Chapter four: THE TIN WOODSFAN

The sun shined brightly and the birds sang sweetly, and Dorothy did not feel nearly as bad as you might think a little fanne would who had suddenly been whisked away from her own country and set down in the midst of a strange land. She was right at home, enjoying the talk about conventions and strange fans, and the road seemed to whisk away beneath her feet. As they were passing a very dense part of the forest, they were startled to hear a deep groan nearby.

As they took a few steps into the forest, they heard another groan, and Dorothy was startled to see something shining in a ray of sunshine that fell between the trees. She ran to the place, and then stopped short with a cry of surprise.

One of the big trees had been partly chopped through, and standing beside it, with an uplifted ax in his hands, was a Tin Woodsfan, frozen in the act of swinging his ax. "Oh!" exclaimed Dorothy, "do you think we could help him?"

"Well, I don't know how," said the Scarecrow. "He's all rusted. We'd need something to correct that."

"Oh, I have some correction fluid!" said Dorothy, and taking a small bottle from her pocket, she began to apply the fluid to the joints of the rusted Tin Woodsfan.

The lion sniffed around the tin figure's feet, and asked, "Do you .. do you suppose he'll start a feud with us after we revive him?"

The figure groaned once, and said, "Oh, gracious no! I'm much too grateful to you for releasing me." With that, the Lion bounded away from the Tin Fan, for he had not expected him to come to life quite so quickly.

"Are you . . . are you quite all right now?" asked Dorothy.

"Well," said the Tin Woodsfan, "I wish you'd touch up my beanie prop -- it won't spin."

"Oh, do it, Dorothy!" cried the Scarecrow. "The beanie won't protect him from unfannish thoughts if it's not in good working order!"

"Thank you," said the Woodsfan as Dorothy spun the beanie prop and it worked like new. "I would never feud with anyone who helped me," he said, "although I will admit that I have nothing against feuding. Sometimes I wonder if I wouldn't even like to be in one again. It bothers me, because normally feuds don't interest me. Maybe I like feuding because when I was made they forgot to put a heart in me."

"That's terrible!" said Dorothy. "How did you get all rusted like that?"

"Well, long ago," said the Tin Woodsfan, "a fan and I were feuding, and the fan decided to drive me out of fandom. But no one can leave Iz because of the great burning desert called Public Contempt which surrounds this fannish land, and since nobody ever gafiates while still inside the country, he had to cast a spell of immobility upon me. One day when I was chopping wood to make paper for my fanzine, he cast his spell, and there I've been until you came along."

"How dreadful!" exclaimed Dorothy. "I didn't know they still had such evil fen. We've never heard of anything like that in Kansas."

"I do not know where Kansas is, but tell me, is it a civilized country?"

"Oh, yes," said Dorothy. "We have electric mimeos, and automatic slipsheeters and everything."

"Then that accounts for it," said the Woodsfan. "In the civilized countries I believe there are no wizards left; nor hectos, nor sorceresses. But, you see, the Land of Iz has never been civilized, for we are cut off from the rest of the world. Therefore we still have exclusion acts and hectoed fanzines amongst us. It is really a wonderful place to live, for while you must take the bitter with the sweet, the sweet is so sweet. If I only had a heart, I should dearly love to live in Iz."

"Why don't you accompany us to the Amber City?" asked the Scarecrow. "You could have the BNF give you a heart." And the Tin Woodsfan agreed.


(Data entered by Judy Bemis)