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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

L. Frank Baum

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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz | Chapter 7 : The Journey to the Great Oz | Summary



The group of friends make camp for the night. Dorothy and Toto are almost out of food, so the Scarecrow brings them a basketful of nuts. The next morning they come to a deep ravine. The lion makes three trips to carry his companions over, jumping back and forth three times. Next they reach a wide ditch. The Tin Woodman chops down a tree to make a bridge, and they all cross it safely.

But now they face another kind of danger: monstrous beasts called the Kalidahs, who are right behind them. At the Scarecrow's suggestion the Tin Woodman chops away the end of the bridge on their side, and the Kalidahs fall into the gulf.

A third challenge awaits them when they come to a broad river. Again following the Scarecrow's advice, the Tin Woodman starts building them a raft, but night falls before he can finish it.


The Kalidahs have "bodies like bears and heads like tigers." This passage may be the source of the chant "Lions and tigers and bears! Oh my!" in the 1939 film version of the story. Baum is fond of combining several real creatures into a single mythical one. A later book in the series features Li-Mon-Eags, whose bodies are a blend of lion, monkey, eagle, and wild ass. Of course in this way Baum is following a time-honored tradition. Mythology is full of hybrid beasts—from centaurs to griffons to satyrs.

Note that the Scarecrow and the Lion behave in ways that prove they already possess the qualities they hope the Wizard will give them. Using careful reasoning the Scarecrow figures out how to cross three seemingly impossible gaps. The Lion jumps across those gaps and promises to fight the Kalidahs for "as long as I am alive."

Baum seems to find it more challenging to demonstrate that the Tin Woodman already has a heart. He can't make the woodman rust over and over. In fact Baum is somewhat inconsistent with this character. If the Tin Woodman weeps when he steps on a bug, it's hard to understand where he finds the "heart" to behead a wildcat and 40 wolves, as he does in later chapters.

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