“That’s why he nearly blunted my claws,” said the Lion. “When they scratched against the tin it made a cold shiver run down my back. What is that little animal you are so tender of?”
“He is my dog, Toto,” answered Dorothy.
“Is he made of tin, or stuffed?” asked the Lion.
“Neither. He’s a–a–a meat dog,” said the girl.
“Oh! He’s a curious animal and seems remarkably small, now that I look at him. No one would think of biting such a little thing, except a coward like me,” continued the Lion sadly.
“What makes you a coward?” asked Dorothy, looking at the great beast in wonder, for he was as big as a small horse.
“It’s a mystery,” replied the Lion. “I suppose I was born that way. All the other animals in the forest naturally expect me to be brave, for the Lion is everywhere thought to be the King of Beasts. I learned that if I roared very loudly every living thing was frightened and got out of my way. Whenever I’ve met a man I’ve been awfully scared; but I just roared at him, and he has always run away as fast as he could go. If the elephants and the tigers and the bears had ever tried to fight me, I should have run myself–I’m such a coward; but just as soon as they hear me roar they all try to get away from me, and of course I let them go.”
“But that isn’t right. The King of Beasts shouldn’t be a coward,” said the Scarecrow.