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After climbing down from the china wall the travelers found
 themselves in a disagreeable country, full of bogs and marshes and
 covered with tall, rank grass. It was difficult to walk without
 falling into muddy holes, for the grass was so thick that it hid
 them from sight. However, by carefully picking their way, they
 got safely along until they reached solid ground. But here the
 country seemed wilder than ever, and after a long and tiresome
 walk through the underbrush they entered another forest, where the
 trees were bigger and older than any they had ever seen.
 "This forest is perfectly delightful," declared the Lion, looking
 around him with joy. "Never have I seen a more beautiful place."
 "It seems gloomy," said the Scarecrow.
 "Not a bit of it," answered the Lion. "I should like to live
 here all my life. See how soft the dried leaves are under your
 feet and how rich and green the moss is that clings to these old
 trees. Surely no wild beast could wish a pleasanter home."
 "Perhaps there are wild beasts in the forest now," said Dorothy.
 "I suppose there are," returned the Lion, "but I do not see
 any of them about."
 They walked through the forest until it became too dark to go
 any farther. Dorothy and Toto and the Lion lay down to sleep,
 while the Woodman and the Scarecrow kept watch over them as usual.
 When morning came, they started again. Before they had gone
 far they heard a low rumble, as of the growling of many wild animals.
 Toto whimpered a little, but none of the others was frightened,
 and they kept along the well-trodden path until they came to
 an opening in the wood, in which were gathered hundreds of
 beasts of every variety. There were tigers and elephants and
 bears and wolves and foxes and all the others in the natural
 history, and for a moment Dorothy was afraid. But the Lion
 explained that the animals were holding a meeting, and he judged
 by their snarling and growling that they were in great trouble.
 As he spoke several of the beasts caught sight of him, and at
 once the great assemblage hushed as if by magic. The biggest of
 the tigers came up to the Lion and bowed, saying:
 "Welcome, O King of Beasts! You have come in good time to
 fight our enemy and bring peace to all the animals of the forest
 once more."
 "What is your trouble?" asked the Lion quietly.
 "We are all threatened," answered the tiger, "by a fierce
 enemy which has lately come into this forest. It is a most
 tremendous monster, like a great spider, with a body as big as an
 elephant and legs as long as a tree trunk. It has eight of these
 long legs, and as the monster crawls through the forest he seizes
 an animal with a leg and drags it to his mouth, where he eats it
 as a spider does a fly. Not one of us is safe while this fierce
 creature is alive, and we had called a meeting to decide how to
 take care of ourselves when you came among us."
 The Lion thought for a moment.
 "Are there any other lions in this forest?" he asked.
 "No; there were some, but the monster has eaten them all. And,
 besides, they were none of them nearly so large and brave as you."
 "If I put an end to your enemy, will you bow down to me and
 obey me as King of the Forest?" inquired the Lion.
 "We will do that gladly," returned the tiger; and all the
 other beasts roared with a mighty roar: "We will!"
 "Where is this great spider of yours now?" asked the Lion.
 "Yonder, among the oak trees," said the tiger, pointing with
 his forefoot.
 "Take good care of these friends of mine," said the Lion, "and
 I will go at once to fight the monster."
 He bade his comrades good-bye and marched proudly away to do
 battle with the enemy.
 The great spider was lying asleep when the Lion found him,
 and it looked so ugly that its foe turned up his nose in disgust.
 Its legs were quite as long as the tiger had said, and its body
 covered with coarse black hair. It had a great mouth, with a row
 of sharp teeth a foot long; but its head was joined to the pudgy
 body by a neck as slender as a wasp's waist. This gave the Lion a
 hint of the best way to attack the creature, and as he knew it was
 easier to fight it asleep than awake, he gave a great spring and
 landed directly upon the monster's back. Then, with one blow of
 his heavy paw, all armed with sharp claws, he knocked the spider's
 head from its body. Jumping down, he watched it until the long
 legs stopped wiggling, when he knew it was quite dead.
 The Lion went back to the opening where the beasts of the
 forest were waiting for him and said proudly:
 "You need fear your enemy no longer."
 Then the beasts bowed down to the Lion as their King, and he
 promised to come back and rule over them as soon as Dorothy was
 safely on her way to Kansas.