THE NOME TALKS TO THE LEOPARD, KING
OF THE FOREST
On that morning Leopard the King and
his three friends met on a big clearing in the centre of the forest.
"My dear friends," said Gugu, the King
of the forest. "We must decide what we shall do with the animals who did not
obey me. A monkey threw a big nut at a fox and broke its head. A bear wanted
to kill a giraffe..."
Suddenly Gugu stopped. He and his
friends saw two strange beasts on the clearing.
"What do they want here?"
1 cried Gugu angrily.
The strange beasts came up to them.
"Good morning, brothers," said the
"We are not your brothers," answered
the Bear. "Who are you and why did you come to the forest of Gugu?"
The Nome at once thought up a name,
2 and said: "We are two Li-Mon-Eags. 3 Our
home is in the sky. We came down here to tell you that the people of Oz want
to conquer the animals of the forest. The animals of the forest will become
slaves of the Oz people. They will do all the work for them."
"We shall fight the Oz people," cried
the Bear. "We shall make them our slaves." "That's right," said the Wolf and
the Grey Monkey.
"Stop it," 4 cried
Gugu the King. His friends obeyed him at once. He looked at the strange beasts
for a long time. "The people of Oz," he said at last, "are neither our
friends, nor our enemies. They have no slaves, and they do not want to have
slaves. I know they don't want to conquer us. I think you are telling us lies,
5 you strange Li-Mon-Eags." "Oh, I give you my word, it is
the truth," cried the Nome. "I shall tell you how we learned about it. One
day, my comrade and I flew to a forest near the Emerald City. There we saw a
lot of people. We heard what they said. They said: 'We shall conquer the
animals of the forest and make them our slaves.'"
"We live in the sky," went on the
Nome, "but we are animals too and we want to help you and that is why
6 we are here."
The Nome stopped and looked at Gugu
and his friends.
"And how can you help us?" asked Gugu
"Well," said the Nome, "the Land of Oz
is a very rich " country. The people of Oz have very many nice things. They
have houses with good beds, they have good food, nice clothes, jewels and
many, many other good things. Let us conquer them before they conquer you.
Then you will have all the nice things that they now have. The animals will
become the masters of the people. The people will become the slaves of the
"But we don't want to become their
masters," said the Bear. "And we don't know what to do with their things."
"Oh, I shall tell you what we are
going to do for you," said the Nome. "We are magicians. This is my plan. First
you must conquer the Oz people. After that we shall change them into animals
and send them to the forest to live there. Then we shall change all the
animals of this forest into men and women. Then you will live in the Emerald
City and you will know what to do with the nice things of the Oz people."
For a moment they did not speak.
7 Then Leopard the King said: "Show us that you can really
change us. If you are magicians—change Loo the Wolf into a man. Then we shall
believe you. If you can't do it, we shall not believe you. And we shall kill
"All right," said the Nome. "My
comrade will do it, not I."
Kiki went a little way 8
from the animals and said his -magic word. The Wolf at once became a fat
little man in a red costume. Gugu the King was frightened. He could not say a
After a moment he said to the Nome:
"Yes, now we believe you."
Gugu spoke now like a friend.
Then he turned to the animals of the
forest. He said; "What shall we say to our friends, the Li-Mon-Eags? I want
the animals of our forest to know all about their plan. They will decide what
answer we must give. You, Grey Monkey, go and tell all the animals to come to
this clearing tomorrow morning. We shall have a meeting here. The magician
will talk to the animals and tell them his plan. If they decide to fight
9 the Oz people, we shall fight them too. And now," he said
to the Nome, "you must change our comrade into a wolf again."
So Kiki changed the man back into a
wolf. The Wolf ran away happy. Gugu and his friends went away too.
"I hope they will like our plan," said
the Nome. "I hope that the animals will fight and conquer the Land of Oz. Then
I shall punish Ozma and Dorothy and all my enemies." And the Nome laughed.
"Don't forget that all the work is
done by me," 10 said Kiki.
"No, I shall not forget," said the
Nome. "I shall not forget. And I promise you that you will be King of the Land
"But will King Gugu let me be King?"
11 asked the boy.
'Oh, don't be afraid of him," said the
wicked Nome. "You can change him into a tree, and a tree can't do you any
"Of course," answered Kiki. But he
thought: "I shall change the Nome into a tree too. I don't like him. He is
very bad. He is not a real friend. He can do much harm."
And the Nome thought: "I shall learn
the magic word and change Kiki into a stone."
So, you see, dear readers, that wicked
people can never be real friends.
1 What do they want
here?— Что им здесь надо?
2 thought up a name —
3 Li-Mon-Eags — сокр.
4 Stop it — Прекратите
5 you are telling us
lies — вы лжете нам
6 that is why — вот
7 For a moment they
did not speak. — На какое-то время они замолчали.
8 Kiki went a little
way — Кики отошел в сторону
9 If they decide to fight — Если
они решат сражаться
10 all the work is done by me —
вся работа будет проделана мною
11 will King Gugu let me be King —
позволит ли мне Король Гугу стать королем
12 a tree can't do you any harm —
дерево не сможет причинить тебе никакого вреда