THE LONELY CARPENTER
To the south east of the Land of Oz lived the Munchkins - shy and cute little people, where there men were no higher than an 8 year old from the places where people don't know about magic.
The ruler of Blue Land, where the Munchkins lived, used to be the Wicked Witch of the East, a cruel witch, who lived in a deep dark cave, to which the Munchkins were afraid to come to. But, amongst them,there was a man, who built a house not far from the sorceress's cave. He was Urfin Jus. Urfin's shrewish character set him apart from the other Munchkins at a young age. He rarely played with other kids, and if he did, then he wanted everyone to listen to him and then the game usually ended up as a fight. Urfin's parents died early, and a carpenter, who lived in the city Cogida, adopted the boy. Growing up, Urfin became more and more disagreeable, and when he finished learning about carpentry, he left his teacher, without even thanking him. But his kind teacher gave him tools so Urfin could get started.
Urfin became a skilled carpenter, he made tables, benches, farming tools, and more. But the disagreeable and shrewish character of the maker was passed to his creations. The shovels he made tended to hit their owner on the forehead, the rakes tried to trip him.
Urfin Jus lost all his customers.
He started to make toys. But the rabbits, bears, and deer that he carved had such horrifying faces that children, after looking at them, cried all night. The toys were kept in Urfin's attic, since nobody bought them.
Urfin Jus got angry, stopped making things, and stopped going to the village. He started to live off the fruits and vegetables of his garden.
Urfin Jus hated his people so much, that he tried not to look anything like them. Munchkins lived in round blue houses with pointed roofs and silver bells on the roof. Urfin built a rectangular house, painted it brown, and put a statue of an eagle on top.
Munchkins had blue clothes, and Urfin's clothes were green. Munchkins had hats with pointed tops and wide bottoms, and little silver bells hang from the bottom. Urfin Jus could't stand the sound of little bells and wore a hat without them. Munchkins cried a lot, and in the grim eyes of Urfin there was never seen a tear.
Munchkins got their name because their jaws were always moving, like they were chewing. Urfin used to have that habit as well. But, with great effort, he got rid of it.
He would stand by the mirror for hours,and when his jaws started to move, he would force them to stop.
A few years past. Once Urfin came to the Wicked Witch of the East and asked the old sorceress to take him as her apprentice. The witch was very happy: for a century, no Munchkin wanted to serve her, they only carried out her orders because they feared her. Now she has an assistant, who did what she told him to do through his free will. The grim carpenter especially enjoyed taxing the people by collecting a number of snakes, mice, frogs, leeches, and spiders.
Munchkins were really afraid of snakes, spiders, and leeches. When they were ordered to collect them, they started to cry. Urfin looked at their tears and laughed cruelly. Then on a certain day he came over with a giant baskets, collected the tax, and carried it to the witch's cave. There the tax was either eaten, either was used for dark magic.
The day Dorothy's house crushed the Witch of the East, Urfin wasn't near the witch: he went to a distant part of Blue land to do some business. When Urfin heard about her death, he was both glum and happy. He was glum that he lost a powerful teacher, and happy that he could raid her house for magical reagents and artifacts.
There wasn't anyone near the cave, as Dorothy and Toto were on there way to Emerald City.
Urfin thought about moving into the cave and calling himself the heir of the witch and the new ruler of Blue Land - he knew that the shy Munchkins wouldn't try to contest that.
But the cave looked so dim, with all the fried mice and crocodile heads that the witch used for magic, that even Urfin got a chill down his spine.
"Brr", he mumbled. "Live in this graveyard? No, thank you."
Urfin started to look for the silver shoes, he knew that the witch treasured them the most. But he uselessly looked throughout the cave, the shoes weren't there.
A mocking "hoot - hoot - hoot!" was heard in the cave and Urfin flinched,
From above the eyes of an owl were watching, glowing yellow in the dimness of the cave.
"Is that you Guam?"
"Not Guam, Guamokolatokint", said the owl shrewishly.
"Where are the other owls now?"
"Why didn't you go, to?"
"And what do you think I'll be doing there? Catch mice, like other owls? I am too old and wise for that job.
Urfin got a sly idea.
"Hey Guam"... The owl was quiet... "Guamoko"... Silence... "Guamokolatokint!"
"I'm listening" replied the owl.
"Want to live with me? I'll feed you mice and birds"
"For what?" said the owl.
"When people see that you are with me will think I'm a wizard."
"That's not a bad idea", said the owl, "And to begin my service, I'll tell you that you are searching for the silver shoes in vain, some creature of an unknown to me breed took them."
Looking at Urfin the owl asked:
"When will you start eating frogs and leeches?"
"What?" cried Urfin. Eat frogs? What for?"
"Because that food is for evil witches and wizards. Remember, how the Witch of the East ate them?"
Urfin remembered and flinched: the food of the old witch always disgusted him, he always had an excuse to go out of the cave during her meal.
"Listen Guamokolatokint", said Urfin, "can't I become an evil wizard without that?"
"I told you what to do, and now you do it."
Urfin, with a sigh, picked up some stuff for magic, put the owl on his shoulder, and went home.
When he got back, he started to live in his house, not meeting with other people, not loving anyone, not being loved by anyone.