The Grand Tree of Oz


“There’s never anything to do here in this dusty, dirty town,” Dorothy said looking at her cat Lola. Wiping the dust off her dress, she noticed Lola climbing up the old oak tree. “Lola, get back here!” Dorothy chased after her cat reaching further and further up the tree until she couldn’t see the ground anymore.  Steadying herself on the tree branch, Dorothy couldn’t help but notice the wide open view in front of her. She thought to herself, "I’ve never seen the world so big and beautiful.” She reached out her hand as if to touch the new, clean place she saw, but slipped off the branch and felt herself tumbling.  Grasping Lola in the air, she hit something hard and sharp and fell to the ground. Pushing herself off the ground, Dorothy looked around realizing she wasn’t in Kansas anymore.


Clutching Lola, Dorothy looked out into a new world of color and wonder. Not a single speck of dust was found. “What is this place?” Dorothy asked aloud.“Why, you’re in The Land of Oz!” A beautiful voice cried from a delicate pink tulip. Dorothy twirled around. “Who said that?” Suddenly a woman in a dress much like a tulip appeared next to Dorothy."Who are you?" Dorothy cried. The woman smiled and said, "I’m Glinda, the Witch of the North.  I do believe I owe you an expression of gratitude.” Dorothy looked around, puzzled.  "Well, I don't know why, as all I've done is fall out of a tree."  Chuckling, Glinda said,"But you have!  You knocked the Wicked Witch of the West into the river and killed her. You can see the green dust floating there.”  Dorothy with wide eyes said, “B-but, I didn't mean to. And why is that good? Where I'm from, killing someone would result in a great punishment, not a 'thank you'!” Glinda smiled again and said,” Oh no! What you did was very good, indeed! You’ve rid Oz of the most evil witch in the land!” Dorothy frowned and said, “Oz? What is 'Oz'? No,no,no, I live in Kansas. How did I get here and how do I get home?” Glinda, retreating back to her tulip said, "I would very much like to help you, but I’m afraid I cannot. You need to find the Witch of the East.  While she may be the sister of the most evil witch, she is the most kind and powerful of us all.  She can help you!  Follow the green path to find the forest she where she dwells alongside the Wise One, whom you shall meet soon. ”  After this, Glinda folded back into a tulip, leaving Dorothy and Lola on their own.  "Well, I guess all we can do is follow this path, considering it's also the ONLY path around."  Looking down the river, Dorothy pondered, asking Lola, "I wonder where that dust is headed."


Relinda, The Witch of the East looked around at her town full of smiling, happy faces. “Good morning all!”  Relinda was the most humble and beautiful of the witches.  She was so humble that she still lived in a cottage much like one that her own people would live in.  The only distinguishment being that it was at the head of their village on a small hill, and sometimes was decorated with flowers from the children.  On this morning, as she did every week, she went down to the river to wash her clothes, as she refused to house any servants and therefore did many of her own chores.  While the witch was washing her clothes, she noticed  twinkling green dust in the river.  When it appeared closer, she could see a familiar locket among the dust and water.  Just then, the locket opened in front of her, and a green floating mask appeared out of it and said, “Relinda, sister of the Wicked Witch of the East, your sister has been killed by a visitor from a strange land. Because your sister had bought her powers of evil, this curse of wickedness has been passed on to you, her closest relative.” Just then the Witch felt a gust of wind push her back from the river, and the mask was gone.  One of her people had seen her fall, and rushed over to his most humble ruler. "Miss Relinda, are you alri-" Relinda's once beautiful and dainty hand, now bony and rotten, snatched at the man's shoulder, and threw him clear into her village.


Dorothy walked carefully down the green road, Lola trailing close behind her.  Everything she saw around her was a bright, radiant green. The flowers and fruit were all blooming, the stones were smooth, offering her and Lola a place to rest every once in a while. As Dorothy walked further and got deeper into the forest, she noticed the bright lively green had turned into a dark, musky tone of green. The flowers and fruit were no longer blooming, but slowly decaying. “Lola, something isn't right,” Dorothy said quietly. As she neared the edge of the forest, the forest turned a bright orange and yellow, as Dorthy encountered Relinda's village, engulfed in flames. She saw many running, trying to get away from their homes.  Standing in shock, Dorothy accidentally got in the way of a boy, who was not much older than she, and they both knocked into each other.  Before he could get away, she yelled at him, "Wait! What has happened?  I was searching for The Witch of the East.  She is suppose to help me find my way home!"  They boy, his face now sulking, explained, "She use to care for us, she was ONE of us.  Now our beautiful witch has turned against us."  The boy then left in a hurry.  In the distance, Dorothy heard an evil cackle.  There, she saw her first glimpse of the witch that was to help her, clothed in black from head to toe, skin green and eyes as black as her own shadow.  Lola ran from Dorothy towards the witch's home.  "No, Lola STOP!"  Dorothy was now running against the crowd and into the witch's home.


Dorothy had finally caught Lola, but it was too late to run back, as the flaming trees had fallen behind her, blocking her path.  She could see the witch just ahead, staring her down.  She felt frozen by the witch's eyes, as if they turned her to stone.  "So, you are the one who has caused me to become like this," said the witch.  "Become like what?  How did I do this to you?" Dorothy retaliated.  The witch, her stare never leaving Dorothy, responded, "You have caused me to be like this because YOU KILLED MY SISTER.  I was the most powerful witch in the land, and while my sister was so evil to her people, I knew not to kill her because not only did I love her so, but I had been warned by our mother that this would happen.  All because she betrayed us to find greater power, even if it resulted in losing everything dear to her!"  Dorothy could see tears, so clear and vivid against the gray, rotten skin, running down the witch's face.  Dorothy, having nothing to defend herself, gathered up the courage to take a step forward.  At this, the witch yelled out a terrible scream, fire emmiting from her hands.  This caused a nearby tree to begin falling.  Acting merely on instinct, Dorothy pushed the witch out of the way just in time, but not before her sister's locket had bed caught on a branch, and yanked off.  Sitting up slightly, Dorothy could see a masked face being released from the locket, turning to dust in the air much like the Witch of the West in the water.  At once, the fires began to diminish, and turning to the witch beside her, Dorothy saw instead a beautiful woman.  "Oh, thank you! Thank you, you have saved me and my people!"  The witch gave Dorothy a big hug expressing her grattitude.  "I am Relinda, the Witch of the East.  Is there any way I am able to repay you for freeing me from my sister's wickedness?"  Dorothy, tears starting to well up in her own eyes, said, "I would like to go home."

Relinda, Dorothy, and Lola walked to a section of the woods that had been untouched by the wickedness of her sister.  It was here that Dorothy saw a great tree, that reached into the heavens, with branches reaching in every direction, as if it was shielding the land.  "Dorothy," said Relinda, "this is The Grand Tree of Oz.  He is a kind soul, much kinder than I, and shall help you get to your home."  A great gust of wind came, causing many leaves to fall from the Grand Tree.  Smiling, Relinda continued, "He will not only ensure you a safe travel home, but he says that, as his own token of gratitude, he will watch over you in your own land, and promises that with a little time, your home shall be as lively as Oz."  Relinda then led Dorothy over to the Grand Tree, where Dorothy could see that the branches had made her and Lola steps in order to climb the Grand Tree with ease. 

 Before she took her first step, Dorothy turned around, "Thank you.  I really never meant for any of these things to happen, but I'm glad it all seemed to turn out well."  Relinda replied, stating "Oh, but Dorothy you have done much good.  Regardless of how it happened, you have freed the land of Oz from our greatest evil that even I could not get rid of out of my own fear.  Now go, your home misses you so."  Dorothy gave a final hug goodbye to Relinda, and carefully took each step up the Grand Tree with Lola.  Eventually, the steps began going down, however they ceased to be steps, and gradually became the large branches Dorothy and Lola were familiar with.  Just as Dorothy could see the last branch before the ground, Lola decided to take a shortcut, and hopped off of Dorothy's shoulder, causing her to lose balance, and fall once more out of the tree.  Except, instead of falling on to concrete that would usually surround the trees, a fresh patch of grass and wildflowers had cushioned her fall.  Dorothy got up, feeling better about her home already, and walked away with Lola.