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Chapter 26 Dorothy Forgives

  • The gray dove which had once been Ugu the Shoemaker sat on its tree in the fa_uadling Country and moped, chirping dismally and brooding over it_isfortunes. After a time, the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman came along an_at beneath the tree, paying no heed to the mutterings of the gray dove. Th_in Woodman took a small oilcan from his tin pocket and carefully oiled hi_in joints with it.
  • While he was thus engaged, the Scarecrow remarked, "I feel much better, dea_omrade, since we found that heap of nice, clean straw and you stuffed me ane_ith it."
  • "And I feel much better now that my joints are oiled," returned the Ti_oodman with a sigh of pleasure. "You and I, friend Scarecrow, are much mor_asily cared for than those clumsy meat people, who spend half their tim_ressing in fine clothes and who must live in splendid dwellings in order t_e contented and happy. You and I do not eat, and so we are spared th_readful bother of getting three meals a day. Nor do we waste half our live_n sleep, a condition that causes the meat people to lose all consciousnes_nd become as thoughtless and helpless as logs of wood."
  • "You speak truly," responded the Scarecrow, tucking some wisps of straw int_is breast with his padded fingers. "I often feel sorry for the meat people,
  • many of whom are my friends. Even the beasts are happier than they, for the_equire less to make them content. And the birds are the luckiest creatures o_ll, for they can fly swiftly where they will and find a home at any plac_hey care to perch. Their food consists of seeds and grains they gather fro_he fields, and their drink is a sip of water from some running brook. If _ould not be a Scarecrow or a Tin Woodman, my next choice would be to live a_ bird does."
  • The gray dove had listened carefully to this speech and seemed to find comfor_n it, for it hushed its moaning. And just then the Tin Woodman discovere_ayke's dishpan, which was on the ground quite near to him. "Here is a rathe_retty utensil," he said, taking it in his tin hand to examine it, "but _ould not care to own it. Whoever fashioned it of gold and covered it wit_iamonds did not add to its usefulness, nor do I consider it as beautiful a_he bright dishpans of tin one usually sees. No yellow color is ever s_andsome as the silver sheen of tin," and he turned to look at his tin leg_nd body with approval.
  • "I cannot quite agree with you there," replied the Scarecrow. "My stra_tuffing has a light yellow color, and it is not only pretty to look at, bu_t crunkles most delightfully when I move."
  • "Let us admit that all colors are good in their proper places," said the Ti_oodman, who was too kind-hearted to quarrel, "but you must agree with me tha_ dishpan that is yellow is unnatural. What shall we do with this one, whic_e have just found?"
  • "Let us carry it back to the Emerald City," suggested the Scarecrow. "Some o_ur friends might like to have it for a foot-bath, and in using it that way,
  • its golden color and sparkling ornaments would not injure its usefulness."
  • So they went away and took the jeweled dishpan with them. And after wanderin_hrough the country for a day or so longer, they learned the news that Ozm_ad been found. Therefore they straightway returned to the Emerald City an_resented the dishpan to Princess Ozma as a token of their joy that she ha_een restored to them. Ozma promptly gave the diamond-studded gold dishpan t_ayke the Cookie Cook, who was delighted at regaining her lost treasure tha_he danced up and down in glee and then threw her skinny arms around Ozma'_eck and kissed her gratefully. Cayke's mission was now successfull_ccomplished, but she was having such a good time at the Emerald City that sh_eemed in no hurry to go back to the Country of the Yips.
  • It was several weeks after the dishpan had been restored to the Cookie Coo_hen one day, as Dorothy was seated in the royal gardens with Trot and Bets_eside her, a gray dove came flying down and alighted at the girl's feet.
  • "I am Ugu the Shoemaker," said the dove in a soft, mourning voice, "and I hav_ome to ask you to forgive me for the great wrong I did in stealing Ozma an_he magic that belonged to her and to others."
  • "Are you sorry, then?" asked Dorothy, looking hard at the bird.
  • "I am VERY sorry," declared Ugu. "I've been thinking over my misdeeds for _ong time, for doves have little else to do but think, and I'm surprised tha_ was such a wicked man and had so little regard for the rights of others. _m now convinced that even had I succeeded in making myself ruler of all Oz, _hould not have been happy, for many days of quiet thought have shown me tha_nly those things one acquires honestly are able to render one content."
  • "I guess that's so," said Trot.
  • "Anyhow," said Betsy, "the bad man seems truly sorry, and if he has now becom_ good and honest man, we ought to forgive him."
  • "I fear I cannot become a good MAN again," said Ugu, "for the transformation _m under will always keep me in the form of a dove. But with the kin_orgiveness of my former enemies, I hope to become a very good dove and highl_espected."
  • "Wait here till I run for my Magic Belt," said Dorothy, "and I'll transfor_ou back to your reg'lar shape in a jiffy."
  • "No, don't do that!" pleaded the dove, fluttering its wings in an excited way.
  • "I only want your forgiveness. I don't want to be a man again. As Ugu th_hoemaker I was skinny and old and unlovely. As a dove I am quite pretty t_ook at. As a man I was ambitious and cruel, while as a dove I can be conten_ith my lot and happy in my simple life. I have learned to love the free an_ndependent life of a bird, and I'd rather not change back."
  • "Just as you like, Ugu," said Dorothy, resuming her seat. "Perhaps you ar_ight, for you're certainly a better dove than you were a man, and if yo_hould ever backslide an' feel wicked again, you couldn't do much harm as _ray dove."
  • "Then you forgive me for all the trouble I caused you?" he asked earnestly.
  • "Of course. Anyone who's sorry just has to be forgiven."
  • "Thank you," said the gray dove, and flew away again.
  • THE END