The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Lyman Frank Baum
Contributed by Sharon Fleming
Chapter 21

The travelers climb down the china wall and enter an unpleasant environment. By the time they reach the ground, they realize that the country is wider than they had seen. As they move through another forest, they enter an opening that has hundreds of yowling wild animals. On spotting the Lion, the creatures fall silent. A tiger approaches them and tells them that a monstrous carnivorous spider is moving through the forest, looking for wild animals. The Lion, therefore, offers to kill the spider for them. Thus, they would need to bow down to him as the king of the forest. The animals happily agree to the arrangement, and the Lion leaves to go and look for the spider.  The Lion finds the monster asleep and kills it easily by beheading it using a heavy blow of his paw. His new subjects bow down to him. He promises to come back and rule them. 


Although Dorothy, the Woodman, and the Scarecrow are afraid in the new land, the Lion feels right at home. His attraction to an environment that is not so appealing may be likened to the wish for Dorothy to go back to Kansas even if it seems dry, grey and boring. Baum has already provided a place for the future of the Scarecrow and will shortly provide for a future for the Woodman. As a result, it is only fair that he provides a future for the Lion by providing him with subjects to rule.

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