Study Guide

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Chapter 8

By L. Frank Baum

Chapter 8

The Deadly Poppy Field

  • Everyone's up and at 'em and feeling great. They're so glad to have gotten through the forest in one piece.
  • Of course, they still need to cross the river, but the tin man has made considerable progress on the raft. Soon enough they're ready to roll.
  • Everything's going well at first…that is, until the current starts pulling the raft in the wrong direction.
  • The Scarecrow has been using a pole to help guide the raft. Somehow he wedges it deep in the mud. He hangs on to the pole, but the raft keeps moving in the current, leaving the Scarecrow behind. Oh no! Everyone is bummed—the Scarecrow most of all.
  • The Lion decides to swim the raft to shore. He's successful. The gang is worn out but they know they need to make their way back to the yellow brick road.
  • Soon enough, they see the Scarecrow, who's still stuck on that pole. They wonder how they can rescue their friend.
  • A stork flies overhead, then comes in closer for a chat. Of course the stork talks. This is Oz, y'all.
  • Dorothy explains their dilemma. The stork thinks she could help if only he weren't so heavy. Good news! Since he's made of straw, he isn't heavy at all.
  • The stork grabs the Scarecrow in her claws and flies him back to shore. Everyone's reunited (and it feels so good).
  • The stork has to run, so everyone thanks her and she's off. The five walk along admiring the flowers.
  • Suddenly the travelers find themselves in a field of poppies. And everyone knows poppies make you fall asleep. Sometimes forever.
  • Dorothy and Toto, being small, fall asleep almost immediately. The Scarecrow has a plan: since he and the tin man aren't animals, they don't feel the effects of the poppies. They can carry Dorothy and Toto to safety. The Lion should run ahead as fast as he can because if he falls asleep, no one is strong enough to carry him.
  • The Lion takes off. The Scarecrow and the tin man set about carrying Dorothy and Toto. Eventually, they catch up to the Lion, who didn't make it out in time. His friends are sad, but there's nothing to be done.
  • They carry Dorothy to a spot where she can get some fresh air.