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Glass dog.

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 himself. 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 wonder. "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 recovery.

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