Text - "The Patchwork Girl of Oz" Frank Baum

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He wore blue silk stockings, blue knee pants with gold
buckles, a blue ruffled waist and a jacket of bright blue braided with
gold. His shoes were of blue leather and turned up at the toes, which
were pointed. His hat had a peaked crown and a flat brim, and around
the brim was a row of tiny golden bells that tinkled when he moved.
This was the native costume of those who inhabited the Munchkin Country
of the Land of Oz, so Unc Nunkie's dress was much like that of his
nephew. Instead of shoes, the old man wore boots with turnover tops and
his blue coat had wide cuffs of gold braid.

The boy noticed that his uncle had not eaten the bread, and supposed
the old man had not been hungry. Ojo was hungry, though; so he divided
the piece of bread upon the table and ate his half for breakfast,
washing it down with fresh, cool water from the brook. Unc put the
other piece of bread in his jacket pocket, after which he again said,
as he walked out through the doorway: "Come."

Ojo was well pleased. He was dreadfully tired of living all alone in
the woods and wanted to travel and see people. For a long time he had
wished to explore the beautiful Land of Oz in which they lived. When
they were outside, Unc simply latched the door and started up the path.
No one would disturb their little house, even if anyone came so far
into the thick forest while they were gone.

At the foot of the mountain that separated the Country of the Munchkins
from the Country of the Gillikins, the path divided. One way led to the
left and the other to the right-straight up the mountain. Unc Nunkie
took this right-hand path and Ojo followed without asking why. He knew
it would take them to the house of the Crooked Magician, whom he had
never seen but who was their nearest neighbor.

All the morning they trudged up the mountain path and at noon Unc and
Ojo sat on a fallen tree-trunk and ate the last of the bread which the
old Munchkin had placed in his pocket. Then they started on again and
two hours later came in sight of the house of Dr. Pipt.

It was a big house, round, as were all the Munchkin houses, and painted
blue, which is the distinctive color of the Munchkin Country of Oz.
There was a pretty garden around the house, where blue trees and blue
flowers grew in abundance and in one place were beds of blue cabbages,
blue carrots and blue lettuce, all of which were delicious to eat. In
Dr. Pipt's garden grew bun-trees, cake-trees, cream-puff bushes, blue
buttercups which yielded excellent blue butter and a row of
chocolate-caramel plants. Paths of blue gravel divided the vegetable
and flower beds and a wider path led up to the front door. The place
was in a clearing on the mountain, but a little way off was the grim
forest, which completely surrounded it.

Unc knocked at the door of the house and a chubby, pleasant-faced
woman, dressed all in blue, opened it and greeted the visitors with a

"Ah," said Ojo; "you must be Dame Margolotte, the good wife of Dr.

"I am, my dear, and all strangers are welcome to my home."

"May we see the famous Magician, Madam?"

"He is very busy just now," she said, shaking her head doubtfully. "But
come in and let me give you something to eat, for you must have
traveled far in order to get our lonely place."

"We have," replied Ojo, as he and Unc entered the house. "We have come
from a far lonelier place than this."

"A lonelier place! And in the Munchkin Country?" she exclaimed. "Then
it must be somewhere in the Blue Forest."

"It is, good Dame Margolotte."

"Dear me!" she said, looking at the man, "you must be Unc Nunkie, known
as the Silent One." Then she looked at the boy. "And you must be Ojo
the Unlucky," she added.

"Yes," said Unc.

"I never knew I was called the Unlucky," said Ojo, soberly; "but it is
really a good name for me."

"Well," remarked the woman, as she bustled around the room and set the
table and brought food from the cupboard, "you were unlucky to live all
alone in that dismal forest, which is much worse than the forest around
here; but perhaps your luck will change, now you are away from it. If,
during your travels, you can manage to lose that 'Un' at the beginning
of your name 'Unlucky,' you will then become Ojo the Lucky, which will
be a great improvement."

"How can I lose that 'Un,' Dame Margolotte?"

"I do not know how, but you must keep the matter in mind and perhaps
the chance will come to you," she replied.

Ojo had never eaten such a fine meal in all his life. There was a
savory stew, smoking hot, a dish of blue peas, a bowl of sweet milk of
a delicate blue tint and a blue pudding with blue plums in it. When the
visitors had eaten heartily of this fare the woman said to them:

"Do you wish to see Dr. Pipt on business or for pleasure?"

Unc shook his head.

"We are traveling," replied Ojo, "and we stopped at your house just to
rest and refresh ourselves. I do not think Unc Nunkie cares very much
to see the famous Crooked Magician; but for my part I am curious to
look at such a great man."

The woman seemed thoughtful.

"I remember that Unc Nunkie and my husband used to be friends, many
years ago," she said, "so perhaps they will be glad to meet again. The
Magician is very busy, as I said, but if you will promise not to
disturb him you may come into his workshop and watch him prepare a
wonderful charm."

"Thank you," replied the boy, much pleased. "I would like to do that."

She led the way to a great domed hall at the back of the house, which
was the Magician's workshop. There was a row of windows extending
nearly around the sides of the circular room, which rendered the place
very light, and there was a back door in addition to the one leading to
the front part of the house. Before the row of windows a broad seat was
built and there were some chairs and benches in the room besides. At
one end stood a great fireplace, in which a blue log was blazing with a
blue flame, and over the fire hung four kettles in a row, all bubbling
and steaming at a great rate. The Magician was stirring all four of
these kettles at the same time, two with his hands and two with his
feet, to the latter, wooden ladles being strapped, for this man was so
very crooked that his legs were as handy as his arms.
Unc Nunkie came forward to greet his old friend, but not being able to
shake either his hands or his feet, which were all occupied in
stirring, he patted the Magician's bald head and asked: "What?"

"Ah, it's the Silent One," remarked Dr. Pipt, without looking up, "and
he wants to know what I'm making. Well, when it is quite finished this
compound will be the wonderful Powder of Life, which no one knows how
to make but myself. Whenever it is sprinkled on anything, that thing
will at once come to life, no matter what it is. It takes me several
years to make this magic Powder, but at this moment I am pleased to say
it is nearly done. You see, I am making it for my good wife Margolotte,
who wants to use some of it for a purpose of her own. Sit down and make
yourself comfortable, Unc Nunkie, and after I've finished my task I
will talk to you."

"You must know," said Margolotte, when they were all seated together on
the broad window-seat, "that my husband foolishly gave away all the
Powder of Life he first made to old Mombi the Witch, who used to live
in the Country of the Gillikins, to the north of here. Mombi gave to
Dr. Pipt a Powder of Perpetual Youth in exchange for his Powder of
Life, but she cheated him wickedly, for the Powder of Youth was no good
and could work no magic at all."

"Perhaps the Powder of Life couldn't either," said Ojo.

"Yes; it is perfection," she declared. "The first lot we tested on our
Glass Cat, which not only began to live but has lived ever since. She's
somewhere around the house now."

"A Glass Cat!" exclaimed Ojo, astonished.