KIKI MEETS A STRANGE MAN
Kiki turned around and saw a strange
old man. He had a fat, big body and very thin legs and arms. He had a big
round face. His white beard was very long. Kiki saw that the pockets of his
clothes were very big. They were full of jewels.
"Who are you?"asked Kiki.
"I was once King in the Nome Country
1 in the Land of Oz," said the strange old man. "But the
people of Oz kicked me out of my country. Now I have no home and I must go
from place to place."
"Why did they kick you out?" asked the
"Well, in our time it happens very
often," answered the King of Nomes. "People just come and kick their kings out
of their countries. I thought I was a very good King. But those bad Oz people
kicked me out of the country. I don't want to talk about it. Let's talk about
other things. Who are you, boy? And where do you live?"
"My name is Kiki Aru," said the boy.
"I lived in the Munchkin Country in the Land of Oz. Now I go from place to
place like you."
The King looked at the boy for some
"Well," he said at last, "I know from
the bird that you changed into a hawk and back again into your real form. Is
Kiki thought a little. "I must not be
afraid of that Nome King. I shall tell him the truth," he decided at last.
"Yes," he said. "That is true."
"Then you are a Wizard,” said the
King. "That's very good! I had some very good magic tools, but my enemies, the
Oz people, took them all away from me. And where are you going now?"
"I am going to the inn to get supper
and bed," said Kiki.
"Have you the money for it?" asked the
"Yes," Kiki answered, "I have one gold
"Which you stole," laughed the Nome.
"Very good. And you are glad that you are wicked. I like you, young man. I
shall go to the inn with you."
When they came into the inn, the
innkeeper looked at Kiki very angrily, and said: "Why did you come again? You
have no money for your supper and a bed."
Kiki showed the master his gold piece.
Then the innkeeper turned to the Nome and asked him: "And how about you?
2 Have you the money for your supper and a bed?"
"I have some other good things," said
the old man, "I shall show them to you."
He took out a bag from one of his
pockets and threw a lot of jewels on the table. The innkeeper and Kiki looked
at the jewels in surprise. Neither the man nor Kiki knew what to say.
Then the innkeeper ran to the kitchen
to make a good supper for the Nome and Kiki.
"Where did you get so many jewels?"
I can tell you all about it," said the Nome King. "When those wicked people of
the Land of Oz were going to kick me out, they said: 'Take as many jewels as
you can carry 3 and go away from the country.' So I made many
pockets in my clothes and put a lot of jewels into those pockets. It is very
nice to have jewels. For them you can get all you want!"
"Oh, don't speak so loud," said Kiki
and looked around.
After supper the Nome King said to
Kiki: "I hate all the Oz people. And I hate Ozma, Dorothy and her friends, the
Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, the Cowardly Lion and the Wizard of Oz. And I
wanted them to be unhappy. But I didn't know how to do it. Now with your help,
I think I can do it. Will you help me to conquer the Land of Oz? I shall give
you a lot of my jewels. You can have some fine big diamonds, rubies or
"He wants to know my secret," thought
the boy. "But I don't want him to know it, I shall not tell him my secret."
And Kiki said: "No."
"Then take all my. jewels," said the
"No, no, no," cried Kiki.
Now the Nome King was angry.
"Then," he said, "I shall tell the
innkeeper that you stole that gold piece."
Kiki laughed at these words.
"Oh," he said, "I am not afraid. I can
change into a lion and eat him up. Or I shall become a bird and fly away, and
he will not catch me."
"Can you really do this?" asked the
"Of course, I can," answered Kiki. "I
can change you into a tree or a stone in a moment, and leave you here by the
Kiki's words frightened the wicked old
man. But he wanted so much to know Kiki's secret! So he said: "I know what I
can do. I can make you King of Oz. Tell me your secret and help me to conquer
the Land of Oz. The Oz people are my enemies. I want to make them unhappy. I
shall change them into trees or stones. When I have conquered the Oz people I
shall go away to my country. You will never see me again. And from that day on
you will be King of the Land of Oz and rule the country!"
"I shall think about it," said Kiki.
"I don't want to talk about it!"
1 I was once King in
the Nome Country — Когда-то я был королем страны Номов
2 And how about you? —
А у вас как?
3 as many jewels as
you can carry — столько драгоценностей, сколько сможешь унести