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It was morning. Aunt Em and Uncle Henry were hard at work, trying to scrape a living from their land. A person could age quickly working under the hot Kansas sun. Uncle Henry's long beard was grayer now than when Dorothy had last come back from the Land of Oz.
Dorothy was making her bed. She straightened out the patchwork quilt Aunt Em had made for her, making sure its corners were straight and even. She could hear Toto's barking in the background. He had challenged the nearest barnyard chicken who happened along, running and barking and causing the little bird to flap its wings wildly. Chicken feathers flew in all different directions.
The barking stopped for a short while, then started again as Toto found another chicken to tease. Dorothy looked out her window and gasped in astonishment. Only a stone's throw away was a bright and
beautiful rainbow that filled the sky with brilliance. How beautiful it was against the morning grayness!
"Aunt Em!" Dorothy cried with excitement. "Aunt Em, look! Look at the rainbow!"
Aunt Em stopped her baking and looked. Sure enough, there it was, bigger and brighter than even Aunt Em, for all her years, had ever seen.
Dorothy burst out of the house and ran toward the bright colors as fast as her legs could take her. Toto was right behind her. She could hear Aunt Em calling after her from the porch, but her words were lost as they faded across the open prairie. Uncle
Henry came out of the barn where he was milking cows and shouted to her, but Dorothy did not stop.
The farmhouse, Aunt Em, and Uncle Henry were soon out of sight. The rainbow seemed to move. As Dorothy ran, itremained just out of reach.
"Faster, Toto, faster," called Dorothy, urgency in her voice. She was drawn to the rainbow by something. Perhaps it was the rainbow's beauty, perhaps it was something more.
They finally stopped running, exhausted. The rainbow glimmered in front of them, seeming close enough to touch. Dorothy stared at it as she caught her breath. Toto just sat next to her, panting. He wasn't even barking, which was very unusual for him.
A very familiar voice whispered, "Hello, Dorothy, it's good to see you. " Dorothy rubbed her eyes. There before her stood Glinda, the Good Witch of the South of Oz.
Dorothy could barely believe her eyes. Glinda's beauty was, in itself, mystical. Her long red hair flowed with the prairie wind. Her white gown changed colors as the rainbow's reflection danced upon the gown's strands of silk and lace.
Glinda's deep-blue eyes sparkled as she said, "Dorothy, you must return to Oz. The Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, and the Lion need you. They are in grave trouble and only you can save them."
"But Glinda," Dorothy said, not wanting to believe what she had just heard, "the Wizard of Oz gave the Scarecrow his marvelous brains. He was once the ruler of the Emerald City. How could he be in trouble? He is too wise.
"The Tin Woodman has ruled over the Winkies in the country of the West since the Wicked Witch died. The Tin Woodman has a gentle heart. He is loving and giving to all creatures, for there is good in all of us. How could the Tin Woodman be in trouble with his kind heart?
"The once Cowardly Lion was given courage by the Great Wizard. He is now the King of Beasts. He can't be in trouble, can he?"
Glinda's beauty continued to reflect in an almost hypnotizing way. The rainbow's colors grew in their intensity. Glinda reached toward Dorothy. Her hand was up and her five fingers were spread. Dorothy placed her five fingers against Glinda's.
Their hands passed through one another and Glinda began to fade from sight. As she did, she said, "Dorothy, you must return to Oz and help." With that, Glinda disappeared, but the rainbow remained.
Dorothy knew she must go back to Oz, but how? A cyclone like the one that took her there the first time was unlikely, and she had lost her silver shoeswhich had the power to take you anyplace in the world-when they fell off over the desert on the way back from Oz.
Toto jumped up and started to bark again. He ran right into the rainbow. His little dark-brown body looked like a shadow among the red, yellow, and blue of the rainbow., and his eyes were wide as they reflected its colors. Dorothy watched in surprise. "Come here, Toto, come here," she called. Toto seemed very busy with something, but finally he ran out to Dorothy. In his mouth, he carried a pair of silver shoes.
Toto was delighted at his newly found prize. He was fond of old shoes and slippers, sometimes taking Dorothy's or Aunt Em's and running away with them until he was caught and scolded. Now he ran just out of Dorothy's reach, the shoes still in his mouth.
"Toto, come here," Dorothy called again. This time Toto obeyed, dropping the shoes at Dorothy's feet. "Look, " said Dorothy, "the silver shoes! Glinda the Good must have found them!"
Dorothy was putting them on when she found a note inside one shoe. The note said:
The silver shoes will take you to Oz and back home again. The Impassable Desert has taken away much of their power, so they can be used only twice more.
Love, Princess Ozma and Glinda
Dorothy took Toto up carefully in her arms. She then clicked the heels of the silver shoes three times as she had been taught and said, "Take me to Oz!"
The rainbow became a blur. The prairie disappeared and they flew over the rainbow to Oz.Dorothy of Oz. Copyright � by Roger Baum. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.