Chapter Eight

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Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen

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Chapter Eight

THE MEETING ON THE CLEARING

Next morning all the animals of the forest came to the big clearing. There were hundreds and hundreds of beasts. There were wolves and foxes, bears, lions and monkeys, and many other animals. Leopard the King sat down on a big stone which was his throne.

"Brothers," he said in his loud voice, "yesterday two beasts of a very strange form came to our forest. They are great magicians. They can change the forms of people and animals. They live in the sky. They are here because they want to help us. My friends—the Bear, the Wolf, the Grey Monkey and I saw their magic work.1 Now one of the magicians wants to speak to you. Will you listen to him?"

"Yes, yes, let him speak!" cried all the animals.

So the Nome came out in front of the animals. The animals looked at him in great surprise. They looked at his lion's head, his eagle's wings and his monkey's body.

The Nome spoke for a long time. When he finished one of the animals said: "Can you really change animals into men, women and children?"

"Yes, he can, he can!" cried the Wolf.

Now Gugu, the King of the forest, got up from his throne and said: "You have heard the plan of our friends, haven't you? Now you must give your answer. Do you like the plan?"

"Yes," cried some of the animals.

"No," cried others. Some animals said neither yes nor no.

Gugu the King looked at the animals and said: "Think, think hard. I am waiting for your answer. If you are ready to answer now, I shall hear you."

The animals began to talk to one another. Some of them wanted to fight the Oz people, others did not want to fight them. And there were some beasts who did not want even to talk about fighting. The noise was so great that they could not hear one another. Suddenly the noise stopped. All the animals looked in great surprise at a strange group which they suddenly saw on the clearing.

 

 

1 saw their magic work — видели, как они делают чудеса

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