Chapter seven: THE FIELD OF ROSEBUDS

Toward the end of the day, Dorothy said, "Don't you suppose we should stop and have dinner?"

"Well," said the Lion, "Since we are natives of Iz, we never have to eat -- we gain sustenance from egoboo. But since you are from the outside world we'll have to find something for you to eat."

There was a clump of bushes nearby and they found some delightful berries there. As Dorothy ate them the Tin Woodsfan and the Scarecrow exchanged compliments and the Lion read some fanzines.

"What are those?" asked Dorothy.

"The latest Trufandom APA mailing," said the Lion. "I always carry it with me in case I'm ever somewhere alone and need some egoboo."

"Yes," said the Scarecrow, "I always carry a copy of IZ DIGEST with me for the same reason. It's got some very good egoboo in it and it's postcard size too, which makes it easy to carry."

"Sort of like food capsules?" said Dorothy. "My, how handy!"

And so the four fans finished their meals and settled down for a good night's sleep. In the morning they rose and had a brief breakfast. Dorothy finished the berries, and the Tin Woodsfan took out a little record player and played a record of applause for himself and the other inhabitants of Iz. He explained that it was called canned egoboo.

Then the four adventurers set off once more along the Path of Trufandom. The trees were very tall, and beautiful birds flew among the branches. Once Dorothy saw a Budgie, which said hello to her, and she wished Bob Shaw could have been there.

Soon they were out of the woods, and before them the four friends saw a lovely field of roses, just beginning to bud. Dorothy clapped her hands in delight, for she was a young fanne from the prairie who knew nothing of rosebuds, and they seemed very beautiful to her.

"Let's all pick a bouquet of them!" she said, "and we can take them to the BNF!" The others agreed to this, and they split into two groups, the Lion and the Tin Woodsfan going one way and the Scarecrow and Dorothy going the other. They picked the flowers for quite awhile, until they were very, very tired, and the Scarecrow suggested that they rest awhile.

"Let's lay here," said the Scarecrow, and though Dorothy thought that he had made a mistake in grammar, she did not say anything, because the Scarecrow's beanie had been badly ripped by the thorns of the rosebuds, and she thought perhaps his fine fannish mind wasn't working too well.

But when Dorothy started to lie down, she felt the thorns sticking her. "Oh, I can't rest here," she said. "I'm just a little girl from the prairies, remember, from far away from Iz, and the thorns hurt me!"

The scarecrow shook his head sadly. "I've always heard that fans were slans," he said. He shook his head again. "So this is what the race of high men has come to."

So Dorothy and the Scarecrow picked up their bouquets and went looking for their companions. They found them on the edge of the field of rosebuds, coming toward them around a neat lawn of grass. They looked very frightened, especially the Lion. Dorothy and the Scarecrow ran up to them and asked what had happened.

"Oh, it was terrible!" blubbered the Lion. "We just came over here to see what this lawn was -- there's a sign over there saying this is the Field Of The Lassgrass -- and then all of a sudden we began to feel very queer, and when I looked at the Tin Woodsfan, he looked like he was going to attack me!"

The Tin Woodsfan nodded, trembling. "But the funny thing was," he said, "I didn't seem to feel like feuding or fighting with him."

"What happened then?" asked the Scarecrow.

"Well, said the Lion, "he chased me all over, until we came to a road over there which leads to Francistown."

"There was a sign saying Francistown Lane," the Tin Woodsfan explained. "As soon as we got on that road, the odd feeling disappeared. Then we came back here."

The four adventurers were all very worried by this, so they immediately set out again on the purple brick road leading to the Amber City. Dorothy and the Scarecrow left their bouquets behind, because of the thorns. "And besides," said Dorothy, "I don't think rosebuds and fandom mix."


(Data entered by Judy Bemis)