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L. Frank Baum: Ozma of Oz
10. The Giant with the Hammer
The road led for a time through a pretty farm country, and then past a picnic grove that was very inviting. But the procession continued to steadily advance until Billina cried in an abrupt and commanding manner:
Ozma stopped her chariot so suddenly that the Scarecrow's Sawhorse nearly ran into it, and the ranks of the army tumbled over one another before they could come to a halt. Immediately the yellow hen struggled from Dorothy's arms and flew into a clump of bushes by the roadside.
"What's the matter?" called the Tin Woodman, anxiously.
"Why, Billina wants to lay her egg, that's all," said Dorothy.
"Lay her egg!" repeated the Tin Woodman, in astonishment.
"Yes; she lays one every morning, about this time; and it's quite fresh," said the girl.
"But does your foolish old hen suppose that this entire cavalcade, which is bound on an important adventure, is going to stand still while she lays her egg?" enquired the Tin Woodman, earnestly.
"What else can we do?" asked the girl. "It's a habit of Billina's and she can't break herself of it."
"Then she must hurry up," said the Tin Woodman, impatiently.
"No, no!" exclaimed the Scarecrow. "If she hurries she may lay scrambled eggs."
"That's nonsense," said Dorothy. "But Billina won't be long, I'm sure."
So they stood and waited, although all were restless and anxious to proceed. And by and by the yellow hen came from the bushes saying:
"Kut-kut, kut, ka-daw-kutt! Kut, kut, kut--ka-daw-kut!"
"What is she doing--singing her lay?" asked the Scarecrow.
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