The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L.Frank Baum
It’s always hot and windy on the prairies• in Kansas. The hot sun and the strong wind make everything grey. They make the grass grey. They make the flowers grey. They make the houses grey. They even make people’s faces grey.
Dorothy lives in the middle of a big prairie in Kansas. She lives with her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em. Uncle Henry has got a small farm there. Their house is made of wood and it has only got one room. There isn’t much furniture in it. There’s an old stove• for cooking and a cupboard for the cups and plates. There’s a table and three or four chairs and two beds. Uncle Henry and Aunt Em’s big bed is in one corner. Dorothy’s little bed is in another corner.
There isn’t an attic• and there isn’t a real cellar•. There’s only a small, dark hole under the floor. The family go there when there’s a cyclone•. They call the hole ‘the cyclone cellar’. Cyclones are very strong winds and they’re very dangerous. They move quickly and break everything in their path•. There are often cyclones in Kansas.
Uncle Henry and Aunt Em work very hard. They work from morning to night. Uncle Henry looks after the cows, the horses and the chickens. Aunt Em looks after their small house. They never smile or laugh. There isn’t much happiness in their lives. Poor Uncle Henry and Aunt Em! Dorothy lives with them because she’s an orphan. She hasn’t got a mother or father. Her best friend is her little dog. His name is
Toto. He has got long, black hair, black eyes and a little nose. Dorothy loves him very much. Toto plays all day and Dorothy plays with him. He’s very funny and he makes her happy.
Uncle Henry is sitting outside the door of his small house. He’s worried. He’s looking at the sky. It’s full of black clouds. There’s a very strong wind, too. It’s blowing• across the prairies. It’s making a loud whistling noise•. Suddenly Uncle Henry stands up.
‘A cyclone is coming!’ he shouts. ‘Dorothy! Em! Go into the cellar! Quick!’
Aunt Em runs out of the house. She sees the black cone• in the sky. She’s afraid because the cone is moving fast towards their house.
‘Dorothy!’ Aunt Em shouts. ‘Come here! We must go in to the cyclone cellar!’ She opens the little door in the floor and starts to climb down• into the hole. Dorothy picks up• Toto and runs into the house. Poor Toto! He’s afraid too. He jumps out of Dorothy’s arms and runs under the bed. Dorothy runs after him and pulls him out.
‘Dorothy!’ Uncle Henry calls. ‘Quick! Come into the cellar! The cyclone is coming!’
Dorothy starts to run to the little door in the floor but the cyclone hits the house before she can get there.
Everything in the room is shaking•. The cups and the plates fall on the floor. Dorothy falls on the floor
too. BUMP! She can’t stand up again.
Then the wind picks up the house and carries it away.The little house spins• slowly round and round in the cone of the cyclone. Up and up it goes. Soon it is high in the sky. Dorothy and Toto are very frightened. Toto starts barking•.‘It’s alright, Toto,’ Dorothy says to him. ‘I’m here.’
The wind carries the house for miles and miles. Now Dorothy can stand up because the house isn’t spinning any more. She goes and sits on her bed. She holds Toto in her arms and waits. Hours pass. It gets dark outside. The wind continues to blow. Toto falls asleep. Dorothy isn’t afraid any more. She
closes her eyes and falls asleep too.