January 6, 2014

You Learn Something New Everyday




So, we're all pretty familiar with The Wizard of Oz, right?

You know, Dorothy, Toto, cowardly lion, wicked witch of the west, so on and so forth.

Well, I thought I knew the story really well, too - except now, I'm reading the book by L. Frank Baum (did you know The Wizard of Oz is only one out of fourteen books he wrote about Oz?). I just started it yesterday.

Everything was fine until I got to chapter five, The Rescue of the Tin Woodman. Did you catch that? Not tin man... Tin WOODMAN.

Lets let him tell his story.

"I was born the son of a woodman who chopped down trees in the forest and sold the wood for a living. When I grew up I too became a woodchopper, and after my father died I took care of my old mother as long as she lived. Then I made up my mind that instead of living alone I would marry, so that I might not become lonely.

"There was one of the Munchkin girls who was so beautiful that I soon grew to love her with all my heart. She, on her part, promised to marry me as soon as I could earn enough money to build a better house for her; so I set to work harder than ever. But the girl lived with an old woman who did not want her to marry anyone, for she was so lazy she wished the girl to remain with her and do the cooking and the housework. So the old woman went to the wicked Witch of the East, and promised her two sheep and a cow if she would prevent the marriage. Thereupon the wicked Witch enchanted my axe, and when I was chopping away at my best one day, for I was anxious to get the new house and my wife as soon as possible, the axe slipped at once and cut off my left leg."

(Wait... What??)

"This at first seemed a great misfortune, for I knew a one-legged man could not do very well as a woodchopper. So I went to a tin-smith, and had him make me a new leg out of tin. The leg worked very well, once I was used to it; but my action angered the wicked Witch of the East, for she had promised the old woman I should not marry the little Munchkin girl. When I began chopping again my axe slipped and cut off my right leg. Again I went to the tinner, and again he made me a leg out of tin. After this the enchanted axe cut off my arms, one after the other; but, nothing daunted, I had them replaced with tin ones. The wicked Witch then made the axe slip and cut off my head, and at first I thought that was the end of me. But the tinner happened to come along, and he made me a new head out of tin."

(So... He just sat there, gory and beheaded until the tinner walked by accidentally....)

"I thought I had beaten the wicked Witch then, and I worked harder than ever; but I little knew how cruel my enemy could be. She thought of a new way to kill my love for the beautiful Munchkin maiden, and made my axe slip again, so that it cut right through my body, splitting me into two halves. Once more the tinner came to my help and made me a body of tin, fastening my tin arms and legs and head to it, by means of joints, so that I could move around as well as ever. But alas! I now had no heart, so that I lost all my love for the little Munchkin girl, and did not care whether I married her or not. I suppose she is still living with the old woman, waiting for me to come after her."

Um...whoa. I just... Wow.

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