Study Guide

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Chapter 6

By L. Frank Baum

Chapter 6

The Cowardly Lion

  • The gang is back on the yellow brick road and now it's really tough going. Things are growling at them from the darkness.
  • Dorothy's nervous, but the tin man reassures her that they're safe. He's not worried about anything since his oilcan is nearby. The Scarecrow is impervious to harm, being made of straw and all. And Dorothy has the mark from the good witch's charmed kiss.
  • Roarrrrrrrr. Oh no! It's a lion! The vicious beast strikes the Scarecrow and the tin man.
  • Toto is mad. He's barking at the lion, seemingly unaware that he's just a fraction of the beast's size. The lion opens his mouth to bite the dog, and Dorothy slaps him good. No one messes with Toto on her watch.
  • She accuses the lion of being a coward. He totally knows. Oh, this lion can talk. Okay.
  • Dorothy wonders aloud why he's such a big coward. The Lion (that's his proper name, it seems) has no idea. He roars a lot to try to scare all the other animals in the forest, but he's very scared at heart. It really bums him out.
  • The tin man says, well, at least you can feel bummed. I don't even have that, being heartless and all. The┬átin man's a little bit melodramatic.
  • Our band of travelers tell the Lion about their plan to go to Oz for a heart, a brain, and a trip home. The Lion thinks he'll join them so he can ask for some courage.
  • They're off. Toto's mad at first, but fortunately he doesn't hold a grudge.
  • Nothing really happens for the rest of the day, unless you count the time the Tin Woodman accidentally kills a beetle and cries about it for like an hour.
  • The tin man cries so hard that his face starts to rust. Suddenly he can't talk. Dorothy and the Lion have no idea what's going on, but the Scarecrow figures out that his friend needs the old oilcan.
  • The tin man explains that he tries to be very careful to hurt no living thing to make up for not having a heart. He looks forward to getting one so he doesn't have to be so careful all the time