“Why, my cabinet members can do all sorts of things. 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.”

Share with your friends

More from The Phantom Tollbooth

“You’re on the Island of Conclusions.”
“But how did we get here?” asked Milo.
“You jumped, of course,” explained Canby. “That’s the way most everyone gets here. It’s really quite simple: every time you decide something without having a good reason, you jump to Conclusions whether you like it or not. It’s such an easy trip to make that I’ve been here hundreds of times.”
“But this is such an unpleasant looking place,” Milo remarked.
“Yes, that’s true,” admitted Canby; “it does look much better from a distance.”

Of course, if you’ve ever gotten a surprise package, you can imagine how puzzled and excited Milo was; and if you’ve never gotten one, pay close attention, because someday you might.

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, how much could be accomplished with just a little thought.

“Don’t say it,” ghasped the dog, and Milo could see a tear well up in his eye.
“I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings,” said Milo, not meaning to hurt his feelings.

“You see,” continued the minister, bowing thankfully to the duke, “Dictionopolis is the place where all the words in the world come from. They’re grown right here in our orchards.”
“I didn’t know that words grew on trees,” said Milo timidly.
“Where did you think they grew?” shouted the earl irritably. A small crowd began to gather to see the little boy who didn’t know that letters grew on trees.