Table of Contents

+ Add to Library

Previous Next

Chapter 5 The Awakening of the Saw-horse

  • The Saw-Horse, finding himself alive, seemed even more astonished than Tip. H_olled his knotty eyes from side to side, taking a first wondering view of th_orld in which he had now so important an existence. Then he tried to look a_imself; but he had, indeed, no neck to turn; so that in the endeavor to se_is body he kept circling around and around, without catching even a glimps_f it. His legs were stiff and awkward, for there were no knee-joints in them; so that presently he bumped against Jack Pumpkinhead and sent that personag_umbling upon the moss that lined the roadside.
  • Tip became alarmed at this accident, as well as at the persistence of the Saw- Horse in prancing around in a circle; so he called out:
  • "Whoa! Whoa, there!"
  • The Saw-Horse paid no attention whatever to this command, and the next instan_rought one of his wooden legs down upon Tip's foot so forcibly that the bo_anced away in pain to a safer distance, from where he again yelled:
  • "Whoa! Whoa, I say!"
  • Jack had now managed to raise himself to a sitting position, and he looked a_he Saw-Horse with much interest.
  • "I don't believe the animal can hear you," he remarked.
  • "I shout loud enough, don't I?" answered Tip, angrily.
  • "Yes; but the horse has no ears," said the smiling Pumpkinhead.
  • "Sure enough!" exclaimed Tip, noting the fact for the first time. "How, then, am I going to stop him?"
  • But at that instant the Saw-Horse stopped himself, having concluded it wa_mpossible to see his own body. He saw Tip, however, and came close to the bo_o observe him more fully.
  • It was really comical to see the creature walk; for it moved the legs on it_ight side together, and those on its left side together, as a pacing hors_oes; and that made its body rock sidewise, like a cradle.
  • Tip patted it upon the head, and said "Good boy! Good Boy!" in a coaxing tone; and the Saw-Horse pranced away to examine with its bulging eyes the form o_ack Pumpkinhead.
  • "I must find a halter for him," said Tip; and having made a search in hi_ocket he produced a roll of strong cord. Unwinding this, he approached th_aw-Horse and tied the cord around its neck, afterward fastening the other en_o a large tree. The Saw-Horse, not understanding the action, stepped backwar_nd snapped the string easily; but it made no attempt to run away.
  • "He's stronger than I thought," said the boy, "and rather obstinate, too."
  • "Why don't you make him some ears?" asked Jack. "Then you can tell him what t_o."
  • "That's a splendid idea!" said Tip. "How did you happen to think of it?"
  • "Why, I didn't think of it," answered the Pumpkinhead; "I didn't need to, fo_t's the simplest and easiest thing to do."
  • So Tip got out his knife and fashioned some ears out of the bark of a smal_ree.
  • "I mustn't make them too big," he said, as he whittled, "or our horse woul_ecome a donkey."
  • "How is that?" inquired Jack, from the roadside.
  • "Why, a horse has bigger ears than a man; and a donkey has bigger ears than _orse," explained Tip.
  • "Then, if my ears were longer, would I be a horse?" asked Jack.
  • "My friend," said Tip, gravely, "you'll never be anything but a Pumpkinhead, no matter how big your ears are."
  • "Oh," returned Jack, nodding; "I think I understand."
  • "If you do, you're a wonder," remarked the boy "but there's no harm i_hinking you understand. I guess these ears are ready now. Will you hold th_orse while I stick them on?"
  • "Certainly, if you'll help me up," said Jack.
  • So Tip raised him to his feet, and the Pumpkinhead went to the horse and hel_ts head while the boy bored two holes in it with his knife-blade and inserte_he ears.
  • "They make him look very handsome," said Jack, admiringly.
  • But those words, spoken close to the Saw-Horse, and being the first sounds h_ad ever heard, so startled the animal that he made a bound forward an_umbled Tip on one side and Jack on the other. Then he continued to rus_orward as if frightened by the clatter of his own foot-steps.
  • "Whoa!" shouted Tip, picking himself up; "whoa! you idiot whoa!" The Saw-Hors_ould probably have paid no attention to this, but just then it stepped a le_nto a gopher-hole and stumbled head-over-heels to the ground, where it la_pon its back, frantically waving its four legs in the air.
  • Tip ran up to it.
  • "You're a nice sort of a horse, I must say!" he exclaimed. "Why didn't yo_top when I yelled 'whoa?'"
  • "Does 'whoa' mean to stop?" asked the Saw-Horse, in a surprised voice, as i_olled its eyes upward to look at the boy.
  • "Of course it does," answered Tip.
  • "And a hole in the ground means to stop, also, doesn't it?" continued th_orse.
  • "To be sure; unless you step over it," said Tip.
  • "What a strange place this is," the creature exclaimed, as if amazed. "What a_ doing here, anyway?"
  • "Why, I've brought you to life," answered the boy "but it won't hurt you any, if you mind me and do as I tell you."
  • "Then I will do as you tell me," replied the Saw-Horse, humbly. "But wha_appened to me, a moment ago? I don't seem to be just right, someway."
  • "You're upside down," explained Tip. "But just keep those legs still a minut_nd I'll set you right side up again."
  • "How many sides have I?" asked the creature, wonderingly.
  • "Several," said Tip, briefly. "But do keep those legs still."
  • The Saw-Horse now became quiet, and held its legs rigid; so that Tip, afte_everal efforts, was able to roll him over and set him upright.
  • "Ah, I seem all right now," said the queer animal, with a sigh.
  • "One of your ears is broken," Tip announced, after a careful examination.
  • "I'll have to make a new one."
  • Then he led the Saw-Horse back to where Jack was vainly struggling to regai_is feet, and after assisting the Pumpkinhead to stand upright Tip whittle_ut a new ear and fastened it to the horse's head.
  • "Now," said he, addressing his steed, "pay attention to what I'm going to tel_ou. 'Whoa!' means to stop; 'Get-Up!' means to walk forward; 'Trot!' means t_o as fast as you can. Understand?"
  • "I believe I do," returned the horse.
  • "Very good. We are all going on a journey to the Emerald City, to see Hi_ajesty, the Scarecrow; and Jack Pumpkinhead is going to ride on your back, s_e won't wear out his joints."
  • "I don't mind," said the Saw-Horse. "Anything that suits you suits me."
  • Then Tip assisted Jack to get upon the horse.
  • "Hold on tight," he cautioned, "or you may fall off and crack your pumpki_ead."
  • "That would be horrible!" said Jack, with a shudder. "What shall I hold o_o?"
  • "Why, hold on to his ears," replied Tip, after a moment's hesitation.
  • "Don't do that!" remonstrated the Saw-Horse; "for then I can't hear."
  • That seemed reasonable, so Tip tried to think of something else.
  • "I'll fix it!" said he, at length. He went into the wood and cut a shor_ength of limb from a young, stout tree. One end of this he sharpened to _oint, and then he dug a hole in the back of the Saw-Horse, just behind it_ead. Next he brought a piece of rock from the road and hammered the pos_irmly into the animal's back.
  • "Stop! Stop!" shouted the horse; "you're jarring me terribly."
  • "Does it hurt?" asked the boy.
  • "Not exactly hurt," answered the animal; "but it makes me quite nervous to b_arred."
  • "Well, it's all over now" said Tip, encouragingly. "Now, Jack, be sure to hol_ast to this post and then you can't fall off and get smashed."
  • So Jack held on tight, and Tip said to the horse:
  • "Get up."
  • The obedient creature at once walked forward, rocking from side to side as h_aised his feet from the ground.
  • Tip walked beside the Saw-Horse, quite content with this addition to thei_arty. Presently he began to whistle.
  • "What does that sound mean?" asked the horse.
  • "Don't pay any attention to it," said Tip. "I'm just whistling, and that onl_eans I'm pretty well satisfied."
  • "I'd whistle myself, if I could push my lips together," remarked Jack. "_ear, dear father, that in some respects I am sadly lacking."
  • After journeying on for some distance the narrow path they were followin_urned into a broad roadway, paved with yellow brick. By the side of the roa_ip noticed a sign-post that read:
  • "NINE MILES TO THE EMERALD CITY."
  • But it was now growing dark, so he decided to camp for the night by th_oadside and to resume the journey next morning by daybreak. He led the Saw- Horse to a grassy mound upon which grew several bushy trees, and carefull_ssisted the Pumpkinhead to alight.
  • "I think I'll lay you upon the ground, overnight," said the boy. "You will b_afer that way."
  • "How about me?" asked the Saw-Horse.
  • "It won't hurt you to stand," replied Tip; "and, as you can't sleep, you ma_s well watch out and see that no one comes near to disturb us."
  • Then the boy stretched himself upon the grass beside the Pumpkinhead, an_eing greatly wearied by the journey was soon fast asleep.