The Magic Apron

The Tin Woodman of Oz
by
L. Frank Baum
Chapter 7, The Lace Apron

Now,” said the Canary, in a tone more brisk than before, “we may talk together more freely, as Mrs. Yoop cannot hear us. Perhaps we can figure out a way to escape.”

“Open!” said Woot the Monkey, still facing the door; but his command had no effect and he slowly rejoined the others.

“You cannot open any door or window in this enchanted castle unless you are wearing the Magic Apron,” said the Canary.

“What Magic Apron do you mean?” asked the Tin Owl, in a curious voice.

“The lace one, which the Giantess always wears. I have been her prisoner, in this cage, for several weeks, and she hangs my cage in her bedroom every night, so that she can keep her eye on me,” explained Polychrome the Canary. “Therefore I have discovered that it is the Magic Apron that opens the doors and windows, and nothing else can move them. When she goes to bed, Mrs. Yoop hangs her apron on the bedpost, and one morning she forgot to put it on when she commanded the door to open, and the door would not move. So then she put on the lace apron and the door obeyed her.  That was how I learned the magic power of the apron.”

“I see — I see!” said the little Brown Bear, wagging his stuffed head. “Then, if we could get the apron from Mrs. Yoop, we could open the doors and escape from our
prison.”

“That is true, and it is the plan I was about to suggest,” replied Polychrome the Canary-Bird. “However, I don’t believe the Owl could steal the apron, or even the Bear, but perhaps the Monkey could hide in her room at night and get the apron while she is asleep.”

“I’ll try it!” cried Woot the Monkey. “I’ll try it this very night, if I can manage to steal into her bedroom.”

“You mustn’t think about it, though,” warned the bird, “for she can read your thoughts whenever she cares to do so. And do not forget, before you escape, to take me with you. Once I am out of the power of the Giantess, I may discover a way to save us all.”

~ A special thanks to Dr. Mary Balken, Chairmen of the English Department at Seton Hall University, who found this quote for me!

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