"Not far away," replied the zebra. "If you will agree to judge between us I will run and get him."
When he drew near they found a soft-shell crab clinging fast to the stiff hair of the zebra's head, where it held on by one claw.
Crab," said the zebra, "here are the people I told you about; and they know more than you do, who lives in a pool, and more than I do, who lives in a forest.
"So you see," continued the zebra, addressing the crab, "here are people of real consequence, who know what they are talking about."
At this taunt the crab reached out its other claw and seized the zebra's ear, and the creature gave a cry of pain and began prancing up and down, trying to shake off the crab, which clung fast.
"Stop pinching!" cried the zebra. "You promised not to pinch if I would carry you here!"
"Ladies and gentlemen," continued the zebra, "please pardon my poor friend, because he is ignorant and stupid, and does not understand.
"What!" exclaimed the zebra, in astonishment; "do I hear you aright?"
"Impossible!" protested the zebra. "Why, I can run for days upon the land, and find but little water."
"Never," admitted the zebra. "There is no such thing as an ocean in the Land of Oz."
Zebra?" it cried, jeeringly; "now will you give up?"
The crab began laughing again, which so provoked the zebra that he tried to shake the little creature off.
"I'm sorry I asked you to decide this question," said the zebra, crossly.
Then the zebra trotted back to the forest, bearing the crab with him, and disappeared amid the gloom of the trees.