The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Lyman Frank Baum
Contributed by Sharon Fleming
Chapter 12

 The travelers leave the Emerald City the next morning. They head west as they wish to reach the Land of the Wicked Witch of the West. The land they pass through is treeless, rough and unoccupied.  Dorothy, the Lion, and Toto get so tired along the way. They become drowsy and, later on, fall asleep in broad daylight. The Wicked Witch of the West spots the group from far of by use of her single and powerful eye. The Witch, therefore, sends her minions to destroy the group. At first, she sends a pack of wolves. She, later on, sends the crows, the bees and lastly the Winkles.

 All of the minions she sends to destroy the group fail. She, therefore, uses the power of her golden cap to call the Winged Monkeys. The Monkeys comes with great gist and manage to drop the Tin Woodman into a rocky gully. They also happen to tear the Scarecrow into pieces. They, later on, carry Dorothy, the Lion, and Toto to the palace.,

The Wicked Witch sees the silver shoes of Dorothy and the mark that had been left on her forehead by the Witch of the North. The Wicked Witch of the West, therefore, realizes that she should not dare harm, Dorothy. She, instead makes Dorothy her maidservant and decides to lock the Lion up in a cage. During the time, Dorothy secretly brings Lion food while inside the cage. During the time that Dorothy is held as a servant of the Wicked Witch of the West, she becomes highly unhappy and fears that she might not manage to see Kansas again.  

The Witch also knows that the shoes of Dorothy hold a secret power. She, therefore, happens to snatch on shoe from her. Dorothy becomes so angry that she picks up a bucket of water that is near her and throws it over the Witch. The Witch promptly melts away “like brown sugar.” Dorothy takes some time to sweep of the melted mass outside through the door. She after that runs towards the Lion and tells him that the Witch is dead.


The chapter draws a lot of influence from the myths of various cultures. The creatures which the witch sends to attack the group nearing the palace share some semblance of the biblical plagues. The use of forty crows and forty wolves helps to strengthen the semblance. Forty is deemed to be a key number in the Bible. The Witch of the East had silver shoes while the Witch of the West has a golden cap. Shoes and hats that contain various powers are deemed to be common among myths and fairy-tales. For instance, Hermes, who is a messenger of the Greek gods wears sandals that have wings. Odysseus and Greek hero, Perseus both had The Helm of Hades, which they wore on their heads to make them invisible.

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