"One (1) genuine turnpike tollbooth to be erected according to directions. "Three ( 3) precautionary signs to be used in a precautionary fashion. "Assorted coins. ACT I THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH 11 self over to it, and disinterestedly reads the label). "Tor Milo, who has plenty of time." Well, that's true. (Sighs and looks at . Direction of the Play/Musical: The Phantom Tollbooth. A Project Report. Presented to Set sketches.,- terney.info~/ gp/c-i pdf.
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The Phantom Tollbooth is, in a sense, a modern take on Carroll's famous Juster never wrote another book, butThe Phantom Tollbooth has never gone out of. Editorial Reviews. terney.info Review. "It seems to me that almost everything is a waste of Look inside this book. The Phantom Tollbooth by [Juster, Norton]. Norton Juster's fantastical “The Phantom Tollbooth, begins with an introduction to the story's hero: “There was once a boy named Milo who didn't know what to.
Identify all the instances where figurative languages were used in the novel. Aligned to your State Standards, additional crossword, word search, comprehension quiz and answer key are also included.
About the Novel: The Phantom Tollbooth is a story of imagination and wonder. Milo is a very bored little boy. One day, he receives a make-believe tollbooth. When he goes through it, he is sent to a magical world. There, he meets Tock the watchdog. The pair make their way to Dictionopolis, one of the country's two capitals.
Here they meet King Azaz, who sends them on a journey to Digitopolis, where the Mathemagician is holding the two princessesRhyme and Reasonin the Castle in the Air.
On their journey, Milo and Tock meet many different people and places, all with their own adventures. The sun sparkled, the sky was clear, and all the colors he saw seemed to be richer and brighter than he could ever remember. The flowers shone as if they'd been cleaned and polished, and the tall trees that lined the road shimmered in silvery green.
With the first sound from the horn a little man in a long coat came rushing from the house, speaking as fast as he could and repeating everything several times:. We don't get many travelers these days; we certainly don't get many travelers these days. Now what can I do for you? I'm the Whether Man. Do you think it will rain? Of course, some people never go beyond Expectations, but my job is to hurry them along whether they like it or not. Now what else can I do for you? But, since he didn't understand the little man at all, he decided that he might as well move on—at least until he met someone whose sentences didn't always sound as if they would make as much sense backwards as forwards.
If you happen to find my way, please return it, as it was lost years ago. I imagine by now it's quite rusty. You did say it was going to rain, didn't you? I do so hate to make up my mind about anything, whether its good or bad, up or down, in or out, rain or shine.
Expect everything, I always say, and the unexpected never happens. Now please drive carefully; good-by, good-by, good-by, good The road dipped now into a broad green valley and stretched toward the horizon. The little car bounced along with very little effort, and Milo had hardly to touch the accelerator to go as fast as he wanted. He was glad to be on his way again. He's the most peculiar person I've ever met," continued Milo—unaware of how many peculiar people he would shortly encounter.
As he drove along the peaceful highway he soon fell to daydreaming and paid less and less attention to where he was going. In a short time he wasn't paying any attention at all, and that is why, at a fork in the road, when a sign pointed to the left, Milo went to the right, along a route which looked suspiciously like the wrong way. Things began to change as soon as he left the main highway. The sky became quite gray and, along with it, the whole countryside seemed to lose its color and assume the same monotonous tone.
Everything was quiet, and even the air hung heavily. The birds sang only gray songs and the road wound back and forth in an endless series of climbing curves. Finally the car just stopped altogether, and, hard as he tried, it wouldn't budge another inch. He looked around quickly to see who had spoken. No one was there, and it was as quiet and still as one could imagine.
This time the voice came from so close that Milo jumped with surprise, for, sitting on his right shoulder, so lightly that he hardly noticed, was a small creature exactly the color of his shirt. Milo looked around and, for the first time, noticed dozens of them—sitting on the car, standing in the road, and lying all over the trees and bushes. They were very difficult to see, because whatever they happened to be sitting on or near was exactly the color they happened to be.
Each one looked very much like the other except for the color, of course and some looked even more like each other than they did like themselves. Can you help me please? And as each one spoke, he fell off to sleep and another picked up the conversation with hardly any interruption. It's local ordinance J.
It shall be unlawful, illegal, and unethical to think, think of thinking, surmise, presume, reason, meditate, or speculate while in the Doldrums.
Anyone breaking this law shall be severely punished! You weren't thinking, and you weren't paying attention either. People who don't pay attention often get stuck in the Doldrums. Milo couldn't help laughing at the little creature's strange behavior, even though he knew it might be rude. Don't you have a rule book? It's local ordinance W. Opening the book again, Milo found Ordinance W: Violators shall be dealt with most harshly.
Would you care to join us? A most unpleasant character. Great shouts filled the air as the Lethargarians scattered in all directions and soon disappeared entirely.
Milo's eyes opened wide, for there in front of him was a large dog with a perfectly normal head, four feet, and a tail—and the body of a loudly ticking alarm clock. You must help yourself," the dog replied, carefully winding himself with his left hind leg. Milo began to think as hard as he could which was very difficult, since he wasn't used to it. He thought of birds that swim and fish that fly. He thought of yesterday's lunch and tomorrow's dinner. He thought of words that began with J and numbers that end in 3.
And, as he thought, the wheels began to turn. The little car started to go faster and faster as Milo's brain whirled with activity, and down the road they went. In a few moments they were out of the Doldrums and back on the main highway. All the colors had returned to their original brightness, and as they raced along the road Milo continued to think of all sorts of things; of the many detours and wrong turns that were so easy to take, of how fine it was to be moving along, and, most of all, of how much could be accomplished with just a little thought.
And the dog, his nose in the wind, just sat back, watchfully ticking. Milo was so relieved at having escaped the Doldrums that he assured the dog that he bore him no ill will and, in fact, was very grateful for the assistance. You may call me Tock. On first winding him, they discovered to their horror that, instead of going tickticktickticktick, he went tocktocktocktocktocktock.
They rushed to the Hall of Records to change the name, but too late. It had already been officially inscribed, and nothing could be done.
When I arrived, they were determined not to make the same mistake twice and, since it seemed logical that all their children would make the same sound, they named me Tock.
Of course, you know the rest—my brother is called Tick because he goes tocktocktocktocktocktocktock and I am called Tock because I go tickticktickticktickticktick and both of us are forever burdened with the wrong names.
My parents were so overwrought that they gave up having any more children and devoted their lives to doing good work among the poor and hungry. My family have always been watchdogs—from father to son, almost since time began. They never knew whether they were eating lunch or dinner, and they were always missing trains.
So time was invented to help them keep track of the day and get places when they should. When they began to count all the time that was available, what with 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour and 24 hours in a day and days in a year, it seemed as if there was much more than could ever be used. People wasted it and even gave it away. Then we were given the job of seeing that no one wasted time again," he said, sitting up proudly.
For you see"—and now he was standing on the seat, one foot on the windshield, shouting with his arms outstretched—"it is our most valuable possession, more precious than diamonds.
It marches on, it and tide wait for no man, and—". At that point in the speech the car hit a bump in the road and the watchdog collapsed in a heap on the front seat with his alarm again ringing furiously.
As they drove along, Tock continued to explain the importance of time, quoting the old philosophers and poets and illustrating each point with gestures that brought him perilously close to tumbling headlong from the speeding automobile.
Before long they saw in the distance the towers and flags of Dictionopolis sparkling in the sunshine, and in a few moments they reached the great wall and stood at the gateway to the city. Today, by royal proclamation, is market day. Have you come to download or sell? You must have come here for some reason. He took a battered suitcase from the gatehouse and began to rummage busily through it, mumbling to himself, "No Overhead a large banner proclaimed:.
And, from across the square, five very tall, thin gentlemen regally dressed in silks and satins, plumed hats, and buckled shoes rushed up to the car, stopped short, mopped five brows, caught five breaths, unrolled five parchments, and began talking in turn.
It would certainly make more sense. And they presented themselves one by one as:. They're grown right here in our orchards. A small crowd began to gather to see the little boy who didn't know that letters grew on trees. Several people shook their heads sadly.
Why not words? The crowd cheered his display of logic and continued about its business. For instance, if you bought a word like ghlbtsk , where would you use it? And now we must leave to make preparations for the Royal Banquet.
But before Milo had a chance to say anything, they were rushing off across the square as fast as they had come. Milo thought this was quite the wisest thing he'd heard all day. It looks very exciting. Indeed it was, for as they approached, Milo could see crowds of people pushing and shouting their way among the stalls, downloading and selling, trading and bargaining. Huge wooden-wheeled carts streamed into the market square from the orchards, and long caravans bound for the four corners of the kingdom made ready to leave.
Sacks and boxes were piled high waiting to be delivered to the ships that sailed the Sea of Knowledge, and off to one side a group of minstrels sang songs to the delight of those either too young or too old to engage in trade.
But above all the noise and tumult of the crowd could be heard the merchants' voices loudly advertising their products. So many words and so many people! They were from every place imaginable and some places even beyond that, and they were all busy sorting, choosing, and stuffing things into cases.
As soon as one was filled, another was begun. There seemed to be no end to the bustle and activity. Milo and Tock wandered up and down the aisles looking at the wonderful assortment of words for sale.
There were short ones and easy ones for everyday use, and long and very important ones for special occasions, and even some marvelously fancy ones packed in individual gift boxes for use in royal decrees and pronouncements. How about a nice bagful of pronouns—or maybe you'd like our special assortment of names?
Milo had never thought much about words before, but these looked so good that he longed to have some. Finally he chose three which looked particularly good to him—"quagmire," "flabbergast," and "upholstery. Milo did want to download something, but the only money he had was the coin he needed to get back through the tollbooth, and Tock, of course, had nothing but the time.
As they turned down the last aisle of stalls, Milo noticed a wagon that seemed different from the rest. Here, taste an A; they're very good.
Milo nibbled carefully at the letter and discovered that it was quite sweet and delicious—just the way you'd expect an A to taste. All of them aren't that good," he confided in a low voice. And the X? Why, it tastes like a trunkful of stale air.
That's why people hardly ever use them. But most of the others are quite tasty. Try some more. Tock ducked under the wagon, and Milo, who was not overly fond of normal-sized bees, began to back away slowly. Hurry up, hurry up! Then, just as the time ran out, he spelled as fast as he could—"v-e-g-e-t-a-b-l-e. Then one day I realized that I'd never amount to anything without an education and, being naturally adept at spelling, I decided that—".
And from around the wagon stepped a large beetlelike insect dressed in a lavish coat, striped pants, checked vest, spats, and a derby hat.
Isn't someone going to introduce me to the little boy? Everyone loves a Humbug," shouted the Humbug. Then, turning to Milo, he said, "Don't believe a thing this old fraud says.
Why, we fought in the crusades with Richard the Lion Heart, crossed the Atlantic with Columbus, blazed trails with the pioneers, and today many members of the family hold prominent government positions throughout the world.
History is full of Humbugs. I was just advising the lad of the importance of proper spelling. You can never catch up—so why bother? Take my advice, my boy, and forget about it. As my great-great-great-grandfather George Washington Humbug used to say—".
Milo didn't have any idea what this meant, but it seemed to infuriate the Spelling Bee, who flew down and knocked off the Humbug's hat with his wing.
The Spelling Bee buzzed dangerously in and out of range of the Humbug's wildly swinging cane as they menaced and threatened each other, and the crowd stepped back out of danger. There was a tremendous crash as the Humbug in his great fury tripped into one of the stalls, knocking it into another, then another, then another, then another, until every stall in the market place had been upset and the words lay scrambled in great confusion all over the square.
The bee, who had tangled himself in some bunting, toppled to the ground, knocking Milo over on top of him, and lay there shouting, "Help! There's a little boy on me. He meant to say "Look what you've done," but the words had gotten so hopelessly mixed up that no one could make any sense at all.
For several minutes no one spoke an understandable sentence, which added greatly to the confusion. As soon as possible, however, the stalls were righted and the words swept into one large pile for sorting. The Spelling Bee, who was quite upset by the whole affair, had flown off in a huff, and just as Milo got to his feet the entire police force of Dictionopolis appeared—loudly blowing his whistle.
Striding across the square was the shortest policeman Milo had ever seen. He was scarcely two feet tall and almost twice as wide, and he wore a blue uniform with white belt and gloves, a peaked cap, and a very fierce expression. He continued blowing the whistle until his face was beet red, stopping only long enough to shout, "You're guilty, you're guilty," at everyone he passed. Then, turning towards Tock, who was still ringing loudly, he said, "Turn off that dog; it's disrespectful to sound your alarm in the presence of a policeman.
He made a careful note of that in his black book and strode up and down, his hands clasped behind his back, surveying the wreckage in the market place. Speak up or I'll arrest the lot of you. There was a long silence. Since hardly anybody had actually seen what had happened, no one spoke. The startled Humbug dropped his cane and nervously replied, "Let me assure you, sir, on my honor as a gentleman, that I was merely an innocent bystander, minding my own business, enjoying the stimulating sights and sounds of the world of commerce, when this young lad—".
Are you ready to be sentenced? Now would you like a long or a short sentence? How about 'I am. That's the shortest sentence I know. Everyone agreed that it was a very fair sentence, and the judge continued: Case closed," he pronounced, rapping his gavel again. I'll take you to the dungeon.
The heavy prison door swung back slowly and Milo and Tock followed Officer Shrift down a long dark corridor lit by only an occasional flickering candle. The air was dank and musty—like the smell of wet blankets—and the massive stone walls were slimy to the touch. Down and down they went until they arrived at another door even heavier and stronger-looking than the first. A cobweb brushed across Milo's face and he shuddered.
In a few more minutes they had gone through three other doors, across a narrow footbridge, down two more corridors and another stairway, and stood finally in front of a small cell door. The door opened and then shut and Milo and Tock found themselves in a high vaulted cell with two tiny windows halfway up on the wall. Here, wind me, will you please? I'm beginning to run down. If we ever get out of here, I'm going to make sure to learn all about them. Milo looked up, very surprised, and noticed for the first time, in the half-light of the room, a pleasant-looking old lady quietly knitting and rocking.
Milo jumped back in fright and quickly grabbed Tock to make sure that his alarm didn't go off—for he knew how much witches hate loud noises. For years and years I was in charge of choosing which words were to be used for all occasions, which ones to say and which ones not to say, which ones to write and which ones not to write. As you can well imagine, with all the thousands to choose from, it was a most important and responsible job. I was given the title of 'Official Which,' which made me very proud and happy.
Everything was said clearly and simply and no words were wasted. I had signs posted all over the palace and market place which said:. I had new signs posted which said:. The people were afraid to download as many words as before, and hard times came to the kingdom.
But still I grew more and more miserly. Soon there were so few words chosen that hardly anything could be said, and even casual conversation became difficult. Again I had new signs posted, which said:. No words were sold, the market place closed down, and the people grew poor and disconsolate. When the king saw what had happened, he became furious and had me cast into this dungeon where you see me now, an older and wiser woman.
For always remember that while it is wrong to use too few, it is often far worse to use too many. When she had finished, she sighed deeply, patted Milo gently on the shoulder, and began knitting once again. But it matters not, it matters not," she went on unhappily, "for they are equally frightened of both. Here, have a punctuation mark. Few things grew, and those that did were bent and twisted and their fruit was as bitter as wormwood.
What wasn't waste was desert, and what wasn't desert was rock, and the demons of darkness made their home in the hills. Evil creatures roamed at will through the countryside and down to the sea. It was known as the land of Null. It carried a young prince seeking the future.
In the name of goodness and truth he laid claim to all the country and set out to explore his new domain. The demons, monsters, and giants were furious at his presumption and banded together to drive him out. The earth shook with their battle, and when they had finished, all that remained to the prince was a small piece of land at the edge of the sea.
Each day it was attacked anew, but nothing could destroy the prince's new city. And grow it did. Soon it was no longer just a city; it was a kingdom, and it was called the kingdom of Wisdom. So each spring he set forth with his army and each autumn he returned, and year by year the kingdom grew larger and more prosperous. He took to himself a wife and before long had two fine young sons to whom he taught everything he knew so that one day they might rule wisely.
You must take my place and found new cities in the wilderness, for the kingdom of Wisdom must grow. One went south to the Foothills of Confusion and built Dictionopolis, the city of words; and one went north to the Mountains of Ignorance and built Digitopolis, the city of numbers. Both cities flourished mightily and the demons were driven back still further.
Soon other cities and towns were founded in the new lands, and at last only the farthest reaches of the wilderness remained to these terrible creatures—and there they waited, ready to strike down all who ventured near or relaxed their guard.
Each one tried to outdo the other, and they worked so hard and diligently at it that before long their cities rivaled even Wisdom in size and grandeur.
His only regret was that he'd never had a daughter, for he loved little girls as much as he loved little boys. One day as he was strolling peacefully about the grounds, he discovered two tiny babies that had been abandoned in a basket under the grape arbor.
They were beautiful golden-haired girls. One son went south and became Azaz, the unabridged king of Dictionopolis, and the other went north and became the Mathemagician, ruler of Digitopolis; and, true to their words, they both provided well for the little girls, who continued to live in Wisdom.
People with problems or grievances or arguments came from all over the land to seek advice, and even the two brothers, who by this time were fighting continuously, often called upon them to help decide matters of state. It was said by everyone that 'Rhyme and Reason answer all problems. Their disputes, however, became more and more difficult to reconcile.
But always, with patience and love, the princesses set things right. King Azaz insisted that words were far more significant than numbers and hence his kingdom was truly the greater and the Mathemagician claimed that numbers were much more important than words and hence his kingdom was supreme.
They discussed and debated and raved and ranted until they were on the verge of blows, when it was decided to submit the question to arbitration by the princesses.
It is no more important to count the sands than it is to name the stars. Therefore, let both kingdoms live in peace. Everyone, that is, but the brothers, who were beside themselves with anger. That is why today, in all this land, there is neither Rhyme nor Reason. Despite this, their own kingdoms have continued to prosper, but the old city of Wisdom has fallen into great disrepair, and there is no one to set things right.
So, you see, until the princesses return, I shall have to stay here. I've grown quite used to it here. But you must be going or else you'll waste the whole day. He loves to put people in prison, but he doesn't care about keeping them there.
Now just press that button in the wall and be on your way. Milo and Tock stood blinking in the bright light and, as their eyes became accustomed to it, the first things they saw were the king's advisers again rushing toward them. It doesn't have a—". And, sure enough, as soon as they were all quite still, it began to move quickly through the streets, and in a very short time they arrived at the royal palace.
Milo and Tock followed close behind. It was a strange-looking palace, and if he didn't know better he would have said that it looked exactly like an enormous book, standing on end, with its front door in the lower part of the binding just where they usually place the publisher's name. Once inside, they hurried down a long hallway, which glittered with crystal chandeliers and echoed with their footsteps. The walls and ceiling were covered with mirrors, whose reflections danced dizzily along with them, and the footmen bowed coldly.
It was a vast room, full of people loudly talking and arguing. The long table was carefully set with gold plates and linen napkins. An attendant stood behind each chair, and at the center, raised slightly above the others, was a throne covered in crimson cloth.
Directly behind, on the wall, was the royal coat of arms, flanked by the flags of Dictionopolis. Milo noticed many of the people he had seen in the market place. The letter man was busy explaining to an interested group the history of the W, and off in a corner the Humbug and the Spelling Bee were arguing fiercely about nothing at all. Officer Shrift wandered through the crowd, suspiciously muttering, "Guilty, guilty, they're all guilty," and, on noticing Milo, brightened visibly and commented in passing, "Is it six million years already?
My, how time flies. Everyone seemed quite grumpy about having to wait for lunch, and they were all relieved to see the tardy guests arrive.
As Milo tried to think, there was an ear-shattering blast of trumpets, entirely off key, and a page announced to the startled guests:. The king strode through the door and over to the table and settled his great bulk onto the throne, calling irritably, "Places, everyone.
Take your places. He was the largest man Milo had ever seen, with a great stomach, large piercing eyes, a gray beard that reached to his waist, and a silver signet ring on the little finger of his left hand. He also wore a small crown and a robe with the letters of the alphabet beautifully embroidered all over it. Thank you very much for inviting us to your banquet, and I think your palace is beautiful. Sing songs? Tell stories? Compose sonnets? Juggle plates?
Do tumbling tricks?
Which is it? The duke here can make mountains out of molehills. The minister splits hairs. The count makes hay while the sun shines. The earl leaves no stone unturned. And the undersecretary," he finished ominously, "hangs by a thread. Can't you do anything at all? Never mention numbers here. Only use them when we absolutely have to," growled Azaz disgustedly.
The waiters rushed in carrying large serving platters and set them on the table in front of the king. When he lifted the covers, shafts of brilliant-colored light leaped from the plates and bounced around the ceiling, the walls, across the floor, and out the windows. Perhaps you can suggest something a little more filling.
The king clapped his hands, the platters were removed, and, without thinking, Milo quickly suggested, "Well, in that case, I think we ought to have a square meal of—". The king clapped his hands once more and the waiters reappeared carrying plates heaped high with steaming squares of all sizes and colors. No one else seemed to like them very much either, and the Humbug got one caught in his throat and almost choked.
Since he was taller sitting than standing, he didn't bother to get up. And so down the line it went, with each guest rising briefly, making a short speech, and then resuming his place. When everyone had finished, the king rose. The waiters reappeared immediately, carrying heavy, hot trays, which they set on the table. Each one contained the exact words spoken by the various guests, and they all began eating immediately with great gusto. Milo looked around at everyone busily stuffing himself and then back at his own unappetizing plate.
It certainly didn't look worth eating, and he was so very hungry. The rest of the meal was finished in silence until the king, wiping the gravy stains from his vest, called for dessert. Milo, who had not eaten anything, looked up eagerly. Now, please don't interrupt. By royal command the pastry chefs have worked all night to—". Here's one that's very good. Milo looked at the great assortment of cakes, which were being eaten almost as quickly as anyone could read them.
As everyone finished, the only sounds to be heard were the creaking of chairs, the pushing of plates, the licking of spoons, and, of course, a few words from the Humbug. My compliments to the chef, by all means; my compliments to the chef. I seem to have a touch of indigestion. I most certainly should have eaten too little too slowly, or too much too slowly, or too little too quickly, or taken all day to eat nothing, or eaten everything in no time at all, or occasionally eaten something any time, or perhaps I should have—" And he toppled back, exhausted, into his chair and continued to mumble indistinctly.
Let me have your attention! The command was entirely unnecessary, for the moment he began to speak everyone but Milo, Tock, and the distraught bug rushed from the hall, down the stairs, and out of the palace. From now on, by royal command, everyone must eat dinner before the banquet. Try to look at the bright side of things. Then he promptly sat down as the king glanced furiously in his direction.
Then he would have to persuade the Mathemagician to agree to release the little princesses—and, of course, he'd never agree to agree to anything that you agreed with. And, anyway, if he did, you certainly wouldn't agree to it. Then an effortless climb up a two-thousand-step circular stairway without railings in a high wind at night for in those mountains it is always night to the Castle in the Air.
As he did so, the waiters rushed back into the room and quickly cleared away the dishes, the silver, the tablecloth, the table, the chairs, the banquet hall, and the palace, leaving them all suddenly standing in the market place. He drew from inside his cape a small heavy box about the size of a schoolbook and handed it ceremoniously to Milo. All the great books of the past and all the ones yet to come are made with these words. With them there is no obstacle you cannot overcome. All you must learn to do is use them well and in the right places.
Milo accepted the gift with thanks and the little group walked to the car, still parked at the edge of the square. Milo and Tock wondered what strange adventures lay ahead. The Humbug speculated on how he'd ever become involved in such a hazardous undertaking.
And the crowd waved and cheered wildly, for, while they didn't care at all about anyone arriving, they were always very pleased to see someone go.
Soon all traces of Dictionopolis had vanished in the distance and all those strange and unknown lands that lay between the kingdom of words and the kingdom of numbers stretched before them. It was late afternoon and the dark-orange sun floated heavily over the distant mountains.
A friendly, cool breeze slapped playfully at the car, and the long shadows stretched out lazily from the trees and bushes. How very grand indeed. As the car rushed along, the trees grew thicker and taller and leafier until, just as they'd hidden the sky completely, the forest abruptly ended and the road bent itself around a broad promontory. Stretching below, to the left, the right, and straight ahead, as far as anyone could see, lay the rich green landscape through which they had been traveling.
Milo turned around and found himself staring at two very neatly polished brown shoes, for standing directly in front of him if you can use the word "standing" for anyone suspended in mid-air was another boy just about his age, whose feet were easily three feet off the ground. When we're fully grown up or, as you can see, grown down, our feet finally touch. Of course, there are a few of us whose feet never reach the ground no matter how old we get, but I suppose it's the same in every family.
Why, when you're fifteen things won't look at all the way they did when you were ten, and at twenty everything will change again. Besides, it makes more sense to grow down and not up. When you're very young, you can never hurt yourself falling down if you're in mid-air, and you certainly can't get into trouble for scuffing up your shoes or marking the floor if there's nothing to scuff them on and the floor is three feet away.
I can see whatever is inside, behind, around, covered by, or subsequent to anything else. In fact, the only thing I can't see is whatever happens to be right in front of my nose. My father sees to things, my mother looks after things, my brother sees beyond things, my uncle sees the other side of every question, and my little sister Alice sees under things.
Milo tried as hard as he could, and, as he did, his feet floated slowly off the ground until he was standing in the air next to Alec Bings. He looked around very quickly and, an instant later, crashed back down to earth again.
It's not so far to fall. For instance, from here that looks like a bucket of water," he said, pointing to a bucket of water; "but from an ant's point of view it's a vast ocean, from an elephant's just a cool drink, and to a fish, of course, it's home. So, you see, the way you see things depends a great deal on where you look at them from. Now, come along and I'll show you the rest of the forest. He ran quickly through the air, stopping occasionally to beckon Milo, Tock, and the Humbug along, and they followed as well as anyone who had to stay on the ground could.
Instead of down, his feet grow up toward the sky. But we do our best to discourage awkward things like that. As they ran, tall trees closed in around them and arched gracefully toward the sky. A soft glow filled the air with the kind of light that made everything look sharp and clear and close enough to reach out and touch. Alec raced ahead, laughing and shouting, but soon encountered serious difficulties; for, while he could always see the tree behind the next one, he could never see the next one itself and was continually crashing into it.
After several minutes of wildly dashing about, they all stopped for a breath of air. Besides, being lost is never a matter of not knowing where you are; it's a matter of not knowing where you aren't—and I don't care at all about where I'm not. This was much too complicated for the bug to figure out, and Milo had just begun repeating it to himself when Alec said, "If you don't believe me, ask the giant," and he pointed to a small house tucked neatly between two of the largest trees.
The side of the house looked very like the front and back, and the door flew open the very instant they knocked. Just as they suspected, the other side of the house looked the same as the front, the back, and the side, and the door was again answered by a man who looked precisely like the other three.
You see, to tall men I'm a midget, and to short men I'm a giant; to the skinny ones I'm a fat man, and to the fat ones I'm a thin man. That way I can hold four jobs at once. As you can see, though, I'm neither tall nor short nor fat nor thin. In fact, I'm quite ordinary, but there are so many ordinary men that no one asks their opinion about anything.
Now what is your question? Would you mind repeating it? It's slipped my mind. On the other hand, you often find that where you've been is not at all where you should have gone, and, since it's much more difficult to find your way back from someplace you've never left, I suggest you go there immediately and then decide.
If you have any more questions, please ask the giant. In a few more steps the forest opened before them, and off to the left a magnificent metropolis appeared. The rooftops shone like mirrors, the walls glistened with thousands of precious stones, and the broad avenues were paved in silver.
That's why imaginary things are often easier to see than real ones. They looked around very carefully. Tock sniffed suspiciously at the wind and the Humbug gingerly stabbed his cane at the air, but there was nothing at all to see. There were great crowds of people rushing along with their heads down, and they all appeared to know exactly where they were going as they darted down and around the nonexistent streets and in and out of the missing buildings.
The streets were full of wonderful things to see and the people would often stop to look at them. Then one day someone discovered that if you walked as fast as possible and looked at nothing but your shoes you would arrive at your destination much more quickly. Soon everyone was doing it. They all rushed down the avenues and hurried along the boulevards seeing nothing of the wonders and beauties of their city as they went.
Milo remembered the many times he'd done the very same thing; and, as hard as he tried, there were even things on his own street that he couldn't remember.
Because nobody cared, the city slowly began to disappear. Day by day the buildings grew fainter and fainter, and the streets faded away, until at last it was entirely invisible. There was nothing to see at all. And that's the way they have lived to this very day. They followed him quickly up a flight of steps which couldn't be seen and through a door which didn't exist.
In a moment they had left Reality which is sometimes a hard thing to tell and stood in a completely different part of the forest. The sun was dropping slowly from sight, and stripes of purple and orange and crimson and gold piled themselves on top of the distant hills. The last shafts of light waited patiently for a flight of wrens to find their way home, and a group of anxious stars had already taken their places.
There were at least a thousand musicians ranged in a great arc before them. To the left and right were the violins and cellos, whose bows moved in great waves, and behind them in numberless profusion the piccolos, flutes, clarinets, oboes, bassoons, horns, trumpets, trombones and tubas were all playing at once.
At the very rear, so far away that they could hardly be seen, were the percussion instruments, and lastly, in a long line up one side of a steep slope, were the solemn bass fiddles. On a high podium in front stood the conductor, a tall, gaunt man with dark deep-set eyes and a thin mouth placed carelessly between his long pointed nose and his long pointed chin. He used no baton, but conducted with large, sweeping movements which seemed to start at his toes and work slowly up through his body and along his slender arms and end finally at the tips of his graceful fingers.
Now, pay attention. As the conductor waved his arms, he molded the air like handfuls of soft clay, and the musicians carefully followed his every direction.
Why, there wouldn't be any color in the world unless they played it. Each instrument plays a different one," he explained, "and depending, of course, on what season it is and how the weather's to be, the conductor chooses his score and directs the day. But watch: The last colors slowly faded from the western sky, and, as they did, one by one the instruments stopped, until only the bass fiddles, in their somber slow movement, were left to play the night and a single set of silver bells brightened the constellations.
The conductor let his arms fall limply at his sides and stood quite still as darkness claimed the forest. Immediately the instruments that were playing stopped, and at once all color vanished. The world looked like an enormous coloring book that had never been used. Everything appeared in simple black outlines, and it looked as if someone with a set of paints the size of a house and a brush as wide could stay happily occupied for years.
Then Chroma lowered his arms. The instruments began again and the color returned. And rainbows are best of all—and blazing neon signs, and taxicabs with stripes, and the soft, muted tones of a foggy day. We play them all. As Chroma spoke, Milo sat with his eyes open wide, and Alec, Tock, and the Humbug looked on in wonder. But tonight is sure to be quiet. And be sure to wake me at 5: Good night, good night, Good night. And Milo, full of thoughts and questions, curled up on the pages of tomorrow's music and eagerly awaited the dawn.
One by one, the hours passed, and at exactly 5: Everything was still purple, dark blue, and black, yet scarcely a minute remained to the long, quiet night. He stretched lazily, rubbed his eyelids, scratched his head, and shivered once as a greeting to the early-morning mist. Then he suddenly wondered what it would be like to lead the orchestra and to color the whole world himself. The idea whirled through his thoughts until he quickly decided that since it couldn't be very difficult, and since they probably all knew what to do by themselves anyway, and since it did seem a shame to wake anyone so early, and since it might be his only chance to try, and since the musicians were already poised and ready, he would—but just for a little while.
And so, as everyone slept peacefully on, Milo stood on tiptoes, raised his arms slowly in front of him, and made the slightest movement possible with the index finger of his right hand. It was now 5: As if understanding his signal perfectly, a single piccolo played a single note and off in the east a solitary shaft of cool lemon light flicked across the sky. Milo smiled happily and then cautiously crooked his finger again. This time two more piccolos and a flute joined in and three more rays of light danced lightly into view.
Then with both hands he made a great circular sweep in the air and watched with delight as all the musicians began to play at once. The cellos made the hills glow red, and the leaves and grass were tipped with a soft pale green as the violins began their song. Only the bass fiddles rested as the entire orchestra washed the forest in color. But, instead of stopping, they continued to play even louder than before, until each color became more brilliant than he thought possible.
Milo shielded his eyes with one hand and waved the other desperately, but the colors continued to grow brighter and brighter and brighter, until an even more curious thing began to happen. As Milo frantically conducted, the sky changed slowly from blue to tan and then to a rich magenta red. Flurries of light-green snow began to fall, and the leaves on the trees and bushes turned a vivid orange.
All the flowers suddenly appeared black, the gray rocks became a lovely soft chartreuse, and even peacefully sleeping Tock changed from brown to a magnificent ultramarine. Nothing was the color it should have been, and yet, the more he tried to straighten things out, the worse they became. He tried very hard to do everything just the way Chroma had done, but nothing worked.
The musicians played on, faster and faster, and the purple sun raced quickly across the sky. In less than a minute it had set once more in the west and then, without any pause, risen again in the east. The sky was now quite yellow and the grass a charming shade of lavender.
Seven times the sun rose and almost as quickly disappeared as the colors kept changing. In just a few minutes a whole week had gone by. At last the exhausted Milo, afraid to call for help and on the verge of tears, dropped his hands to his sides. The orchestra stopped. The colors disappeared, and once again it was night. The time was 5: Time for the sunrise! My, my, I see we're a little late this morning. I'll have to cut my lunch hour short by four minutes. Tock wagged his tail proudly, but Milo didn't say a word, and to this day no one knows of the lost week but the few people who happened to be awake at 5: Chroma nodded a fond good-by as they all started back through the forest, and in honor of the visit he made all the wild flowers bloom in a breath-taking display.
But I suppose there's a lot to see everywhere, if only you keep your eyes open. They walked for a while, all silent in their thoughts, until they reached the car and Alec drew a fine telescope from his shirt and handed it to Milo. Through it you can see everything from the tender moss in a sidewalk crack to the glow of the farthest star—and, most important of all, you can see things as they really are, not just as they seem to be.
It's my gift to you. Milo placed the telescope carefully in the glove compartment, and reached up to shake Alec by the hand. Then he stepped on the starter and, with his head full of strange new thoughts, drove out the far end of the forest.
The easy rolling countryside now stretched before them in a series of dips and rises that leaped up one side of each crest and slid gently down the other in a way that made stomachs laugh and faces frown.
As they topped the brow of the highest hill, a deep valley appeared ahead. The road, finally making up its mind, plummeted down, as if anxious to renew acquaintance with the sparkling blue stream that flowed below. When they reached the floor of the valley the wind grew stronger as it funneled through the rocks, and directly ahead a bright-colored speck grew larger and larger.
And that's exactly what it was—parked at the side of the road, painted bright red, and looking quite deserted. He tiptoed timidly up the three wooden steps to the door, tapped lightly, and leaped back in fright, for the moment he knocked there was a terrible crash from inside the wagon that sounded as if a whole set of dishes had been dropped from the ceiling onto a hard stone floor.
At the same time the door flew open, and from the dark interior a hoarse voice inquired, "Have you ever heard a whole set of dishes dropped from the ceiling onto a hard stone floor? Milo, who had tumbled back off the steps, sat up quickly, while Tock and the Humbug rushed from the car to see what had happened. I thought not," said the voice happily. It's lucky you happened by; none of you looks well. The faint glow of a ceiling lamp dimly illuminated the wagon as they cautiously stepped inside—Tock first, eager to defend against all dangers; Milo next, frightened but curious; and the Humbug last, ready at any moment to run for his life.
Very bad, very bad; a serious case.
The dusty wagon was lined with shelves full of curious boxes and jars of a kind found in old apothecary shops. It looked as though it hadn't been swept out in years. Bits and pieces of equipment lay strewn all over the floor, and at the rear was a heavy wooden table covered with books, bottles, and bric-a-brac. Sitting at the table, busily mixing and measuring was the man who had invited them in. He was wearing a long white coat with a stethoscope around his neck and a small round mirror attached to his forehead, and the only really noticeable things about him were his tiny mustache and his enormous ears, each of which was fully as large as his head.
He began to jump around the wagon, snatching bottles from the shelves until he had a large assortment in various colors and sizes collected at one end of the table.
All were neatly labeled: After pouring a little of each into a large glass beaker, he stirred the mixture thoroughly with a wooden spoon, watching intently as it smoked and steamed and boiled and bubbled.
Milo had never seen such unpleasant-looking medicine and wasn't at all anxious to try any. For instance, have you ever heard a square-wheeled steam roller ride over a street full of hard-boiled eggs?
Why, I'm kept so busy I can hardly fill the orders for noise pills, racket lotion, clamor salve, and hubbub tonic. That's all people seem to want these days. Years ago, everyone wanted pleasant sounds and, except for a few orders during wars and earthquakes, things were very bad. But then the big cities were built and there was a great need for honking horns, screeching trains, clanging bells, deafening shouts, piercing shrieks, gurgling drains, and all the rest of those wonderfully unpleasant sounds we use so much of today.
Without them people would be very unhappy, so I make sure that they get as much as they want. Why, if you take a little of my medicine every day, you'll never have to hear a beautiful sound again. Here, try some. Dischord, "there is no such illness as lack of noise. I only treat illnesses that don't exist: For a moment everything was quiet as Milo, Tock, and the Humbug looked intently at the bottle, wondering what Dr.
Dischord would do next. Then, very faintly at first, they heard a low rumbling that sounded miles away. It grew louder and louder and louder and closer and closer and closer until it became a deafening, ear-splitting roar that seemed to be coming from inside the tiny bottle.
Then, from the bottle, a thick bluish smog spiraled to the ceiling, spread out, and gradually assumed the shape of a thick bluish smog with hands, feet, bright-yellow eyes, and a large frowning mouth.
As soon as the smog had gotten completely out of the bottle it grasped the beaker of liquid, tilted back what would have been its head, if it really had one, and drank it all in three gulps. Terribly cramped in there. You see, he is an orphan whom I raised myself without benefit of governess or any other assistance for—".
Dischord in a surprised tone. When you're playing in your room and making a great amount of noise, what do they tell you to stop? He perished in the great silence epidemic of Milo felt so sorry for the unhappy DYNNE that he gave him his handkerchief, which was immediately covered in bluish smoggy tears.
But I certainly can't understand why you don't like noise," he said. The very thought of it upset him so much that he began to sob all over again in a way that sounded almost exactly like a handful of fingernails being scratched across a mile-long blackboard.
He buried his head in the doctor's lap. You see, once a day I travel throughout the kingdom and collect all the wonderfully horrible and beautifully unpleasant noises that have been made, pack them into my sacks, and bring them back here for the doctor to make his medicines from.