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Age Rating 8 Plus.
By Frank Baum.
Start of Story
An accomplished wizard once lived on the top floor of a tenement
house and passed his time in thoughtful study and studious thought.
What he didn't know about wizardry was hardly worth knowing, for he
possessed all the books and recipes of all the wizards who had lived
before him; and, moreover, he had invented several wizardments
This admirable person would have been completely happy but for the
numerous interruptions to his studies caused by folk who came to
consult him about their troubles (in which he was not interested),
and by the loud knocks of the iceman, the milkman, the baker's boy,
the laundryman and the peanut woman. He never dealt with any of
these people; but they rapped at his door every day to see him about
this or that or to try to sell him their wares. Just when he was
most deeply interested in his books or engaged in watching the
bubbling of a cauldron there would come a knock at his door. And
after sending the intruder away he always found he had lost his
train of thought or ruined his compound.
At length these interruptions aroused his anger, and he decided he
must have a dog to keep people away from his door. He didn't know
where to find a dog, but in the next room lived a poor glass-blower
with whom he had a slight acquaintance; so he went into the man's
apartment and asked:
"Where can I find a dog?"
"What sort of a dog?" inquired the glass-blower.
"A good dog. One that will bark at people and drive them away. One
that will be no trouble to keep and won't expect to be fed. One that
has no fleas and is neat in his habits. One that will obey me when I
speak to him. In short, a good dog," said the wizard.
"Such a dog is hard to find," returned the glass-blower, who was
busy making a blue glass flower pot with a pink glass rosebush in
it, having green glass leaves and yellow glass roses.
The wizard watched him thoughtfully.
"Why cannot you blow me a dog out of glass?" he asked, presently.
"I can," declared the glass-blower; "but it would not bark at
people, you know."
"Oh, I'll fix that easily enough," replied the other. "If I could
not make a glass dog bark I would be a mighty poor wizard."
"Very well; if you can use a glass dog I'll be pleased to blow one
for you. Only, you must pay for my work."
"Certainly," agreed the wizard. "But I have none of that horrid
stuff you call money. You must take some of my wares in exchange."
The glass-blower considered the matter for a moment.
"Could you give me something to cure my rheumatism?" he asked.
"Oh, yes; easily."
"Then it's a bargain. I'll start the dog at once. What color of
glass shall I use?"
"Pink is a pretty color," said the wizard, "and it's unusual for a
dog, isn't it?"
"Very," answered the glass-blower; "but it shall be pink."
So the wizard went back to his studies and the glass-blower began to
make the dog.
Next morning he entered the wizard's room with the glass dog under
his arm and set it carefully upon the table. It was a beautiful pink
in color, with a fine coat of spun glass, and about its neck was
twisted a blue glass ribbon. Its eyes were specks of black glass and
sparkled intelligently, as do many of the glass eyes worn by men.
The wizard expressed himself pleased with the glass-blower's skill
and at once handed him a small vial.
"This will cure your rheumatism," he said.
"But the vial is empty!" protested the glass-blower.
"Oh, no; there is one drop of liquid in it," was the wizard's reply.
"Will one drop cure my rheumatism?" inquired the glass-blower, in
"Most certainly. That is a marvelous remedy. The one drop contained
in the vial will cure instantly any kind of disease ever known to
humanity. Therefore it is especially good for rheumatism. But guard
it well, for it is the only drop of its kind in the world, and I've
forgotten the recipe."
"Thank you," said the glass-blower, and went back to his room.
Then the wizard cast a wizzy spell and mumbled several very learned
words in the wizardese language over the glass dog. Whereupon the
little animal first wagged its tail from side to side, then winked
his left eye knowingly, and at last began barking in a most
frightful manner--that is, when you stop to consider the noise came
from a pink glass dog. There is something almost astonishing in the
magic arts of wizards; unless, of course, you know how to do the
things yourself, when you are not expected to be surprised at them.
The wizard was as delighted as a school teacher at the success of
his spell, although he was not astonished. Immediately he placed the
dog outside his door, where it would bark at anyone who dared knock
and so disturb the studies of its master.
The glass-blower, on returning to his room, decided not to use the
one drop of wizard cure-all just then.
"My rheumatism is better to-day," he reflected, "and I will be wise
to save the medicine for a time when I am very ill, when it will be
of more service to me."
So he placed the vial in his cupboard and went to work blowing more
roses out of glass. Presently he happened to think the medicine
might not keep, so he started to ask the wizard about it. But when
he reached the door the glass dog barked so fiercely that he dared
not knock, and returned in great haste to his own room. Indeed, the
poor man was quite upset at so unfriendly a reception from the dog
he had himself so carefully and skillfully made.
The next morning, as he read his newspaper, he noticed an article
stating that the beautiful Miss Mydas, the richest young lady in
town, was very ill, and the doctors had given up hope of her