I have brains I shall probably like them better."
"If I only had a heart I should love them," added the Tin Woodman.
"I always did like flowers," said the Lion; "they seem so helpless and frail. But there are none in the forest so bright as these."
They now came upon more and more of the big scarlet poppies, and fewer and fewer of the other flowers; and soon they found themselves in the midst of a great meadow of poppies. Now it is well known that when there are many of these flowers together their odor is so powerful that anyone who breathes it falls asleep, and if the sleeper is not carried away from the scent of the flowers he sleeps on and on forever. But Dorothy did not know this, nor could she get away from the bright red flowers that were everywhere about; so presently her eyes grew heavy and she felt she must sit down to rest and to sleep.
Title: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Author: L. Frank Baum. Illustrated by William Wallace Denslow. Publisher: George M. Hill Co., 1900. Original from: the International Children's Digital Library. Digitized: Jan 14, 2009. Length: 261 pages. Subjects Fiction › Fantasy › General Fiction / Classics Fiction / Fantasy / General.
This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This applies to the United States, where Works published prior to 1978 were copyright protected for a maximum of 75 years. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" PDF. Works published before 1923, in this case 1900, are now in the public domain.
These images are also in the public domain in countries that figure copyright from the date of death of the artist (post mortem auctoris), in this case William Wallace Denslow died March 29, 1915, and that most commonly runs for a period of 50 to 70 years from the last day of that year.
But the Tin Woodman would not let her do this.
"We must hurry and get back to the road of yellow brick before dark," he said; and the Scarecrow agreed with him. So they kept walking until Dorothy could stand no longer. Her eyes closed in spite of herself and she forgot where she was and fell among the poppies, fast asleep.
"What shall we do?" asked the Tin Woodman.
"If we leave her here she will die," said the Lion. "The smell of the flowers is killing us all. I myself can scarcely keep my eyes open and the dog is asleep already."
It was true; Toto had fallen down beside his little mistress. But the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman, not being made of flesh, were not troubled by the scent of the flowers.
"Run fast," said the Scarecrow to the Lion, "and get out of this deadly flower-bed as soon as you can. We will bring the little girl with us, but if you should fall asleep you are too big to be carried."
So the Lion aroused himself and bounded forward as fast as he could go. In a moment he was out of sight.
"Let us make a chair with our hands, and carry her," said the Scarecrow. So they picked up Toto and put the dog in Dorothy's lap, and then they made a chair with their hands for the seat and their arms for the arms and carried the sleeping girl between them through the flowers.
On and on they walked, and it seemed that the great carpet of deadly flowers that surrounded them would never end. They followed the bend of the river, and at last came upon their friend the Lion, lying fast asleep among the poppies. The flowers had been too strong for the huge beast and he had given up, at last, and fallen only a short distance from the end of the poppy-bed, where the sweet grass spread in beautiful green fields before them.
"We can do nothing for him," said the Tin Woodman, sadly; "for he is much too heavy to lift. We must leave him here to sleep on forever, and perhaps he will dream that he has found courage at last."
"I'm sorry," said the Scarecrow; "the Lion was a very good comrade for one so cowardly. But let us go on."
They carried the sleeping girl to a pretty spot beside the river, far enough from the poppy field to prevent her breathing any more of the poison of the flowers, and here they laid her gently on the soft grass and waited for the fresh breeze to waken her.
TEXT CREDIT: The new Wizard of Oz