THE ROYAL TIMELINE OF OZ

 

 

Ozzy Footnotes

 

 

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The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

 

The third Borderlands of Oz Book (Book #63 of the Supreme Seventy-Five)

 

History: Although sometimes overlooked, this is a significant story in Oz canon as it establishes the hierarchy of the fairies and immortals.

 

Story: When a baby is discovered in the fairy-forest of Burzee, the Master Woodman of the World, Ak, allows the fairy Necille to raise him.  Neclaus grows into a young man, and Ak shows him the world and the suffering of children.  Neclaus decides to start making toys for the children and employs the help of the ryls and knooks and reindeer.  When his fame begins to spread, the evil race of Awgwas and others decide to destroy Santa, prompting Ak and the other immortals to strike back.

 

Continuity notes:

Burzee and the Laughing Valley: The fairyland that is the Forest of Burzee appears in numerous stories moving forward, and comes to be situated on the Nonestican continent south of the Quadling Country across the Great Sandy Waste, and north of Thumbumbia, which is shown to be its neighbor in "The Runaway Shadows."  At this time, however, it appears that Burzee and the Laughing Valley are part of the outside world, and have not yet been removed from it to the Continent of Imagination.

 

Dating: The date is uncertain. Santa must be a young man prior to the European settlement of the New Land. While it appears that toys are a new concept for children, in fact, toys go back to the most ancient civilizations.  Nevertheless, the European communities and cities that Santa came to know appear to have been generally poor, and the time-period one in which children and their parents had very little.  The dating is better set by the establishing of Christmas, giving us a date of no later than the 4th century. 

 

Crossovers: Years later, Santa is visited by the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman in Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz, and later visits Oz himself in The Road to Oz.  He makes several appearances in modern Oz books.

 

The Gnome King: The Gnome King that Santa visits is not Roquat the Nome King, who wasn't born until around 925 (according to Pirates in Oz), but his predecessor, possibly his father, possibly Goldemar from Zauberlinda the Wise Witch, and there are other candidates.

 

Sequels: It is not known how many of the Santa stories can be considered "true" as per Baum's mythology.  It's clear that many are likely false, as they give vastly different origin stories.  But of those that deal with his later life, only Ruth Plumly Thompson's The Curious Cruise of Captain Santa can be considered as potentially true, and even in this account, she portrays a very different Santa than the one Baum does.  Of course, the stories are separate by vast periods of time, and Thompson's own writing style and approach have to be taken into account.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 A Kidnapped Santa Claus

 

The sixth Borderlands of Oz Book (Book #66 of the Supreme Seventy-Five)

 

Continuity notes:

Dating: Date is uncertain, but appears to be not very long after The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Enchanted Island of Yew

 

The fourth Borderlands of Oz Book (Book #64 of the Supreme Seventy-Five)

 

Story: When a fairy suffering from ennui decides she needs a change, she has a mortal princess transform her into a mortal youth named Prince Marvel.

 

Continuity notes:

Civilization: It's known that Yew is not a deathless land, as civilization creeps in and renders it akin to lands in the Outside World.  Nevertheless, it has been rendered part of the Nonestican lands, and the characters of The Royal Explorers of Oz take a trip to Yew, if only to discover that its original rulers (from the book) are long since deceased.  The Red Rogue, however, may still be alive, and is known to have begotten the Pirates of Dawna.  It might be assumed that the Kingdom of Twi likely still exists as a magical realm hidden behind the wall of thorns, but this is not certain.

 

Dating: The date is uncertain, but the story makes two chronological references, first to The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, second to the life of St. George, who died in 303 CE.  This dates the story to anytime after the 4th century.  The names of some of the characters (Baron Merd, Merna and Helda) suggest a connection to a Germanic, Anglo-Saxon peoples, as well as Latin influence (Auriel, Plenta, Sesely).

 

 

 

 

 

 

How the Wizard Came to Oz

The True Origin of the Wizard of Oz

 

 

History: Three different versions of this story exist, the original "How the Wizard Came to Oz and What He Did There," from Oziana 1976, the 1991 Emerald City Press book, How the Wizard Came to Oz, and the 2016 serialized comic-book version, How the Wizard Came to Oz: The True Origin of the Wizard of Oz, which first appeared online, and is the most expansive and harmonious (continuity-wise) of the three.  The Royal Timeline of Oz deems the latter the canonical version, and this is what is detailed here.  For a look at the other versions, click on their respective links above.

 

Story:

 

Continuity notes:

Dating: The Wizard's first arrival in Oz occurs in 1871.  Though not explicit in the narrative, that is when this story is set.  The Wizard states in Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz that he ruled in Oz "for many years" [p. 195], which indicates that he had been in Oz for some time prior to Dorothy's arrival.  Hot-air ballooning did not take off in circuses and traveling fairs until 1871, months after Leon Gambetta's highly publicized balloon escape from the Prussian armies in Paris to Southern France, after which ballooning sprang up overnight across circuses and fairs (for more information, see this article).  After only a few years, however, solo balloon shows were no longer trendy or novel, and circuses had added acrobats to spice things up.

 

A point has been made that the Wizard’s city of origin, Omaha, was not established until 1854, thereby limiting Oscar Diggs' age, however, he may have been born in the region of Omaha prior to it being named such, particularly as Omaha is the name of the Native American tribe that lived in that region, and it may have been called Omaha from as early as 1813 when Manuel Lisa established a large trading post there. 

 

Golden Cap: The Wicked Witch of the West uses the Golden Cap to command the Winged Monkeys twice in this story, once in Hugh Pendexter III's Oz and the Three Witches, and once in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  To resolve this discrepancy, the Royal Timeline of Oz suggests that at the end of this story, the witch gave the Cap to her sister, who used it three times for her own purposes (perhaps to fend off rivals or enemies), after which she gave it back to her sister.  In essence, the Golden Cap must once it's given to another person.  Had Dorothy not killed both witches, they could have given it back and forth to one another indefinitely, keeping the Winged Monkeys permanently enslaved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Magical Monarch of Mo (a.k.a A New Wonderland)

 

The first Borderlands of Oz Book (Book #61 of the Supreme Seventy-Five)

 

History: The first book that can be called a "Borderlands of Oz" book is the earliest full-length fantasy-work that Baum wrote in 1896.  Baum crossed Mo and Oz in The Scarecrow of Oz.

 

Mo was originally called Phunnyland, although the original title was A New Wonderland to capitalize on the Alice in Wonderland craze.  It is listed in The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus as Phunnyland, so that may be what those who live outside of the land call it, whereas as residents refer to it as Mo.  This is what it's called when Trot, Cap'n Bill and Button-Bright end up there.

 

Continuity notes:

More Mo: Several characters from this book appear in later post-Baum Oz stories, e.g., Princess Truella appears in The Royal Explorers of Oz trilogy.  The sorceress Maetta was used by Baum in his Wogglebug play.  The Outsiders from Oz provides a sequel of sorts, and brings back Scowleyow and his repaired Cast-Iron Man.

 

Nighttime: As regards the existence of a night-time in Mo, The Scarecrow of Oz contradicts the authorial claim in Magical Monarch by indicating that there is nighttime (which the text of Magical Monarch itself seems to suggest).  As regards the dog Prince, Michael Patrick Hearn suggests (in The Annotated Wizard of Oz) that the "country beyond the mountains and the desert," from where he arrives might have been Oz, which would explain why he's so comfortable conversing with humans.  How he crossed the desert remains the same mystery as to how the Wise Donkey crossed it to Oz.

 

Outside World: Although Mo must be in the Nonestic since those characters come from there to Oz, the giant Hartilaf (who lives in the adjacent valley from the king) makes a relatively short trip from Mo to Alaska to hunt (he's also able to access South America with ease).  Either magic is involved in the journey, or there is a bridge to these areas of the Outside World in Mo, and may explain how the land's human residents arrived there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dot and Tot of Merryland

 

The second Borderlands of Oz Book (Book #62 of the Supreme Seventy-Five)

 

Story: The titular characters end up in an odd fairyland divided into seven sections, including a valley of clowns, dolls and cats.  They meet the Queen of the realm (a doll herself) who treats them as guests, and then guides them the rest of the way out of Merryland.

 

Continuity notes: There is little rhyme or reason as to why Merryland exists.  The queen notes that no one from the outside has ever visited it, and it's been guarded for 300 years.  Furthermore, she blocks further entrance.  There are living toys and rides that wish to be played with that aren't; there are living dolls and clowns that have no one but themselves to entertain.  Only the cats seem to be content in this strange world.

 

The Queen of Merryland later shows up at the end of The Road to Oz, and Merryland is visited again in The Lavender Bear of Oz.  An older Dot and Tot return in the forthcoming story "Roselawn."

 

 

 

 

 

Queen Zixi of Ix

 

The fifth Borderlands of Oz Book (Book #65 of the Supreme Seventy-Five)

 

Story: Considered by Baum one of his best books, this more traditionally European fantasy tells the story of brother and sister Bud and Fluff, who after their father dies, enters the kingdom of Noland, whose king has also just died. By virtue of random chance, Bud is crowned king, while his sister is given a Magic Cloak woven by the fairies in Burzee which will grant one wish to any mortal who wears it.

 

Continuity notes:

Adaptation: This book was first adapted in 1914 by Baum himself in the silent film The Magic Cloak of Oz.

 

Burzee: The fairy country of Burzee comes from The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, though in that tale, the Queen of the Fairies went unnamed (as opposed to the Queen of the Wood Nymphs whose name is Zurline).  Here, she is given the name Lulea (who also appears in the short story "Nelebel's Fairyland").  Additionally, the Man in the Moon plays a significant role in the story, advising the fairies who the Magic Cloak should go to. This is apparently also not the first time the fairies have summoned him forth to aid them in a matter.

 

Queen Zixi of Ix: She is here listed as being 683 years old, though she appears to everyone's eyes as a beautiful 16 year old.  She is noted as a good witch who rules her people well, though she cannot disguise her true appearance in a mirror (which is why none are kept around).  She has fought and won a hundred wars in her time. Prior to the events of this book, her kingdom and Noland were not on good terms, though no details explain why. 

 

Roly-Rogues: Nothing is known of the history of the Roly-Rogues who live atop a plateau on the highest mountain bordering Noland.

 

Queen Zixi, Bud and Fluff make an appearance in Baum's The Road to Oz and subsequent appearances in other books. Characters from The Silver Princess in Oz visit Ix.

 

 

 

 

  

 

John Dough and the Cherub

 

The seventh Borderlands of Oz Book (Book #67 of the Supreme Seventy-Five)

 

Story: When a baker's gets hold of a magical elixir, she accidentally brings to life a man-sized gingerbread man, who everyone wants to eat!  Named John Dough, he escapes the owner of the elixir temporarily by flying off to an enchanted land called the Island of Phreex, and there meets his future companion, Chick the Cherub, the first incubator baby, who helps John through a series of adventures, including escape from the Palace of Romance, where one must tell continual tales or be put to death.

 

John and Chick then escape to the Island of Mifkets, where they meet Pittipat the Rabbit and Para Bruin a sapient rubber bear who doesn't know his origins.  The King of the Fairy Beavers also keeps his palace there, along with a device that serves the same function as Ozma's Magic Picture.  The King of the Fairy Beavers helps them escape by means of flamingos, who bring them first to Pirate Island—where they briefly meet and defeat Sport, a magical construct made up of sporting equipment, and the pirates—and then to Hiland/Loland, where a prophecy that a non-human person will become their king, leads to John Dough ascending the throne of that country and uniting the people. Chick becomes a self-appointed Head Booleywag.

 

Continuity Notes:

Dating: The story must be dated on July 3d, 1904. The dating is determined by two factors.  The first is the age and identity of Chick the Cherub, who the story notes is the original incubator baby, and the second is an internal dating reference to the Louisiana Purchase Exhibition. (Also the story cannot take place after it's written).

 

Boy or Girl: While Baum never identifies Chick's sex, the original incubator baby in the real world (where the story is initially set and references throughout) was Edith Eleanor McLean, who was born premature (2 pounds 7 ounces) in 1888 at the State Emigrant Hospital on Ward’s Island, New York.  Interestingly, after this event, she disappears from history and nothing else is known of her, or even how long she lived.  As the text of John Dough and the Cherub emphasizes that Chick is the "first and only original incubator baby," it seems likely that it's her who ended up on the Isle of Phreex. 

 

Chick's Age: In the book's fifth chapter, "Chick the Cherub," Chick jokes that her age is six, but she's reproved by a friend who says "It was more than two years ago you were taught to make that speech. You can't be always six years old, you know." This would appear to indicate that she was at the youngest nine years old, but she could be older. Although she's been claiming to be six for over two years, she might have been saying something else prior to that.  The text has one of the characters ask John Dough if he knows about the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (where incubator babies were featured).  This event began on April 30, 1904.  This forces the earliest date this story could occur in July of 1904, although, based on the identity of Chick, it makes her sixteen years old.  Despite her small size and stature, however, this is certainly possible, as she notes being on a very restricted diet (due to being an incubator baby) of oatmeal and cream, which, apart from genetics, could result in her being much smaller in size and stature than an average sixteen year old.

 

Crossover: Chick, John Dough and Para Bruin make an appearance at the Emerald City in The Road to Oz, which takes place in the following year.  (John Dough bears no relation to Thompson's "The Little Gingerbread Man").  Sport and Jacqueline and her parents (and their island) appear again for the first time in The Royal Explorers of Oz: Book 1.

 

Folk Origins: John Dough is based on an older folk story (St. Nicholas magazine published the first Gingerbread Man story in 1875 and an 1840  German story has one of a runaway pancake. Purportedly, its roots lie in ancient Grecian tradition of a substitute human sacrifice. 

 

The Great Elixir: John Dough is brought to life by a fluid called the Great Elixir (or the Essence of Vitality, or the Water of Life), which functions much like the Powder of Life.  His being made of gingerbread makes him irresistible to eat for those without scruples which he encounters who don't care that he's alive.  The Great Elixir also enables him to understand and speak the language of animals and foreigners, and provides him knowledge and strength.  The Great Elixir belonged to Ali Dubh, who is himself being hunted for it.  He claims it had been passed down in his family through the ages to him.  By means of a witch in the Outside World, Dubh purchases two "transport powders" which enable him to follow John from the Outside World, first to the Isle of Phreex, and from there to the Isle of Mifkets, where he intends to eat him, and live forever. 

 

History: Baum began the first four chapters of a different version of the story in 1904 (without Chick the Cherub) for the Ladies Home Journal, but after they rejected it, he put it away until 1906 when he fleshed it out.  Two films adaptations were made of this book, one by Baum himself.  As with the original manuscript, both are lost.

 

Mifkets: What relationship Mifkets have to Mifkits and Scoodlers is yet unknown, but there appears to be some commonality between them.

 

Para Bruin: There is no explanation as to the Rubber Bear's origins.  Other rubber people include the Rubber Band from The Wicked Witch of Oz.

 

Racism: The Mifkets speak Arabic, which leads the King of Mifkes to make the unfortunate statement that the Arabs descend from Mifkets. 

 

Rockets to Oz: It's noteworthy that the way John travels to the Isle of Phreex, which is just off the Nonestican continent, is by means of a large Fourth of July rocket.  Years later, Speedy will end up getting to Oz by means of a home-made rocket-ship.  Jam originally went to Oz via rocket, in The Hidden Valley of Oz, until Reilly & Lee told author Rachel Payes that kite would work better.

 

Tales from the Arabian Knights: John meets his cherubic companion Chick, along with an assortment of other "freaks," and escapes Dubh by means of mechanical bird to the Palace of Romance, but as their laws force visitors to continue telling stories—or die, they must escape that islet as well.  This old law is a concept borrowed from 1001 Arabian Knights—which points to another Arabic connection. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twinkle and Chubbins (aka. The Twinkle Tales)

 

Policeman Bluejay (aka. Babes in Birdland)

 

 

The eighth Borderlands of Oz Book (Book #68 of the Supreme Seventy-Five)

 

History: Although the publisher rejected the idea, Baum at one point had wanted to subtitle "Policeman Bluejay," “An Oz story.” There is certainly enough of a connection to Oz to include this tale on the timeline, and with it, its predecessor, Twinkle and Chubbins.  Both stories were finally combined into one book (as was Baum's wish) under the The Twinkle Tales moniker by the University of Nebraska Press.

 

 

 

 

 

The Collected Short Stories of L. Frank Baum

American Fairy Tales

 

Animal Fairy Tales

 

 

Miscellaneous Collections:

The Purple Dragon and Other Fantasies, The Runaway Shadows

 

The Royal Timeline of Oz considers The Complete Short Stories of L. Frank Baum the eleventh Borderlands of Oz Book (Book #71 of the Supreme Seventy-Five)

 

History: Baum's short fantasy stories have appeared in numerous journals and books over the years. Some of the more well-known collections include American Fairy Tales, Animal Fairy Tales, The Purple Dragon and Other Fantasies, The Runaway Shadows and Other Stories, and finally, The Collected Short Stories of L. Frank Baum, which reprints nearly every short fantasy story that Baum wrote, except "The Strange Tale of the Nursery Folk," whose authorship is in question, but which can be found in The Runaway Shadow and Other Stories ("Chrome Yellow" is also missing from that collection, but that is not a fantasy story).

 

While some of these take place in the outside world, all of the fantasy stories of Baum can be said to take place in the same universe, not of few of which are connected to Oz or the countries surrounding Oz. Thus, American Fairy Tales, Animal Fairy Tales and The Collected Short Stories of L. Frank Baum can be seen as an important Borderlands of Oz tales.

 

ANIMAL FAIRY TALES

 

The Story of Jaglon

History: This Baum short story was expanded by Jack Snow and Madeline Kilpatrick as Jaglon and the Tiger Fairies, and re-illustrated by Dale Ulrey in 1953. It was intended that they would expand all of Baum's Animal Fairy Tales, but as the first book failed to sell well, the idea was abandoned.  The Royal Timeline of Oz considers this expanded version to be canonical, and lists below where the interpolations occur.

 

Story:

Original version

The Wilderness is divided into three Circles, the Outer, where the small animals dwell, the Middle, where the larger peaceful animals live, and the Inner, and most beautiful, where the dominant and ferocious animals fight for the privilege to live.

 

In the Outer Circle, the orphan tiger cub Jaglon was discovered by Nao, the Tiger Fairy, after his parents failed to return from a hunt.  Nao and the other invisible Tiger Fairies looked after him until he grew strong.  One day, a Bat-Witch attempts to eat his kill.  When he swipes her away, she begins seeking a way to revenge herself upon him.  Knowing the Tiger Fairies protect him, she watches in the hopes he'll break the Laws of the Wilderness or act cowardly. 

 

Interpolation: Jaglon and the Tiger Fairies expansion

Returning from a hunt one day, Jaglon comes upon a small lizard caught in the roots of a vine.  After freeing him, the lizard named Flitter vows to remain near him and repay the favor.  Jaglon says this is unnecessary, but accepts his friendship. The lizard proves true to his word and follows him wherever he goes, and sleeping nearby at night.

 

Original version

Learning from a mischievous Lynx that the Lions had driven all the Tigers out of the Inner Circle, Jaglon determines to enter and face the King of the Beasts.  In the vast Middle Circle, he grows hungry, but coming upon a Jaguar and his prey, he refuses to seize it; coming upon a trapped Fox, he sets him free; coming upon a Bear in his lair, he concedes it.  Angry that he's committed no transgression, the Bat-Witch taunts him, calling him "coward," but he ignores her.  Pleased with Jaglon, the Tiger Fairies transport him into a nice cave with plenty of food and water.  They tell him they've found favor with him.  He's heard tales of them and knows that each race has its own Fairyland.  They then inform him to be brave and forgiving, as he will prove to the champion of a discredited race.

 

The next day, the magic cave vanishes, and Jaglon proceeds into the Inner Circle from which his race had been banned years before.  He's warned by a Bison and Grizzly, and an Elephant tells him his ancestors had been cruel and tyrannical, for which reason the Lions conquered them.  Where the former Lion King might have tolerated his presence, the new King Avok is proud.  Jaglon, however, is determined to have his place amongst the great beasts.  Elephant spreads the word.

 

Interpolation: Jaglon and the Tiger Fairies expansion

That night, the fairies come to Flitter, explaining that they must depart for another Wilderness to help a Tiger King who needs their wisdom to rule his people.  Nao requests that Flitter look after Jaglon that night so that no harm comes to him and he has the strength to deal with the Lion King on the morrow.  Ragna, the leader of a band of five Leopards, soon hears of the Outcast Tiger and determines to kill the upstart while he sleeps, and curry favor with the king.  Flitter hears the approach of the Leopards and awakens Jaglon.  He rises up to face them, and they're awed by his size and power.  Unable to kill him while he slept, they withdraw to warn the Lion King.  Jaglon thanks Flitter for repaying his debt and declares a bond between them for all time.

 

Original version

Bears, Bison, Moose, Zebra, Hippos, Unicorns, Elephants, Rhinos, Apes and Serpents gather before the king, whose summoned the other Lions to propose changing the Law so that his son, and not his brother's, will be made king after him.  The Lions object that the Law of the Wilderness cannot be changed even by the King.  So, King Avok determines to drown the three cubs and dares anyone to stop him.

 

At this, Jaglon steps forth, and seeing his great strength, Avok claims he cannot fight an Outcast, as his people were cruel.  Jaglon counters that his intent to kill innocent cubs is cruel.  Avok says his ancestors were overbearing.  Jaglon counters that he will a just king.  Avok says his people were treacherous.  Jaglon responds that he is being treacherous to his late brother.

 

The Lions and other animals admire the Outcast and urge their king to battle.  The Lion King leaps towards Jaglon who meets him in the air with a terrible clash.  In the battle, King Avok finds himself blind and leaps into a nearby lake from which he is never seen or heard from again.  Jaglon proves true to his word and rules in kindness, patience and gentleness.

 

Interpolation: Jaglon and the Tiger Fairies expansion

Jaglon and Flitter live happily together till the end of their days.

 

Continuity notes:

Animal Fairies: That each beast has its own group of fairies to govern over their kind, and not knooks, as indicated in The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus. Nathan M. Dehoff notes this in his Vovatia blog:

Robert Pattrick makes a point in Unexplored Territory in Oz about immortals in L. Frank Baum’s fantasy world who appear to have overlapping functions. In The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, we’re told that the crooked Knooks have the duty of “watch[ing] over the beasts of the world.” In John Dough and the Cherub, however, Pittypat the Rabbit says, “All the animals have their fairies, just as you human folks do,” and Baum echoes this sentiment in Animal Fairy Tales. Then, when the Knooks reappear in The Road to Oz, they’re described as caring for trees. Were they replaced in their guardianship by fairies in the shapes of animals, and had to take on a new function?

It is the contention of The Royal Timeline of Oz that this is exactly what happened.

 

Dating: It is difficult to ascertain at what point in time this story takes place.  As Baum's mythology incorporates the version of history provided in the book of Genesis, this would indicate that the story is not pre-mankind, since animals were yet living in peace with one another and the Law of the Wilderness (providing rules governing how carnivores can and cannot behave) would not have come into being until after the Flood.  This would indicate that the Wilderness is in a land yet far away from humans, or even a place where humans do not travel (such as Burzee in the early days).  The presence of unicorns would place this at an early time period.

 

Wilderness: The Law of the Wilderness is similar in many respects to the Law of the Forest, in The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus.  Rules govern who carnivorous animals can and cannot kill, deference to another carnivore over his/her own kill, deference to another animal over his/her den.  Courage also seems to be a rule.  It is not known exactly who upholds the Law and punishes wrongdoers, save that it may be the Fairies of that particular kind of animal.  When Jaglon's ancestors broke the Law by being cruel, treacherous and overbearing, the Lions were given power to depose the king and exile the Tigers, who appear to have gone to the Outer Circle (where the cub Jaglon was found).  Jaglon and the Tiger Fairies indicates that there are other Wildernesses.  It is unknown where upon the Earth the Wilderness was situated, save that Man is yet unknown there at this time.  It is not in Fairyland, as Jaglon notes that all beasts have their own Fairyland, which points to a Heaven for each kind of animal.  It is possible that Jaglon does not have the full picture, and that Fairyland incorporates all kinds of animals in peace with one another.

The Stuffed Alligator

Story:

Continuity notes:

The Discontented Gopher

Story:

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The Forest Oracle

Story:

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The Enchanted Buffalo

Story:

Continuity notes:

 

The Pea-Green Poodle

Story:

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Story:

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The Jolly Giraffe of Jomb

Story:

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The Troubles of Pop Wombat

Story:

Continuity notes:

 

The Transformation of Bayal the Porcupine

Story:

Continuity notes:

 

The Tiger's Eye

Story:

Continuity notes:

 

MISCELLANEOUS SHORT STORIES

 

Nelebel's Fairyland

Story: The fairy Nelebel is banished from Burzee and exiled to the outside world with a retainer of forty knooks, ryls and gigans to accompany her.  There, in Coronado, San Francisco, she determines it a new fairyland, and after a hundred years has passed, is sad to leave it.

 

Continuity notes:

Burzee: The titular fairy's creation of San Francisco establishes that Burzee (hence Nonestica) was once west of the Pacific.  Since the Magic Lands are now extra-dimensional, this likely indicates that one of the gateways to the Nonestic lies west of the Pacific. 

 

Lulea: Lulea is Queen of Burzee at this time, however that does not preclude Zurline from remaining Queen of the Wood Nymphs.  It has been also speculated that Zurline is the same fairy as Zulena (the fairy queen of Emerson Hough's The King of Gee Whiz).

 

Nelebel: This fairy, banished to the outside world, was earlier part of Queen Lurline's band.  She enchanted the evil Blorgens to sleep for a thousand years. (Oziana 1982: "The Cowardly Lion and the Courage Pills")

 

Little Bun Rabbit

One of the Baum's Mother Goose in Prose stories, this short features the tale of a young girl named Dorothy, and there is no reason to say that this isn't the Dorothy of Kansas years before she travels to Oz.

 

The Littlest Giant

 

History: This unpublished manuscript was discovered several years after the author’s death and may have been an unrelated fairy tale that Baum later added "An Oz story" subtitle to, perhaps with thoughts of expanding it.  First published in the Spring 1975 issue of The Baum Bugle

 

Story: After years of being scorned by his fellow giants, Nibble the Littlest Giant convinces Kwa, the son of King Goola the Gutton to steal his father's magic dart in order to obtain mince pies.  This dart, which precisely meets its target, has allowed the king to kill numerous elephants, horses, and humans, which the giants eat.  Kwa replaces the dart with a fake one that Nibble has made, so that when the king arises to go after horses, he is overtaken and killed by a band of humans.

 

With the magic dart in his possession, Nibble overcomes any giant who dares his ascension to the throne, reducing the giant population, and turning the community into a more insular one.

 

Continuity notes:

Dating: There is no indication in this short story as to when it takes place.  It appears to be before Ozma comes to the throne, as the giant destruction of man and beast would likely not have gone unchallenged by Ozma.  The existence of automobiles likely places it after late-1800s.

 

Sequel: A retold version was included in its novel-length 2004 sequel The Giant King of Oz, which works to place the story in the context of Oz history.

 

The Runaway Shadows (aka. A Trick of Jack Frost)

 

Story: The Frost King informs his son Jack Frost that it's his birthday, and the coldest day of the year, and to go forth and play pranks on the earth people, nipping noses, ears, toes and fingers.  Meanwhile, the demanding Prince of Thumbumbia insists that despite the cold he and his cousin Lady Lindeva will go out to play, and requests their furs.  Wrapped head to toe, they venture out, and there Jack Frost awaits them.  Yet, he's puzzled that he's unable to get to their noses and ears, so he decides to freeze their shadows instead.

 

Once a solid mass, the shadows come to life, and Jack puts into their heads the notion to run away.  Leaping the great wall, they head in the direction of Burzee.  Entering the forest, Kahtah the great tiger of Burzee spots their shadows and lies in wait for the prince and his cousin, but when he pounces the shadows only laugh at him and run.  A ryl inquires why they've left their masters, and they reply that it's fun and they don't wish to tag along.  But he reminds them that when the weather changes, they will thaw and become as nothing, leaving their masters with no shadows.  Heeding his advice, they return to the castle of their masters to join with them once again. 

 

In the interim, however, the prince's uncle has died, leaving him to rule the kingdom.  But when he stands in the sun preparing to board the carriage that will take him to the city to be crowned, one of the courtiers notices that he has no shadow.  Thus, they decide that since no one can respect a king who has no shadow, they will make Lady Lindeva queen instead.  But when the discover that she has no shadow either, they bring the matter before Earl Highlough.  Determining to go see for himself, he heads to the Castle of Thumbumbia, but by then the shadows have returned and thawed out in the castle, and the prince is made king.

 

Years later, after they are married, the wise King and Queen always look to see that their shadows are still attached, but for their part, the shadows had learned their lesson.

Continuity notes:

Dating: Apart from the time of year being winter, there's no indication as to year itself. 

Jack Frost: Jack appears again some years later in the story "The Blizzard of Oz" (Oziana 1987).

Thumbumbia and Burzee: The proximity of these realms is here shown, and is represented on the official map of Oz by the International Wizard of Oz Club. 

 

The Queen of Quok: Description coming

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Master Key: An Electrical Fairy Tale

 

Story: When a young electronics aficionado accidentally unlocks the Master Key, the Demon of Electricity comes to bring him various advanced gifts to help mankind. On his first trip into the world, the boy squanders these gifts and nearly doesn't make it back.  The Demon gives him three additional gifts.  On his second trip he discovers several ruthless characters and adventures.  Refusing any further gifts, the boy concludes that mankind isn't ready to handle them, and sends the demon away.

 

Continuity notes: Although not considered one of the Borderlands of Oz books, the Demon of Electricity undoubtedly part of Baum's larger mythology.

 

Dating can be narrowed to the time of the Second Boer War.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Royal Baking Company Books

 

History: Advertising pamphlets written by Ruth Plumly Thompson in 1923 for the Royal Baking Company contain some allusions to Oz.  "Billy in Bunbury" takes place in the Oz community of Bunbury, so it can be reasoned that all of four of these rare illustrated narrative poems (interspersed with various recipes) take place in or around Nonestica.

 

The uncredited illustrator of "Billy in Bunbury," "The Comical Cruises of Captain Cooky" and "Prince of the Gelatin Isles" is believed to be Gertrude Alice Kay. The uncredited illustrator of "The Little Gingerbread Man" is Chas. J. Coll.  For more information, go here.  These stories were all directly brought into continuity in the short story "The Hearts and Flowers of Oz."

 

Billy in Bunbury

 

Story: Flap Jack, the King's messenger, informs King Hun Bun that their neighbor Billy won't eat breakfast and has lost his taste for baseball.  Taking his dog Ginger Snaps and a train to Billy's house he inquires of the boy what the matter is, and Billy tells him there's nothing good to eat.  Noting how thin the boy is, he looks around and finds there's no dessert anywhere.  The King then tells his mother the boy is being deprived, but she remarks that cakes are too expensive.   Hun Bun then gives her Dr. Price's Baking Powder cook book.  Taking Billy with them on the train back to Bunbury, Billy discovers a greeting party of cakes and tarts.  Shrinking him down, they take him to the circus and then the police, where he breaks off a piece of the fence to eat and part of the gate.  After several other points of interest, Billy grows hungry and the King realizes he has to go before he starts feasting on them.  The King's chocolate Rolls Royce is brought to them and they drive Billy back home, where Hun Bun gives his mother a can of Dr. Price's Baking Powder.  Billy's mother becomes a great cook and Billy begins to enjoy food and life again.

 

Continuity notes:

Bunbury: Bunbury first appeared in The Emerald City of Oz, though by the time of this story, there are some changes in the city.  The dating is 1921 when Dr. Price's Baking Powder cook book was released; it also fits in with the history of Oz (which didn't know baseball until 1915 (when Peter taught them about it in The Gnome King of Oz).  As Nathan M. DeHoff notes, "Baum’s Bunbury doesn’t appear to have a ruler, while King Hun Bun rules in Thompson’s. Then again, who knows what political changes occurred within the intervening years?"  Given the situation that happened with Dorothy during her visit there, it seems appropriate that steps were taken to provide governorship for the residents of Bunbury, as well as to protect them (hence the police force under Captain Jelly Roll, which the King makes a point of showing Billy).  As to the Syrup Sea that Bunbury resides next to (Baum only notes that it's in a clearing in the forest), this may be a feature of Bunbury that Dorothy didn't get to see, and may be more of a lake or pond that they call a sea. 

 

The Little Gingerbread Man

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Story: When the King of Jalapomp bans cakes due to indigestion from the cook's bad baking, the citizens of Jalapomp grow despondent, particularly since the birthday of Princess Posy is almost at hand.  A Flour Fairy overhears this, and brings the news to the Queen of the Flour Folk who rules in Cookry Land.  The Gingerbread Man is brought to life and volunteers to help.  Other sapient baked goods hear the story and join him.  The queen gives him a book to give to his cook. 

 

Magically, they fly in a chocolate plane to Jalapomp.  The king smells them and discovers his appetite growing, and says that if his baker could make bake cakes as good as them, he'd end the prohibition.  To avoid getting eaten themselves, they toss the royal cook book along with Royal Baking Powder from the air, and he begins to bake cakes and cookies that are delicious.  With success in Jalapomp, Johnny Gingerbread flies to different place dropping cook books and Royal Baking Powder.

 

Continuity notes:

Dating: The implication may be that this takes place during the advent of the Royal Baking Powder Company, after 1873 but before 1929, when the company merged with Fleischman to become Standard Brands.  Their cookbook, which is mentioned in the poem several times, was published in 1917, which offers the earliest date in which this story can take place.  The dating is clarified in the short story "Hearts and Flowers in Oz."

 

Gingerbread People: This Gingerbread Man, also named John, is no relation to John Dough of John Dough and the Cherub.  He resides in Cookery Town (or Cookry Land), ruled over by the Queen of the Flour Folk. 

 

The Gooch: Mentioned by the King of Jalapomp (who says "May a Gooch fly off with you"), this flying creature may clarify the expression that Kabumpo often says, and likely hails from Zamagoochie in the Gillikin Country (see the notes in The Gnome King of Oz).

 

Princess Posy: This is not Pozy Pink of Pumperdink (Kabumpo in Oz), but may have been named after her. 

 

Queen of the Flour Folk: This queen is noted for bringing to life all of the sapient baked people.  In the story "Hearts and Flowers in Oz," she is noted as being the former kitchen maid Fran from the Oziana 1985 story "Magic in the Kitchen."

 

The Comical Cruises of Captain Cooky

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Story: The King of all the royal cakes ensures that his baked goods reach everyone via his messenger bird the Royal Dough-Dough.  One day, the bird reports that in the midst of a green sea no one has ever sailed is the Isle of Bombaree, whose residents have never tasted cake, and who make wars instead of having fun.  So the King calls forth Captain Cooky who commands the Royal Flap Jack Tars (who deliver cookies to various ports).  The King and bird tell their tale, and Captain Cooky sets sail at once aboard the PotsanPansy with Royal Baking Powder to bring peace and baked goods to Bombaree. 

 

With his Bis-Kitty Quick Crisp and the Flap Jack Tars, they sail seven days and nights till they find the island, as well as a mermaid, who they share some Royal Baking Powder with.  On the island they meet the Chief Wallypoo who warns them to leave if they don't wish to fight, but Captain Cooky and his crew build an oven and begin baking.  Wallypoo and the other islanders love the biscuits, tarts and pies, and the captain and his crew stay a week teaching them how to bake the Royal way.  He departs, leaving them a large supply of Royal Baking Powder, and in time the islanders become more peaceful.

 

Continuity notes:

Baked Goods: As with "The Little Gingerbread Man," the thrust of the story is on providing a community with tasty baked goods.  In the story, "Hearts and Flowers in Oz," this land works with Cookry Land and Bunbury for the purpose of ensuring food is distributed throughout Nonestica.

 

Dating: As the story deals with Royal Baking Powder products, it also likely takes place around the same time as "The Little Gingerbread Man," though in this story there is no mention of the cook book until the end, and the captain spends a week on Bombaree teaching the residents there how to cook, it seems likely the islanders don't know how to read.

 

Royal Kingdom of Cakes: Or the Dough-Dough Lands.  There is no explicit name given for the kingdom, nor even of the king himself who is merely called the Royal Coffee Cake. As with the Gelatin Isles, this realm borders the sea.  Jelly Bean Island (from "A Visit to Jelly Bean Island" in the book Sissajig and Other Surprises) is likely part of this kingdom and also a creation of Jinnicky the Red Jinn.

 

The Prince of the Gelatin Isles

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Story: As the Gela-tinies of the Royal Gelatin Isle enjoy themselves and their Gela-town, which borders the macaroon mountains that only banana birds and elves know how to find, Prince Jolliby Jell leads a squadron of ships in his flagship Tiny across the sea.  Watching for pirates, they magically deliver their royal treat to hundreds of children before returning to their Gelatin Isle.  Concerned that he can't reach everyone, he petitions the old Royal Jinn who lives on macaroon mountain to spread their goodies everywhere.  The Jinn, who is a wizard, and who made the Gelatin Isle with the help of a ginger bird and orange elf, magically creates a formula that mothers everywhere can easily make.

 

Continuity notes:

Dating: The main hint as to the date is that the "jolly" Jinn was so enthralled with his creation that he decided to make the gelatin treats available to mothers and children everywhere.  Although the distribution of commercial gelatin desserts took place at the turn of the century (which maybe around the time the Jinn created the isle), the Royal Gelatin brand began in 1925. 

 

Jinnicky and the Gelatin Isles: While the story is thin, mostly descriptions of the various personages and the island itself, the Gelatin Isles is noted as being created by a jinn who's a wizard.  While it would at first seem unlikely that this is Jinnicky the Red Jinn of Ev, since the text refers to him as "old" and "thin," by comparison to the Gela-tinies, who are depicted as very fat and very young, the Jinn would be considered by them old and thin.  He is said to have needed the assistance of a ginger bird and an orange elf to create the Gelatin Isles, and presumably the Kingdom of Royal Cakes from The Comical Cruises of Captain Cooky, as that land also borders an ocean.  The Red Jinn, of course, lives in Ev and not the macaroon mountains, but he may have a residence there. 

 

Pirates: The pirates who the Gela-tinies watch over may be the same ones that plague Volcano Island, which is also made of dough, in Lucky Bucky in Oz.  If so, then the Royal Gelatin Isle might be between Ev and the Nonentic Ocean.

 

 

 

 

 

King Kojo

 

The thirteenth Borderlands of Oz Book (Book #73 of the Supreme Seventy-Five)

 

History: Published in 1938, King Kojo was originally serialized in King Comics in 1937.  Those stories were reformatted for the book and include the original illustrations from Marge (of Little Lulu fame). The final three serialized King Kojo stories were not reprinted in the book King Kojo and later made their book debut in The Wizard of Way-Up and Other Wonders.

 

Continuity Notes: Following on Baum's example, Ruth Plumly Thompson brought several of her own fantasy realms into the Oz universe, and that includes King Kojo's Oh-Go-Wan, which (as detailed in The Royal Explorers of Oz) can be found in the Rolantic Ocean, bordering the Nonentic and the Nonestic. An Ogre of Oh-Go-Wan (Ogowan) first shows up in Pirates in Oz.  Oh-Go-Wan and many of its characters appear again in the second book of The Royal Explorers of Oz series: The Crescent Moon Over Tarara.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wizard of Way-Up and Other Wonders

 

The fourteenth Borderlands of Oz Book (Book #74 of the Supreme Seventy-Five)

 

This second collection of short Ruth Plumly Thompson stories and poems contains along with early fantasy work she had written for various publications, several references to places and personages that were incorporated in Oz, such as Patch, Sun-Top Mountain and, mostly famously, Pumperdink.  There are as well several Oz shorts Thompson had written over the years.

 

Note: the following listings do not include poetry unless directly (or even indirectly) related to Oz, or non-fantasies, e.g., "The Lad Who Found His Fortune."

 

The Wizard of Way-Up

 

Story: At the top of the tallest of the Silver Mountains is Star Top wherein lies the castle of King Ripitik of Way Up.  The Yup citizens of Way Up who reside there are happy, live in castles of their own and have silver hair.  The king's oldest friend is the Wise Man Woff the Wizard, a Scissor Wizard from a long line of Scissor Wizards, wielding the silver shears handed down to him.  Worrying about the future of the Princess Patickla, whose mother vanished when she was an infant, Woff suggests to the king that they invite princes and kings from below to court her.  The king refuses, not wanting to lose the company of his little girl, even preferring she marry the gardener's boy Blenny.

 

Taking matters into his own hand, Woff shoots a magical silver arrow in three directions with a picture of the princess and her name and title.  Four days later, Merk of Mireshire, Rler of Many Marshes, rides atop his boars to Star Top demanding the hand of the Princess.  Everyone is shocked by his squat and hairy appearance and rudeness, but he is angry that the rode all the way on the invitation of the picture that was sent to his castle, and demands that he will take her by force when he returns.  Woff goes about preparing an invisible wall, but that will take two days to erect, and in the meantime, Merk has hidden himself in the bushes.  Finding the right castle proves difficult as everyone has a castle in Way-Up, and he climbs by mistake up Woff's castle stairs.  Disappointed that no princess is at the top, he catches sight of himself in a mirror and is shocked to see just how ugly he is and begins to use the Wizard's shears to trim his hair, commenting that he should look as handsome as he is rich.  All of a sudden he's spun around and when he sees himself again he's changed into a handsome young monarch.  Suspecting this was the result of the shears, he tales them and wishes himself back in the forest.  With that, he turns his pack of boards into haroses and sleeps the night, plotting his next move.

 

The next morning he emerges as King Krem of Erim, bearing presents for the Princess.  Krem shows considerably more manners than he did as Merk, even accompanying the king on a fishing trip.  Unlike Ripitik, Woof takes a disliking to him and rues the fact that he shot the arrows.  The Princess loves her many presents and a grand ball is held that night for the king, so that by morning everyone is won over by Krem, except Woof who at last completes his invisible wall.  But then he discovers his magic shears are missing.  Announcing their theft to the king, Krem check his pocket for them and discovers that he's lost them as well!  He rushes to check the place in the forest where he'd spelt, but the invisible wall blocks him from reaching it.

 

Just before the invisible wall came up, King Richard of Rockwood, a wealthy king whose chosen to work and play with the working class, discovers the picture of Princess Patickla while hunting deer, and is taken by how natural and unaffected she appears.  Determining to win her hand, he heads up the mountain where he discovers the magical shears that Merk/Krem left behind.  With them, he inadvertently changes his clothes change to more rustic ones.  When he spies the princess fortuitously running in his direction, he trips and catches her.  She explains that they're searching for the Wizard's magic shears.  Realizing he may have them, he doesn't reveal them and agrees to help them search.  They come across Krem, angry about the wall, who insists that the shears are on the other side.  When he goes to tell Woof to lower the wall, Rich calls him a swineherd, causing Patickla to piece together that Krem of Erim is Merk of the Mire.  As she goes to inform them, the guards come down to arrest Rich, as Krem has accused him.  The silver shears come out of Rich's pocked, but Patickla grabs them first, wishing that whoever's been transformed by the shears become himself.  At that, Krem shrinks down to Merk and Rich's garments become the rich hunting outfit he formerly wore.  Merk's horses return to wild boards and come charging down.  Woof grabs the shears and wishes them all away.  Rich explains what happened, and ten days later, he and Patickla are married and the invisible wall comes down.

 

Continuity notes:

Dating: The story occurs over the course of six days, with the epilogue occurring ten days after that.  The year, however, is uncertain, save that it must take place prior to 1939 when the story was first written.  The first batch of stories ("The Wizard of Way-Up") takes place in November.  The second series is four months later in March. 

 

Way-Up Where: A Silver Mountain appeared in Handy Mandy in Oz, however,  the Way-Up stories take place on the tallest of the Silver Mountains, called Star Mountain.  Its people are called Yups, and are similar in name and type of geography to Baum's Yips (from The Lost Princess of Oz).  There, all similarities end.  That King Richard is openly hunting may indicate that animals don't speak in this country, and in fact no animals in the story utter speech.  The Silver Mountains, Way-Up and Star Mountain appear on a continent west of Nonestica in The Goat Girls of Oz.

 

The Wizard of Way-Up and King Ripitik the Tenth

 

Story: Four months after Princess Patlicka married King Richard, her father King Ripitik and the Wizard of Way-Up decide to go down the mountain to visit her in the kingdom of Rockwood.  Having never done so before, and not wanting to use magic, they go on foot, preparing for danger.  They meet a goat, expecting to follow it to a castle (or have it for lunch), but when the goat vanishes down a hole, they meet Herman the Hermit of Lower-down and a slate that welcomes them in.  Intrigued, Ripitik wishes to visit, but the Wizard argues against it. 

 

The king has his way and they soon discover that the labyrinth of the Lowerdown is populated by mischievous dwarves.  The Hermit is actually King Reddy the Brave of the Underwood, and he warns them that his people's only recreation is to pull beards, throw rocks and chase those who fall into the Underwood.  As the king cannot allow them to do that to him or each other, he needs visitors for their entertainment.  He provides them with food first, brought out by Sauceroo, as the dwarves line up for their sport.  Apart from the two hundred and sixty dwarves, the Dwarf King calls out the underdogs who have eight legs, with four on their backs to allow them to climb the walls and ceilings.  When asked about the goat, Reddy explains that it was an illusion.  The dwarves soon begin the chase, and despite their brave attempts, Ripitik and Woof are overwhelmed by their numbers until at last Woof throws off a pile of dwarves and grabs the Dwarf King's staff and turns the dwarves into wooden statues.  Departing, Woff promises to restore them to themselves once they're out of the Underwood, but intends to keep the staff for himself, as well as one of the now-wooden dogs.

 

Unable to get through the Fire Fall and unwilling to search the many passages for another exit, Ripitik goes to sleep.  The Wizard, however, wishes again upon the Dwarf King's staff that they pass through into the castle of a friendly ruler on the other side.  They end up in a small dark room, with even smaller beds, but they manage to sleep.  Woof notes that he left the staff back in the Underwood.  At dawn, King Ripitik is amused to discover that they're in Midgetville, where they soon meet Mayanna the Mighty, Princess of Little and explain that they're friends of Reddy.  At breakfast, she explains that the Dwarf King has asked to marry her.  She'd have done so years earlier, but she wishes to live in Little while Reddy wishes to live in the Underwood.  The Wizard suggests they divide their time, and so splendid an idea does she find it, she sends Threebit her Royal Messenger to tell the king.  Only problem is that he remains wooden.  Woof convinces Ripitik to let him use his magic shears, and wishes away the king's bad and mischievous traits, and restores them back to their original forms.  At that the little eight-legged dog comes back to life and runs off to chase a cow.

 

The Princess of Little provides them with directions and chariots, and they head to Much and Much, which is just north of Rockwood.  The chariot driver warns them that the Orps are big (not quite giants) and to avoid shaking hands with them; he also warns them to eat everything that's placed before them.  They soon arrive and are greeted by the gatekeeper Too-Tall and the king, His Muchesty, Much-Too-Much.  The King brings them through his lion-jawed passageway to the monstrous dining hall, where the twelve-foot tall Muchers pile on giant stacks of food on their plates.  The Muchers are course and vulgar in their manner and speech, and the King explains that not eating everything is a cause for battle in his kingdom.  Fortunately, for the Ripitik and Woof, the eight-legged underdog has followed them into the castle, and they covertly pass most of their food to the dog who devours it.  But when the Much King announces that next come the games, hard games of wrestling, boxing, throwing and catching, Woof the Wizard has had enough, and throws the underdog at the king.  The dog runs up his chest and starts biting, and terrified, all the Muchers flee.  But Ripitik and Woof soon find themselves in a room with no exit save for a button above their heads they can't reach.  With Ripitik standing on Woof's shoulders, however, he pushes the button which leads to an elevator, which whisks them to the top of the castle and pushing them out into the air, where they fall into the deep lake below.  When they come to, they find themselves in King Rockwood's private lake, where they happily surprise Richard and Patickla who are amazed by their adventures.

 

Continuity notes:

Dating: The recognition by Ripitik and Woof of elevators (and the English term for it, "lift") and the concern that Ripitik displays "D'ye think it will ever stop?" seems to hint that mechanically-operated elevators were a relatively new phenomenon, which points to the mid-nineteenth century (Derby, England saw the first cargo lift in 1830). 

 

Return to Way-Up: The story The Goat Girls of Oz features a return to this Thompsonian kingdom.

 

Rockinghorse Hill

The Land of Nod

 

Story: In a mansion on Rockinghorse Hill, toys and dolls that have been worn out and broken by children are mended and spend time with one another. 

 

Continuity notes: This short poem, written long before the Toy Story series, or even before Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer's Island of Misfit Toys, is set "beyond the great Kingdom of Play."  There is a city called Play in Grampa in Oz, which is a close enough connection to argue that Rockinghorse Hill is in Oz.  "The Land of Nod" is a companion piece and was printed with "Rockinghorse Hill" in the original pamphlet.

 

The Enchanted Hat

Story: In the town of Oldenberg in Shadow Mountain, Tottsy Tiggins urges her grandson Franz Franz to go outside to play.  The boy meets a strange who offers him a magic flying hat.  Raising the brim causes the wearer to go up, and lowering it makes him go down.  After making the man prove it can do what he says, the boy agrees, trading his hat with the strangers.  But when the boy goes to show his grandmother, she discovers to their dismay a note on the band that says the hat is the Wizard Weejum's, and whoever wears it cannot remove it unless they find someone willing to trade for it.  The pair try to cope with the situation, but the boy finds sleep near impossible as the brim keeps raising. 

 

The next morning, his grandmother tries to get him to trade it with her, but as he doesn't want her getting hurt, he runs off towards Sunnydale where, while playing a polka on his harmonica, he meets a peddler with whom he shows the power of the hat.  But when he expresses interest in it, the boy suddenly realizes he was thinking of deceiving the man, and runs off again.  To make penance, he secretly helps a local farmer by carrying wood to his shed.  Before returning home, he decides to fly up Shadow Mountain to see the huts of the shepherds who live on the slope.  There he meets a man named Emil searching for his hat.  The man isn't alarmed that the boy can fly, and Franz tells him his story.  Emil, who is a sheep-herder who sleeps out of doors, explains that he would benefit from the hat, and so the boy trades him for a turban he hastily makes.  He flies Franz back to his home and departs, coming to visit him every spring.

 

Continuity notes: Story takes place in November.  Apart from the existence of the magic hat, there is no clear indication of whether Shadow Mountain is in the fairylands or when this story takes place.  Polka is a popular form of music in the area, as Tottsy has won awards for her accordion playing, and Franz plays polka on his harmonica.  Polka began in the mid-19th century in Bohemia and Central Europe.  Oldenberg means 'old settlement' and spelled Oldenburg refers to a Slavic and German town.  Neither of the real towns are located on a mountain, nor is there a Shadow Mountain in the outside world. 

 

An Ozzy Adventure

 

Story: Going out from the Emerald City for a stroll, the Cowardly Lion begins to get sleepy after walking about 20 miles and finds a woodland to sleep in.  His snores are so loud, however, that a mischievous dwarf shaves off his mane with his shears.  Wakening before dawn, he notices that it's colder as he sets off to find a stream, and there discovers that he'd been shaved.  Feeling weak, he makes his way to the farm of an old friend and stays in hiding there until his mane grows back.  Returning to the Emerald City, he tells everyone that he made a trip the north and of the adventures he had there.

 

Continuity notes: There is no way to date this short poem, save to place it some time before 1960 (when it was composed) when the Cowardly Lion was away for some time.  Since a "lion’s mane grows at the same rate as human hair," according to Craig Packer, a 2012 National Geographic Waitt grantee and an ecologist at the University of Minnesota.  As human hair grows between an inch and two inches a month, and in Oz, we can assume that because the ideal conditions are in place, the latter is reasonable.  Since the Cowardly Lion's mane would have grow to its full length (up to a foot long), he would have been away from the Emerald City for about six months.

 

The Bright Lad and the Giant

 

Story: A young fiddle-player whose slain dragons falls in love, but has nothing to give to the princess he's fallen in love with.  So hiring himself out to a giant to rid him of a dragon that's promises to come for his daughter, the giant promises to give him anything he might want in his kingdom, imagining that he'll want to wed his daughter.  The man lulls the dragon to sleep with his music and then chops off his head.  Rather than request the giant's daughter, he asks for a hillock behind the castle, and there he brings his princess after their wedding.

 

Continuity: The story is said to take place during the time Prince Charming wakened Sleeping Beauty, and is otherwise too vague to determine its placement.

 

The Magic Tree

 

Story: When young Eric spies pirates burying a treasure under a tree in his father's garden, the pirates tell him they're planting a magic tree for him, but he can only tell his son and grandson.  The pirates are later killed, but the boy obeys, and years later shares it with his son, who years later shares it with his.  When the business turns sour and he is at a loss as to what to do, a storm knocks the tree over.  In its roots lies the pirate treasure, bringing him great fortune.

 

Continuity notes: Takes place in the real world, in Trondheimsfjord, an inlet of the Norwegian Sea, and an important waterway in the Viking Age.

 

The Seeress of Saucerville

 

Story: When Samantha, the Princess of Saucerville, turns down the latest suitor, Captain Questor, her father the King goes to see the Witch of Whatalow Valley, Sally, who tells him that his daughter is not impressed with singing or games, but would be interested more if he could ride well.  So, the king prepares his wildest horse Trumpeter for him to join them on a canter.  The horse, however, dashes him around, leaving him injured at the foot of the Whatahi Mountain, where Sally finds him and brings him to her cottage for mending.  Acknowledging that Samantha is heartless, he asks Sally to tell his fortune, and she reveals that he will work for his fortune and marry a girl with red hair.  As Questor sees she has red hair, he asks for directions to Widdicoomb, where he will learn the trade, open a mill next to her cottage and marry her, for she knew when he first came that he was meant for her.

 

Continuity notes:

Dating: Due to the inclusion of Sally, Questor, Whatalow Valley and other elements of this story in "The Goat Girls of Oz," the dating of this story can be more easily confirmed as occurring as close to the year of publication, 1940, as not much has changed between that time and the time Handy Mandy meets her.  That Sally and Questor haven't aged is an indication that the continent they're on is also enchanted like most of the Nonestican continent.

 

Location: As per "The Goat Girls of Oz," Whatalow Valley, Saucerville and Widdicoomb are located on a continent west of Oz, and not far from the Silver Mountains and Way-Up (from "The Wizard of Way-Up").

 

Sally the Seeress of Saucerville: Sally is revealed in "The Goat Girls of Oz" to be the sister of Handy Mandy.

Tales of King Kojo

 

History: The three concluding Kojo tales in this book do not appear in the book King Kojo and are reprinted here for the first time since their debut in King Comics.

 

Story: The Wiseman of Og: Returning from a visit with the Grand Whacker of Awakawoo on the other side of the Black Forest, Ketch the Court Jester and Pogo the Page complain to King Kojo that their court is too shabby.  Kojo, who doesn't want his court to be posh, agrees only that they should have a Wiseman, and allows the boys to advertise for one.  Soon a so-called prophet arrives claiming the Greatest Wiseman will arrive at the stroke of ten, but who comes through at that time is a two-tailed Great Dane.  The prophet is aghast, but King Kojo elects the dog their new Wiseman.  When the so-called Wiseman arrives, Kojo asks the dog if either of them are who they say they are, and the dog growls and attacks them, revealing a set of burglar tools from under their robes.  Delighted with his new pet, he gets him a golden collar that reads "Wiseman of Og."

 

The Wizard of Whatintot: A sailor comes up to the shores of Oh-go-wan, and noting that the position of Wiseman has been filled, decides to be instead a wizard from the enchanted Island of Whatintot.  Announcing himself at court, King Kojo protests that there's nothing for a wizard to do in his kingdom, but the old seaman retorts that he's fine doing nothing.  To test him, Kojo asks him to tell him where he keeps his treasure.  Closing his eye, he points randomly to the north, amazing the assembly as that is where the safe is concealed.  He's then asked to pick out their newly appointed Wiseman.  At that he fails, pointing to the Royal Poet Potogopin.  He admits then that he's the son of a sea-cook.  Kojo asks Wiseman if he is a wizard, and the dog covers his eyes with his paws.  When he asks if he is a good man, despite being a bad wizard, the dog licks him on the nose.  The seaman says that he was working as a carpenter when he dropped his hammer on the skipper's head.  Kojo thus appoints him Castle Carpenter, and learns his name is Snockerwozzle, which the Cook shortens to Wozzle.

 

A Wiseman Brings His Present to the King: Kojo, Pogo and Ketch discuss how smart their dog Wiseman is and wonder what presents to get him for Christmas.  Christmas is new to Wiseman and wasn't celebrated where he came from.  Thoughtful and anxious about it, he heads out and encounters Dorcas who tells him that she's making coral chains for the girls in the village.  This gives Wiseman an idea and he bounds off, returning late the next night.  After exchanging gifts on Christmas morning, Wiseman brings in a giant wishbone for the king.  The king wishes for everyone to have whatever they want most if they don't already have it, and the wish comes true.  Presents pop magically into the room, knocking everyone over.  The dinosaur wishbone melts away, leaving everyone happy and content.

 

Continuity notes: These three short stories introduce the two-tailed Great Dane Wiseman to the court, along with Snockerwozzle the seaman.  As with its predecessor, King Kojo, these stories can be dated to between 1905 and 1915 due to Dorcas' statement that she's lived in Oh-Go-Wan for 80/90 years.  Oh-Go-Wan is one of the few fairylands of Thompson's that is immortal, as nearly all of its characters, including Wiseman, appear eight and a half decades later, unaged, in The Royal Explorers of Oz: Book 2.

 

The Sailmender of Dover

 

Story: One day when the sailmender comes in from mending sails and telling stories to children of the mer-people, he hears a squeaking in the basement and there finds a huge gray rat in his wife's steel trap.  As with other small rats he'd save from drowning, he saves the gray rat.  One day, as he goes missing, the gray rat sets out to find him, finally locating him in prison because he couldn't pay the rent on his house.  His wife left him and went to live with her sister.  The gray rat leaves and returns with an army of rats who gnaw and scratch their way through the prison, freeing the sailmender.  So, together with the big gray rat the old man goes down to the sea, "and the people of the sea took the old man home."

 

Continuity notes: Thompson dates the story to before the time of airplanes "when people traveled over the land by stage and over the sea by sail," the former which means by stagecoach, and thus prior to the South-Eastern Railway in 1844.  The story also describes a debtors' prison, which was abolished in 1869.  Another point of interest is the story's final line that the "people of the sea took the old man home," which not only links the story to the tales of mer-folk (which feature in Baum's mythology), but implies that the sailmender might have had merman blood, a concept explored far more darkly by H.P. Lovecraft in "The Shadow Over Innsmouth," in which narrator/protagonist Robert Holmstead discovers to his horror his familial connection to the Deep Ones.

 

The Flask With the Golden Stopper

 

Story: When ten year old Stephen Dower of Trenton, New Jersey fishes up an old bottle in Delaware, pulls out its golden stopper and follows the instructions in the message inside, he is whisked away to the kingdom of Konodore, where King Kanadoo allows no noise whatsoever.  Thinking that stuffy, he whistles and runs, causing the Chief Husher to arrest him on both charges.  But when he meets the king, he is surprised to discover that it is a young man who has a terrible headache and for whom no medicines help.  Stevie is taken to the cellar library to help dust books for two days, one for each broken law.  The librarian Recordis sees the bottle Stevie has and tells him that it's been in the royal family for three centuries and that it was he who sent the bottle, tossing it into the River Dee where it ended up magically in Delaware, summoning him.

 

Stephen learns that everything was fine with the king until his father died; a week after the coronation, Recordis the former Prime Minister was put in the library, the schools and factories were closed, clocks were stopped and music forbidden.  Prior to then, the boy was lively and a fine flutist.  While dusting the shelves, Stevie is called away by the Chief Husher to play a game of checkers with the king.  He asks Kanadoo why he doesn't remove his crown, but the boy says it's the law that he wear it at all times.  After the game, Stephen walks about and finds the king's old flute, which he puts on a table near the throne.  Recordis then tells him that the crown keeps him awake, as he must wear it even to bed.  Stevie figures out that because it's his father's crown and that Kandoo is larger than he, it is causing his headaches.  So, the two of them sneak into the throne room where the boy is sleeping and lift off his crown.  They hide it in the library.  Soon, they hear the sound of a flute and know that all is well.  The boy says goodbye and with the flask is whisked back to Deleware, where as per Recordis' instructions, he tosses it back into the river.

 

Continuity notes: Due to the recent death of King Kanadoo's father, and the very modern presence of Stephen, Konodore cannot be in Oz proper, but is likely a kingdom somewhere else in Nonestica.  The dating is uncertain, but has been placed not much earlier than its publication date.

 

The Enchanted Tree of Oz

History: In 1927, Thompson wrote this unfinished story for a radio contest that was broadcast throughout several cities with the winner to supply the conclusion to the story.  Over 200 endings were received, all of which are lost, including the winner entry.  Also lost is the page in which Dorothy decides to climb up into the tree.  In 1965, the Baum Bugle reprinted Thompson's portion of the story and ran its own contest.  The winner, Bill Eubank, had his conclusion published in the following issue.  The Thompson half has also been reprinted in the IWOOC’s The Wizard of Way up and Other Wonders.  Mention of this Unfinished Story Contest was also made in the 1927 issue of The Ozmapolitan.

 

Story: Original: En route from the Emerald City to the Tin Woodman's castle in the Winkie Country for the 10th anniversary of Tin Castle's construction, Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and Tin Man recall their first adventure together.  Dorothy gets hungry along the Queen's Road, but there is only an odd-looking fruit upon a tree, which the Lion agrees to test out in case it's poison.  But when the Scarecrow climbs the tree, branches begin to grow, hiding him from view.  Dorothy decides to follow him up to see what became of him and disappears as well.  Distraught, the Tin Woodman chops the tree down, but they're nowhere to be found.  A dwarf pops out from amongst the branches, and spouts a poem saying that they've robbed the tree of Whutter Wee, and that if they don't chop it into kindling before night, they'll never see their friends again.  So, the Tin Man begins chopping while the Cowardly Lion rushes off to the Emerald City.  But then a storm begins.

 

Conclusion: Terrified by the storm, the Cowardly Lion circles back only to find that the Tin Woodman is gone as well, and another poem of the dwarf warning that he'll never beat the tree.  In the Palace, Ozma looks at her Magic Picture to see her friends' progress, only to see them disappear in the tree.  The Lion, meanwhile, begins to notice that his friends have become strange fruit on the tree.  But the dwarf again warns that if the tree is not kindling by nightfall, they'll be lost for good.  But just then, a bolt of green lightning splits the tree, and the Lion pounces upon the dwarf, forcing him to gather the fruit that are his friends.  In a moment, they're in the Emerald City, but the dwarf swears to not disenchant them.  Ozma recalls that the Wicked Witch of the West had enchanted several trees to catch slaves for her.  She would pick the fruit when they were ripe, and bring it to her castle so that anytime she needed a new slave, she would disenchant it.  All of a sudden, Scraps barges in, assuming there's a party going on, and crashes into the table upon which sit the fruit, knocking them to the floor where they burst.  With that, Dorothy, Scarecrow and Tin Man return to their true forms.  Ozma punishes the dwarf by ordering that he search out all of the enchanted trees, so that the Wizard, with his green lightning machine, can destroy them and save the enchanted prisoners.

 

Continuity notes: Dating: Story is set on the 10th anniversary of the building of the Tin Woodman's castle.  For the first time, it's noted that the Tin Woodman had stood rusted for a year before Dorothy rescued him.  This dating is confirmed by Gina Wickwar's The Hidden Prince of Oz.  The text also explains yet another way the Wicked Witch of the West obtained slaves.  Why the Wizard would have built a green-lightning machine, however, is not explained.

 

The Apple-Pie Princess

 

Story: When the Prince of Pumperdink loses his appetite, it takes a princess to restore it and become his wife.

 

Continuity notes: This placement is based on the idea (first espoused by Nathan Mulac DeHoff on his blog) that the prince is King Pompus (from Kabumpo in Oz) as a young man, with the Apple Pie Princess being Pozy Pink.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Sissajig and Other Surprises

 

The fifteenth and final Borderlands of Oz Book (Book #75 of the Supreme Seventy-Five)

 

This third collection of short Ruth Plumly Thompson stories and poems contains along with early fantasy work she had written for various publications, several references to places and personages that were incorporated in Oz, such as Patch, Sun-Top Mountain and, mostly famously, Pumperdink.  There are as well several Oz shorts Thompson had written over the years.

 

Note: the following listings do not include poetry unless directly (or even indirectly) related to Oz, or non-fantasies, e.g., "The Story of the First Brown-Haired."

 

Sissajig Stories:

 

Adventures in Sissajig

 

Story: Working at the Philadelphia bus terminal as a bag boy, Tommy King is given a bag by a grandmotherly woman named Susan Figg, who hands him a con and disappears.  The bag is addressed to Sissajig, but Tommy doesn't know where that it is.  The bag, Toggins, comes to life and carries Tommy up in the air to Sissajig where they meet the watchman of the castle, Bustabo, an archer who pretends to shoot arrows at them, but always missing, scaring off any who are not invited.  Bustabo tells him that Susan is one of the best magish-owitches and gives Tommy a magic watch that warns him of danger. 

 

Dropping Toggins off at Susan's house, a woman, Matiah, answers the door and brings Toggins in, but closes the door on Tommy.  She opens it again, asking Tommy if he let the cat out of the bag.  As he hadn't, she tosses him Toggins, and he opens the bag, letting an annoyed cat named Catherine out of the bag.  Taking back the bag, she slams the door again, warning him to "mind the carriage!"

 

The watch soon serves to warn him of danger, as the former carriage of the king runs loose throughout the town.  Tommy meets Susan's neighbor, the kindly Doctor Pillbilly, but as the riderless carriage draws near, he stops it.  In so doing, he is proclaimed King Tommy due to an old custom that makes whoever stops the chariot king.  Susan Figg soon joins him in the throne room, and he appoints her prime minister.  He appoints the former Prime Minister Hickaboo Assistant King.  Lunch is soon prepared by a talking nanny-goat named Milly.

 

Sissajig is a square magical country, which on the day of Tommy's coronation, is accosted by King Priddybad of Giddybad, who threatens to war against them.  Tommy addresses Priddybad, asking why he's attacking, to which he responds that his kingdom is lonely and he's bored.  Tommy then invites him to come and stay with them as a guest, an offer Priddybad gladly accepts. 

 

After a time, Tommy realizes that he must return home and feed his rabbits and passes the coin to Doctor Pillybilly to become the next king, and Toggins returns him to the Philadelphia bus terminal.

 

Tommy and the Flying Slippers:

 

Story: Putting on his slippers one morning, Tommy goes flying out the window to a far-off rainbow that brings him down to beach where he discovers that the slippers he wears are not his own, but magic flying slippers made from a piece of the Magic Carpet of Bagdad.  A silver arrow on them allows him to direct the slippers where they'll go.  He soon meets Akwa Jack of Underseapia, a seafarer and discoverer from the ocean's depths collecting specimens and wearing a suit and helmet that allows him to breathe water while on land.  Traveling together, they come upon a square shell, moat and castle, which leads Tommy to believe he's in Sissajg. 

 

But the place he'd formerly visited was One City; this is Two City, ruled by the Duchess Guess Sue and the Duke Me Too, and the Duchess there is unfriendly, having her jester pinch Tommy when he claims to have been the king.  When Jack stops this, he spills the water from his helmet on the Duchess' dresses, and she demands they be beheaded.  Tommy and Jack decide it's time to leave, and discover a map and note inside one of the slippers. 

 

Stopping off at clearing, they examine the map of Sissajig.  The country is square, with the capitol is in the left corner, Two City in the right, and Three and Four Cities on the other corners, with a forest in-between and mountain in the middle. 

 

The note is from Susan, explaining that she and Doc Pillbilly on Cube Island, which is on a lake on top of the mountain.  Flying there, they meet Myohme, a female slave of the Witch of Cube Island.  They free her and she warns them to find the lock box where she keeps her magic treasures.  Tommy soon finds Susan and Doc, but they're enchanted in a kind of sleep. 

 

When Tommy discovers a loose rock, the Witch Ruthless Rue accosts him.  Jack leaps upon her, knocking off her red wig, without which she is powerless, as Jack finds out when he places it on his helmet.  He disenchants Susan and Doc and discovers that in the lock box are two other wigs, a blonde one for flying, and a black one for casting spells.  The red one grants wishes.  Allowing the witch to flee, they return with Myohme by magic to One City and have a big party.  After returning the girl to her family, Susan locks up the wigs in her safe.  Tommy again says goodbye to everyone as Toggins returns him to his home.

 

Continuity notes:

Bustabo: The wicked chief archer and former usurper of Red Top Mountain in Ozoplaining and the Wizard of Oz appears again, this time as the kindly watchman of Sissajig.  He had been transformed by Ozma at the end of that book into a red squirrel.  How he ended up in Sissajig is unknown.  He somehow crossed the Deadly Desert, either with the help of a bird, magic, or by Ozma's design herself, where he ended up on the island of Sissajig.  At some point, he was disenchanted, either Ozma earlier, or by the magish-owitch Susan Figg.  While he maintains his skills at archery, as well as his heavy brogue, his disposition is kindly and generous, as opposed to his former personality as King of the Kudgers.

 

Sissajig: This square country is an island, likely in the Nonestic.  Fruits, vegetables and architecture are also squarish.  In each corner of the kingdom is a city, of which Tommy visits One and Two in the two Sissajig stories.  While One City is brightly colored, Two is noted as being predominantly blue, which is not unlike the Munchkin Country.  Thompson notes that Tommy "found so much blue monotonous" [45].  In between the cities are forests, and in the center of the island is a mountain.  Atop it lies a lake, in the middle of which is Cube Island, which up until the latter story was ruled by the Witch of Cube Island, Ruthless Rue, whose power comes from her three magical wigs.   Sissajig's nearest neighbor is Giddybad, which is described by its King Priddybad as a lonely place (so is probably another island).  Animals talk in Sissajig and hold positions of prominence, as noted by Milly the nanny-goat who is the royal chef, and Catherine, Susan Figg's cat.  But there are also wilder animals in the forest, such as a large bear and a giant sea turtle named Trudy who the witch had used to ride and to guard her prisoners.

 

Tommy King: With only two Sissajig stories published, it's unknown if Tommy King of Philadelphia ever returned to Sissajig to explore the other two cities.

 

The Magic Spectacles

 

Story: The king determines that his daughter should be married, so commands all the princes from the surrounding realms to come, and the one with the best gift will marry his daughter.  Numerous suitors arrive, but the one that catches the Princess attention brings a smoke-colored pair of magic spectacles with which she can see the "evil which exists in every creature's heart."  Upon putting it on, she sees one of her ladies-in-waiting scolding and boxing the ears of children, another stealing a diamond necklace, and even her father counting money like a miser in a hidden cellar.  She concludes that the world is a wicked place.  The king puts them on and is disgusted with all that he sees, and becomes angry.  But another prince named John arises and offers another pair of spectacles, these colored pink, which enable the wearer to "know your friends," but the first prince knocks him aside, and putting on the first pair again, she sees what a cruel and vicious man he is.  She looks at the second prince with those glasses and nothing changes.  So, putting on his pink glasses, she sees that lady-in-waiting takes patient care of her blind sister and other good points in everyone else.  She marries the second prince.

 

Continuity notes: Unusual for Thompson, there is no mention of the names of the kingdoms or even of the princess and her father.  Only Prince John is mentioned.  As to chronology, Thompson hints that the story deals with "ancient kings," however one of the princes gives music boxes as a gift.  Music boxes weren't invented until 1811.  As to setting, because no one questions the possibility of magic spectacles, or is alarmed to find they work, this story likes takes place in a fairy country.

 

The Little Prince and the Faithful Bluebird

 

Story: When the king of the bluebirds and his subjects get lost in a storm, they find their way to castle prison.  Dismayed, he determines to sing to cheer up the inhabitants.  But one exhausted bluebird fails to leave with the king and his flock, one of the prisoners nurses him back to health.  The prisoner is the prince of Bema, whose stepmother, the false Queen of Bema, spirited away so that her son might rule in his stead.  The bird tells him to set her free and she'll get help, but the boy fears that she'll forget and not come back.  But soon enough, he frees her, and the bird travels around looking for the Kingdom of Bema.  At last she finds a deer who tells her that it is on the other side of the forest, and that the good prince had died, and in his place the new prince is vicious and cruel.  The bluebird tells the deer that the true prince is yet alive and together they spread the news.  The bluebird goes to the bedroom of the Queen and sings songs to prick her conscience, but she orders the bird killed.  The bird then finds a maiden named Teckla who had once been friends with the king and who agrees to do what she can to save him.  At summer's end, as preparations were underway for the coronation of the son of the wicked Queen, the people mourn their lost prince.  The bluebird, with a ball of cord that the maiden had weaved, returns to the prison to affect the prince's escape.  Meanwhile, Teckla heads to the neighboring kingdom to inform the king there of what has transpired.  On the day of the coronation, the true prince arrives with the support of the king of the next realm, and the wicked Queen and her son are exiled.  The true prince marries Teckla and the bird comes to visit them every year.

 

Continuity notes: One of Thompson's more Baumian stories, this somber animal fairy tale is free of the puns that usually characterize her work, though it does deal with her common theme of restoring rightful rulership.  The only clues as far as location come in the two names that the story provides, Bema, which is an ancient Hebrew and Greek word for "Seat of Judgment" (or elevated dais).  In Eastern Christianity, the word bema is still used to represent the platform of the sanctuary.  Teckla is another ancient Greek word for "Divine Glory" that is used as a name in Nordic, Scandinvaian and Eastern European countries (usually as Tekla or Thekla).  The setting begins in the summer with the bluebirds flying north from the Amazon in South America "for the long journey to our own land."  It takes them three days to reach the Atlantic.  Then the storm comes up, which makes the king decide to turn back to the coast.  They lose their way in the dark, but the storm is described as being "short and violent" and not long enough to have brought them all the way up the Atlantic to the Norwegian Sea, where Eastern Europe begins.  It appears this is a magical storm that brought them to an island in the Nonestican (or Rolantic or Nonentic) Ocean, a place in which it is not uncommon for humans to speak with animals.  As to the dating, this is also obscure, though the neighboring king's use of the archaic "Ods Ostriches" phrase, a play on "Ods bodikins," which appears in an 18th century English translation of Cervantes' Don Quixote.

 

Emperor Ching Wow

 

Story: When the kind-hearted Emperor Ching Wow is besieged by his rebellious subjects and army, his camel Hoo Choo tells him to send his son to the Golden Dragon in the Woo Tang Mountains.  Upon a giant kite, the Emperor's son Prince Chow flies before the dragon, explaining that Hoo Choo sent him.  A great friend of the camel's, the Dragon calls upon Okra the mermaid witch to bring him the magic water, which he puts in Chow's wooden shoe.  The boy flies back to the garden in which his father is under attack, and tells him the dragon's message to drink from the right side of the shoe.  He does and grows into a giant, terrifying the people.  Some water falls, which Hoo Choo drinks, growing giant as well.  Some spills on a flower which grows giant and brings down a giant ladybug which terrifies everyone.  When the Emperor asks the leader of the rebellion why he rebelled, he admits that he wanted to be Emperor, which Ching Wow makes him.  Okra arrives to bring Ching Wow, Prince Chow and Hoo Choo to the Woo Tang Mountains where they live in peace.  When the rebellious emperor dies, Prince Chow is returned to the throne to rule as Emperor.

 

Continuity notes: Although this story is unconnected to Oz and Nonestica, set in China a few millennia ago, its Golden Dragon, mermaid-witch and magic water set it firmly in the fantasy vein.  The Woo Tang Mountains is the Wudang Mountains of Hubei, China, which houses the Five Dragon Temple, and is associated with the god Xuan Wu, known as the Truly Martial Grand Emperor, who is capable of great magic and was said to once been a prince who felt the sorrow and pain of his people so much he retired to the mountains.  Thompson may have rendered Xuan Wu as Ching Wow.  If so, he ruled during the Shang Dynasty between 1600 and 1046 BC.

 

Land O'Patch

 

Story: The offspring of a father who is a Fairy and a mother who is a wicked Witch, King Cross Patch vacillates between good and evil behavior, causing his people to become discontented.  Then one day in a fit of anger he condemns his three sons to beheading.  The ancient law of Patch determines that a command once given must be fulfilled or the kingdom will be forever destroyed.  In order to save the kingdom from destruction, the young princes willingly agree to go to their deaths, but the king searches for another solution and takes his golden chariot to Fairyland to solicit the help of the fairies who'd often visited him in the past urging him to take a magic draught to dispel the evil part of him.  As they cannot help, he goes to the Witches, but they rejoice that he's become as wicked as they and invite him to stay with them before he's destroyed with his kingdom.  Returning despondent, his sons urge him to kill them, but at last the oldest wise man in the kingdom asks to hear the exact words the king had uttered and determines that the edict cannot be carried because it's impossible without a wizard to make a man's head into a bee's head, as no one can be "bee-head" except a bee.

 

Continuity notes: Patch first appeared in this story in January 1921 and was brought into Oz by Thompson six years later in The Gnome King of Oz, along with a Queen Cross Patch the Sixth.  The Fairyland mentioned in this story may refer to Burzee, and as this story deals with the ruling presence of Witches (capitalized and plural), it likely takes place during the time in which the four wicked compass Witches were ruling Oz.

 

The Fairy's Silver Trumpet

Story: When the Princess of Suntop Mountain, a fairy, refuses to marry any of the neighboring kings, war nearly breaks out.  To prevent this, she agrees that whoever weds her must first prove worthy by blowing the silver trumpet.  One after another kings from the west and south try and fail, until one young humble king asks to first hold her hand for help, and is able to blow music from the trumpet.

 

Continuity notes: Sun Top Mountain was later incorporated by Thompson in Kabumpo in Oz, where it appears in the Winkie country, and is the home of Princess Peg Amy.  This story appears to tell the story of how Peg's mother met her father.

 

Background: Originally published in The Philadelphia Public Ledger, November 21, 1920.  Available in Sissajig and Other Surprises, published by the International Wizard of Oz Club.  It is also available on The Hungry Tiger Press website.  Click on the title above to read this story there.

 

The Magic Pipe

 

Story: When a rabbit finds the pipe of the Man in the Moon, he gets a surprise trip to the palace of the Man in the Moon.

 

Continuity notes: The story concludes with the rabbit selling a pair of shoes (obtained from the Man in the Moon as a reward) "to an old gnome for a sum that will keep them in carrots as long as they live."  Several factors make this fit well in the overall Oz milieu.  There is a talking rabbit, the Man in the Moon, and a gnome walking on land (where most keep underground) with a lot of money to spend on shoes.  With the assumption that this is Ruggedo, the question then becomes which wandering period does this represent, the earlier one after "Alliance of the Elementals" when he is finally kicked out of the Nome Kingdom to wander Ev, or the one after The Magic of Oz that sees him wandering Oz.  Since money is the thing that the rabbit needs to prosper, this must be Ev, as the rabbit community in Oz, Bunnyburry, are not dependent on money to thrive.

The Princess of Plumpieland

 

Story: After Vera Big the princess of Plumpieland turns down a marriage proposal from Tumbo of Timertonia, a suspected wizard from a mountain kingdom, a warning arrives dropped from a gigantic bird that unless the Princess of Plumpieland  marries before dark, the country will be destroyed.  The wise man Foozle suggests they do as it says, but the princess refuses to wed Tumbo.  So, the frantic king sends out his guards who've heard of someone nice in the south.   The guards, Terry Blee Blue and Notso Blue, apprehend Jonathan, a bachelor king from the poor kingdom of Rockbottom, and bring him to their kingdom.  But King Johnny points out that a better way would be to ensure that no darkness comes to Plumpieland, and they light all the lamps in the kingdom.  He also ascertains that the princess has feelings for the Duke of Wopping, who if the current king abdicates temporarily to allow him to become king, the warning will be averted.  The crisis averted, Jonathan suspects that Tumbo disguised a plane to drop the missile carrying the prophecy, and the king goes off with to have sport with Johnny.

 

Continuity notes: Due to the knowledge of planes and bombers, this story can take place anytime from 1918, the end of the first World War, to 1940, when the story was written.  There is no clue as to where Plumpieland, Timbertonia or Rockbottom are located.

 

King, King! Double King!

 

Story: In the kingdom of Rundlebury, the two twenty-year old identical twin princes, Jerrywon and Terrytwo, born three minutes apart, decide that they'd prefer to rule together, rather than have each be treated different.  So the eldest, Jerryone, goes to the swordmaker Vanka to remove the chain and crown seal locked around his neck.  Without it, no one can tell the young men apart.  King Randy of Rundlebury is furious, however, but all the scientists and soothsayers can't help distinguish who is who.  Finally, he brings in a shepherd Ramjan who leads the boys' steeds to them, and, indeed the horses are able to tell who their masters are.  Ramjan is offered a reward by the wing, anything he wishes, and he wishes that both boys rule the kingdom together, and when the father dies, the "Twinks," as they come to be known rule wisely and well.

 

Continuity: As with several of Thompson's fairytales, there is no indication as to where Rundlebury is, or when this story takes place, and in this case, very little clues to go on.

 

The Enchanted Cat

 

Story: When a thirty-year old scholar and judge who fancies himself wise in the ways of men throws a book at a cat that appears at his window, the cat—who is actually an ancient sorcerer with the power to shapechange—curses him to become a cat himself, and using a switcheroo spell, turns himself into the scholar and the scholar into a cat, until such a time as a man bids him to his hearth, a child looks on him without fear, and a woman brushes his coat.  Shortly after, his former manservant kicks and chases him out of the house; he goes then to his brother's mansion and approaches his niece, Dorothy.  But she screams upon seeing him and he's once more chased out into the cold alleyway.  Thinking then of his fiancée, he leaps to her windowsill where he witnesses her scolding her grandmother and kicking her dog before she cruelly flings him out the window.  Dismayed at the world, he passes into the poor section of town, expecting that they will treat him far worse.  But a man picks him and brings him to his tenement apartment where a stove warms him, his granddaughter Nancy puts him in her lap, and her older sister combs him and bandages his leg.  Even the dog makes room for him.  With that, the spell is broken and he ends up back in his home, surprising the sorcerer who tells him that "cats know more about people than scholars."  Humbled, he resolves to break off his engagement and visit again the home of the only people who showed him kindness.

 

Continuity notes: As with "The Little Prince and the Faithful Bluebird," this is one of Thompson's most Baumian tales, echoing the primary theme of the Queer Visitors in the Marvelous Land of Oz strip, "Tim Nichols and the Cat."  Free of puns and cozy kingdoms, the story effectively focuses on the more somber theme of cruelty to animals, wisdom and hubris, and works well alongside Baum's American or Animal Fairy Tales.  One of the clues allowing readers to date the story is the scholar's long pompadour hairstyle, which was a product of the 18th century, particularly from 1745 to the end of the century when it fell out of favor for me.

 

A Visit to Jelly Bean Island

 

Story: After a day of selling peanuts and popcorn, Fred Baker suddenly appears before a plump king who wonders why he's there.  A winged cat then appears announcing that she brought him there and will solve their problem.  The Wishing Cat departs, and the housekeeper, Minerva Gaydash, introduces herself and King Jo-John of Jelly Bean Island.  A large elephant, Jumbalena the Third, then appears, explaining that they're having trouble selling their crop of jelly beans.  Putting Fred on her back, Jumbalena assures Fred he can go home on one of the ships that sail to Otherlands, and shows him the jelly bean vines whereupon grow their crop in all colors and sizes, the finest beans in Otherlands.  Fred says they should get more customers and asks if they've advertised.  The elephant likes the idea, but as to customers, the only island around there is Bigguns, which they never visit because it's an island of giants.  Fred suggests that maybe they're friendly, and concludes that they're the biggest and best customers they'd ever find.  The king is skeptical, but will fill a ship with jelly beans for Fred to peddle to them.  Jumbalena agrees to go with him.  Taking the Good Ship Jenny Jump, they sail to the island.  They anchor within hailing distance and hold up a sign announcing they brought a gift.  A giant farmer swims out and tastes the jelly beans.  Liking them, he calls out until every one of the fifty giants who live there come forward.  The giants eat all of the jelly beans, and the king giant writes "more jelly beans."  Fred writes back that there are more for sale, and the giants agree, emptying their pockets of gold pieces which they put in a giant barrel that they give to them.  They have a gold mine and mint coins for fun, so are glad to part with it.  The giants then begin trade with Jelly Bean Island.  As the king congratulates him, Fred sees the Wishing Cat again, and before he knows it he's back home, wondering if he'd dreamt the events.  At home, the next morning, he finds a bag of jelly beans under his pillow and a sign the next day advertising jelly beans.

 

Continuity notes:

Jelly Bean Island: A fairyland with talking animals (Jumbalena the royal elephant also bears similarities to Kabumpo), magical flying cats and candy that grows on vines, the story "The Hearts and Flowers of Oz" brought Jelly Bean Island (and the friendly giant island of Bigguns) into the Nonestic, as a creation of the Red Jinn of Ev, and part of the larger Royal Kingdom of Cake (or Land of Dough Dough) from The Royal Baking Powder booklets.

 

Dating: If the ship Jenny Jump was named after the half-fairy, then the dating can be ascertained as taking place after her appearance in Wonder City in 1937 and before the story's 1957 publication date. 

 

Jenny Jump: The ship the Jenny Jump is clearly a nod to Thompson's late friend and former illustrator John R. Neill's character from The Wonder City of Oz

The Bear Who Stayed Up Late

 

Story: On year old Hugabee bear decides he's not going to hibernate for the winter and sneaks out of his cave, he determines to find someone to play with.  He comes across Reginald Rufus, who tries to explain to him that the snows of winter are dangerous, as are human beings, but the bear doesn't believe it and wants to go live with them.  The grandfather rabbit, realizing he'll get in trouble, tries to lure him back up the mountain to his cave, but the bear runs off again, excited about the newly falling snow.  As the small bears sinks down against a tree, he some grows drowsy and falls asleep with the snow covering him.  Before long, Dusty the dwarf comes along, and spotting the baby bear summons his fellow dwarves, Cholly, Wally, Gusty, Grim, Sandy, Andy, Billy and Slim to help him carry the bear back to their cave. 

 

Continuity notes: The third animal fairy tale in the collection also bears a similarity to some of Baum's works, with its warning hint of death.  There is no indication as to where this takes place, though the presence of dwarves, and the fact that the bear and rabbit can speak to one another (and no each other by name) is indication of its setting in a semi-fairyland where winter snows and humans can and still kill.

A Day in Oz

 

Story: (Alterable Scene: First Version) Dorothy prepares a party for Ozma, whose been with Glinda in her castle for some time.  Scraps and the Scarecrow sing.  When Ozma returns she learns that the Wizard has invented a loseless umbrella.  Ozma notes that she met a Vegetable Man, whose ear popped when he sat too close to the fire one night, but who was able to pick another one from the cornfield, and is coming to the Emerald City tomorrow.  Ozma also announces that a new Oz book is out.

 

(Alterable Scene: Second Version) Pastoria arrives to tell Ozma that Jack Pumpkinhead lost his head.  The Wizard thinks it was stolen to make pumpkin pie.  Ozma says she'll carve him a new one, but her father says his body's gone too.  He'd been making a new suit for Dorothy's party when he vanished.  Scraps recites doggerel about the former Lost King, and Pastoria rejoins stating that he'd rather make people look right than act right, which is much harder.  The Scarecrow puts on his magic expectacles, which allow him to see events before they happen and people before they arrive.  With them, he sees Jack who is on his way to them.  Jack tells everyone that his new book came out (Jack Pumpkinhead in Oz).  Pastoria brings Jack along to try on his new suit, while everyone else goes to the party.

 

Continuity Notes: The first "alterable scene" presents the first chronological appearance of Carter Green, the Vegetable Man, who Ozma first met while at Glinda's days before he arrived in the Emerald City in The Hungry Tiger of Oz.  The book Ozma mentions as having just been released can only be The Emerald City of Oz due to the year in which this latter story must take place (1911).  Yet, she tells Scraps that she's in the book, which she clearly isn't (The Patchwork Girl of Oz wasn't released until two years later in 1913).  But it's possible that Ozma hadn't yet read the book, and the title alone wouldn't reveal who would be in it.

 

The second "alterable scene" must take place at a different time, as it deals with Jack Pumpkinhead discussing his new book (Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz) and the events that happened in it.  Also, the Scarecrow has Kaliko's old expectacles (which Carter Green had taken when in the Nome Kingdom in the book The Hungry Tiger of Oz).

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Curious Cruise of Captain Santa

 

This story is difficult to reconcile with the history of the character as described L. Frank Baum in his The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, and can be seen as belonging to an alternate or parallel Oz universe.  See "Personality and contradiction" in the continuity notes below for more information.

 

Story: In Christmas Country, Santa Claus tells Jim, a once-homeless chimney-sweep that he adopted years ago, that this year they're going on a sea-voyage to discover new toys and games for the kids, and maybe even find the Lost Islands where there are living toys.  Santa reveals that he's built a ship, the Chimneypot, and will bring along Jim, Huggerumbo the polar bear and Penny the penguin.  With the help of the Brownies and Barrel Birds (which have hollow barrels that can be used to transport goods), Santa loads up his ship with goods to trade.

 

With Santa and Huggerumbo on the wheel, Penny as lookout and cook, and Jim sweeping the decks and helping Penny, they sail south.  Soon enough they encounter a green chimney poking up from the sea and anchor the ship to investigate.  At its bottom is an old man with a crown sitting by a fountain periodically wetting himself from it.  The room itself is a glass enclosure.  Santa gives some of the gum drops he brought with him, which he eats, and then the mouth organ, which he plays for a long time.  Huggerumbo recognizes that it's Neptune.  Neptune explains that this is his listening chamber from which he gets the news of the sea, and which he can move around, but not stay too long in because of the dryness.  He'd heard of Santa but didn't think he was real.  Santa explains their mission and the search for the Lost Islands which a gull had told him of.  Neptune says it's on the other side of the sunset, south by west through the opening the sun leaves in the sky when it sets.  Then as Neptune must depart, he hands Santa a chest and sends them up a waterspout where they climb upon Huggerumbo's back and swing to their ship.  Penny's relieved to see them, but reports that someone at their anchor (which was made of hard candy).  Neptune surfaces with an iron anchor to replace the one his mermaids ate.  Waving goodbye, Santa examines the chest to find coral necklaces, toy pirate ships and aquarium decor.

 

Ten days into their journey south, now in the tropics, they come across the desert island of Bombazooky.  They collect coconuts and palm tree leaves, but are soon accosted by natives that Jim fears might be cannibals.  Each in turn tries to speak their language but in vain, until Santa spots a child.  Knowing he can speak baby-talk, and that baby-talk is the same everywhere, he discerns that their language is called Zook, and Bomba is their chief.  He also learns that they plan to make soup of them for dinner.  Not wanting to visit violence upon them, Santa hands out the toffee he brought with them.  The natives enjoy until their mouths stick, at which point the chief thinks it is a trap.  Remembering their jump ropes, Santa has everyone begin skipping rope furiously, which knocks aside the spears that the natives throw at them.  Startled by this phenomenon, the cannibals flee, leaving them finish gathering coconuts.  Exploring, Jim brings back a parrot, while Penny brings back three baby alligators.

 

Three rainy days later, they come to the edge of the sky and hit its descending wall.  Afterwards, a gate in the wall opens which the Chimneypot sails through.  On the other side of the sunset gate they find themselves in a beautiful realm.  One sign marks the distance to Rockaway Island, which Santa knows is one of the Toy Islands.  There they set anchor and explore.  True to its name, the island rocks back and forth.  Soon a herd of wild wooden animals come out, all rocking animals.  Jim mounts the rocking elephant and leads all 400 of the rest to the hold of the ship.  Noticing that Penny's missing, Huggerumbo returns to the island and finds her in a crystal candy chamber of all colors and shapes.  Filling up their magic sack, they depart for the second Toy Island.

 

On Doll Island, they're amazed by the community of doll people and their city.  At the king's castle, Santa lifts up the roof to peer in, shocking a guard who hits a red button that pops out a Jack-in-the-Box, which is the king.  Santa converses with him in the doll language of Squeak about his mission to bring some of them to the good boys and girls for Christmas.  Though they'd never heard of Christmas, the dolls are excited to go and many volunteer.  The King agrees to let him take half of the dolls and their houses and shops.  He's receiving a shipment of imported dolls and needs the room anyway.  He reminds Santa to bring glue to repair them with, and warns him that night is coming in four hours.  It only comes once every eight months, but lasts a hundred years.

 

With the dolls in tow they sail back out through the sunset gate, but once on the other side, the dolls and wooden animals cease to live.  Santa is concerned that no one will believe they were once alive, but his crew seems unconcerned, and he concludes that "they're mighty fine even as they are," and that perhaps with enough love they'll come to life again.  A cranberry jelly fish marks the fact that they're back on top of the world again and soon sail into Christmas Cove, hoping to go on another voyage again in the future.

 

Continuity notes:

Dating: Story takes place over the course of what appears at first to be 13 days, but what is more likely 26 days, as it took them thirteen days to reach the sunset gate and presumably the same amount of time to return to Christmas Country.  Their distractions with Neptune and Bombazooky don't appear to take longer than a few hours.  The later events following this story are listed as a news item in the third issue of the 1926 Ozmapolitan.  As per that issue, the story is set in late November, early December 1925.  

 

The Barrel Birds reappear in an illustration for The Gnome King of Oz, and in text in Lucky Bucky in Oz.

 

Jim: The chimney-sweep that Santa adopted is a story that was told by Thompson several years earlier in a 1919 Philadelphia Public Ledger poem called "An Old Old Story."

 

North Pole: Although Thompson chose to go with the more popular story of Santa living in the North Pole, specifically in "The Christmas Country," as opposed to the Laughing Valley of Burzee where Baum places him in The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus and A Kidnapped Santa Claus, this is not necessarily a contradiction as it is several centuries later, and things might have changed.  Several modern stories attempted to retcon this, indicating that Santa either moved to the North Pole later on, or has a toy-making facility in both locations.  What runs contrary to this is that in Baum's tale, the reindeer are not Santa's to move about, but the King of the Rooks, who allow Santa to utilize them under strict regulations.  One interesting fact about The Christmas Country is that no one "grows up or grows old."  It's a land of talking animals.  How it became a magical, immortal land like Oz is unknown, but it stands to reason that Christmas Valley is not really in the North Pole, but can be accessed from it.

 

Parallels: The chimney that sticks out of the sea is similar to the hole in the sea that brought Captain Salt to Seewegia in Captain Salt in Oz.

 

Personality and contradictions: Claus' personality appears different than the one in Baumian stories, more impetuous and less philosophical.  It has been centuries since the events in those tales, however, which might explain this.  Santa as an orphan is nicely paralleled here, where he adopts the orphan Jim, who is one of the few Thompson characters besides Bob-up (in The Cowardly Lion of Oz) to come from an impoverished socioeconomic background.  On the other hand, Santa's reaction to the inadvertent killing of the live wooden animals from Rockaway Island and the four hundred sapient dolls who volunteered to go with him from Doll Island is highly inconsistent with the Santa Baum wrote about.  Thompson's Santa reacts with upset that no one will believe they were ever alive, rather than dismay at their deaths or the fact that his direct actions caused hundreds of living creatures to die.  Baum's Santa would have immediately returned them to their original homes in the hope of restoring their lives; Thompson's Santa merely contents himself with the fantastic notion that maybe they'll come back to life if they're loved enough.  Of course, Baum's Santa would not have been abducting living creatures, parrots, alligators, and sapient toys from their homes to give as toys in the first place.  The stark difference between the air-headed, almost callous Santa of Thompson's, and the thoughtful, other-centered character of Baum's is nearly enough to render this story as unconnected to Baum's universe, at least not without a reasonable retcon that reconciles the two versions.

 

 

 

 

 

The Wonder Book

 

Although not considered a "Borderlands of Oz" book, this first collection of short Ruth Plumly Thompson short stories, poems and miscellanea from the Philadelphia Public Ledger contains some stories that fit within the larger Ozian mythology.  Note that non-fantasy stories, beast fables, Brownie stories, non-Oz related poems and non-fiction pieces are not listed here.  This includes the Supposyville "Handy Mandy" poems, which are unrelated to the Handy Mandy of Oz fame.

 

Marvelous Travels on a Wish aka. The Wish Express

Story: When a young boy wishes to be somewhere else, he is whisked away to a train of characters heading Somewhere Else

 

Continuity notes: The land of Somewhere appears again in The Enchanted Island of Oz, although the political structure has apparently changed, as it is ruled by Queen Else, rather than the Royal Illusion and Delusion.  It is thus a happier place than the one revealed in this earlier adventure.

 

Strange Story of a Green Camel

 

Story: When a green camel laments the rejection he receives amongst his fellow camels, elves grant him a wish and he becomes their camel.

 

Continuity notes: Elves and talking green camels make this an Ozzy enough tale, though it more likely takes place on the Nonestican coast or on one of its islands.

 

The Giant Who Did Not Believe in People

 

Story: When a reckless giant who doesn't believe people exist nearly destroys ten cities and three villages, the fairies appeal to the Man in the Moon, whose wife rains down three tubs of water that shrinks him to people-size.  Sent into a city, he soon believes in people and learns to be more careful when he walks.

 

Continuity notes: The Man in the Moon makes several appearances in Oz-related stories, the first being Queen Zixi of Ix.

 

The Runaway Rocking-Horse

 

Story: When Santa delivers toys, a rocking-horse and other toys break away, not wishing to go to wealthy children, and find their way to the homes of poor child.

 

Continuity notes: This Christmas poem can go along well with Thompson's The Curious Cruise of Captain Santa and even Baum's conception in The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus.  The Sandman makes a brief appearance.

 

The Magic of the Secret Word

 

Story: When a farmer boy receives a magic word from a fairy that allows him to make wishes, he wishes himself into a fly to escape his master's wrath, and then a giant who shakes his master up.  He wishes himself rich and then a great singer, but his main amusement is to change himself into different shapes.  One day a farmer suggests he wish himself wise, but the boy goes off resentful and meets a girl who challenges himself to change into a blade of grass, which he does, and she picks and feeds to her goat.

 

Continuity notes: The story's premise of a fairy granting a mortal the ability to make wishes bears resemblance to Baum's Queen Zixi of Ix, a concept that traces back to Aladdin's story in The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, as well as The Monkey's Paw.  The boy's ability and desire to frequently change shapes, is reminiscent of the Phanfasms and Yookoohoos. 

 

How the Mice Folks Escaped the Gnomes

 

Story: In the days when mice were slaves of the gnomes, the younger mice begin holding secret meetings to discuss the rights of mice and search for a way to escape their oppression.  The Gnome King grows angry because the Fairy Queen continually rebuffs his offers to visit his underground palace, so he plots to abduct her youngest princess.  On the very day, one of the mice goes off to warn her, and she places an invisible wall around the princess.  Determined to reward him, the mouse begs for the release of his comrades.  This she grants, and the mice are freed.  Not only are the gnomes' spells unable to recall them, but each mouse has a magic word against gnomes.

 

Continuity notes: Though written whimsically, the story's Gnome King, underground palace, oppressive gnomes and fairy queen are in line with what is revealed in the larger mythology of Oz, though it very likely deals with an ancestor of Ruggedo.  That the mice can reason and speak with gnomes and fairies places this after the 1743 enchantment of Oz.

 

 

 

 

 

Uncollected Thompson Short Stories

 

Click on any of the titles to read them at Hungry Tiger Press's Tiger Tales

 

As with the stories in Thompson's published collections, only those which meet certain criteria are included.  This leaves out Thompson's non-fantasy stories, mundane beast fables, brownie stories, or any story that is geared for little children (e.g., flower fairy stories).  Those Thompson's poems and shorts don't have a narrative are not included here either.  This remains a growing list.  It is hoped that the International Wizard of Oz Club may one day collect these.

 

The Story of Ogre Too Thake

 

Story: A traveler discovers a hideous palace filled with teeth of all kinds.  It is ruled by a nasty ogre who takes them from children and dentists to build a palace for his daughter.

 

Continuity notes: An uncharacteristic horror story from Thompson, it serves mainly as a warning to children to brush their teeth, but also presents an interesting narrative and villain set in an unnamed land where children are starting to more frequently employ dental hygiene, which dates this story to the mid-to-late-nineteenth century.

 

The Faithless Knight

 

Story: After bringing his realm and person into ruin, Sir Garen, a profligate knight attempts to commit suicide by jumping into the nearby lake, only to discover an underwater kingdom guarded by two sea serpents, but where a beautiful and kind princess and her royal parents welcome him into their homes and lives.  As a test, however, the princess gives him the key to their treasury.  Succumbing to the temptation, the knight takes jewels and riches and returns to his castle where he restores his fortune and wins the hand of a local duchess.  Six months later, at the wedding, the River People arise to exact vengeance, destroying the kingdom and leaving behind the words: "He who breaks faith with the river people will repent!"

 

Continuity notes: As with "The Story of Ogre Too Thake," this is a darker story that Thompson unfortunately wrote too rarely, but which suits her well. 

 

The Trees That Were Bewitched

 

Story: When lovers Cleon and Mertha happen upon the crooked witch Grumblegrimkins, who is angry at not having found the copper-leafed clover she needs, she transforms them into trees, placing a curse upon them they will remain in that form for a hundred years until someone thanks them for the shade they provide.  As winter comes and they shiver in the cold, Mertha thinks to herself that were she herself she would be grateful for every living, growing thing in the world.  Summer passes, and then in October a thief comes to hide in Mertha's tree, hoping to escape the detection of the soldiers pursuing him.  When they pass by, he thanks the tree and Martha disenchants back into herself and thanks him.  She tell him her story and then thanks Cleon's, disenchanting him as well.  Amazed by the tale, the thief becomes an honest man.

 

Continuity notes: A fascinating and uncharacteristic dark fable about the importance of gratitude that sees two commoners as protagonists and the hero a thief (albeit one who reforms).  With no indication as to when this story might take place, The Royal Timeline of Oz places it in the 18th century.  The untold story of the crooked witch Grumblegrimkins begs to be explored.

 

The Story of a Stone Lion

 

Story: When a stone lion overhears birds pitying him, saying they'd rather live for five minutes happy than five centuries as stone, the lion begins to think on this and feel himself lonely.  One day he weeps a tear, evoking the presence of the garden fairy who transforms him into a robin.

 

Continuity notes: Similar to the Biblical proverb "a live dog is better off than a dead lion," (Ecc 9:4), this short echoes the fate of Mustafa's 10,000 lions at the end of The Cowardly Lion of Oz, and is thus placed a few years after that event.

 

The Witch's Well

 

Story: When a kindhearted prince who'd been robbed of his inheritance by his two brothers travels through a strange land, he comes across a hideous witch tied to a well, feeding water to monsters.  When the goblins come to taunt her, however, he plays his silver flute, drawing them away from her.  Having never been shown kindness, she offers him a wish, but the prince wishes that she was not a wish.  In a sudden, she is transformed to a beautiful princess and explains that because she turned down a marriage proposal from the wicked magician Crumblesticken, he transformed her into the witch.  The prince and princess marry.

 

Continuity notes: One of Thompson's earliest disenchantment stories, though a good one that reverses and rests on the fairytale trope of the princess showing kindness to and kissing a frog.  In this case, the point is made even stronger of showing kindness to others despite their appearance.  As there is no indication as to time or place, the Royal Timeline of Oz places it in the 19th century.

 

The Orphan Dragon

 

Story: When a poor lonely dragon loses his parents in an earthquake, he sets out in search of someone to befriend.  Not the violent kind, he attempts to approach lions and elephants, but they flee in terror every time they see him.  Walking forty days and nights, he comes to an Eskimo village in the North Pole and there saves a young boy from freezing.  The boy greets him and brings him home to his parents who open their hearts and home to him.

 

Continuity notes: A rare friendly dragon story from Thompson, the text mentions a Kansas cyclone and a lion who's cowardly, references to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  It also features a land where dragons can communicate with lions and elephants, and a possible setting in the 18th or 19th centuries.

 

The Story of the Four Little Orphan Rabbits

 

Story: After being orphaned, four brother rabbits determine to make their way in the world by splitting up and returning to their original home two years later.  When they do, they each tell their tale.  Terry found in a cave a sickly lion that he restored to health and who made him prime minister; Peter came upon a boy who believed he could make his mother, the queen, who hasn't laughed in seven years, laugh.  When he does he becomes a court favorite.  Jonathan befriended a fish, offering to be his watchmen.  So successful was he at warning fish of the danger of fishermen, the fish brought him treasures from beneath the sea that he built his own castle.  Little Bill came upon a grove wherein was a lost fairy boy.  Taking him in his arms and comforting him, he finds himself transported to a circle of fairies, who reward him by allowing him a special place in "fairyland" where there are no other animals.  Promising to meet each other again every year, they return to their respective homes.

 

Continuity notes: This tale of resourcefulness and adventure takes place in a land where animals (including fish) all talk, humans and animals converse, and fairies exist, which makes a likely candidate for taking place in Oz after Lurline's enchantment, but before deathlessness has fully spread to the land.  The "fairyland" that Bill finds himself in may be Burzee, though it can be any one of several fairylands where a safe place for him is carved out.  It would be curious to know, and given the wealth and finery that each rabbit later appears in, if they ever learn of Bunnybury.  Another curiosity is the "fairy boy" and his mother.  Fairies don't by nature have children unless, of course, they break the law, or adopt a child (as they did with Neclaus who became Santa Claus: see The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus).

 

The Good Little Mermaid

 

Story: When a fisherman catches a young mermaid amongst his fish, she begs that he throws the dying fish back overboard, promising that she'll come with him if he does.  The fisherman obeys and then rows her to his poor hut, but she secretly despairs of being taken out of the water.  Aware of her plight, the kindly fisherman throws her back into the water, asking her to visit him and his wife some time.  Although the couple goes hungry that night, the fisherman's wife agrees it was the right thing to do.  The next day he goes fishing, he brings up a heavy net filled with all manner of treasure from sunken ships, a reward from the maiden.

 

Continuity notes: This tale of a self-sacrificing mermaid and kindhearted fisherman (and wife) can very well take place in Nonestica or the outside world.

 

An Old Old Story

 

Story: Poem that details how a chimney sweep came to be rescued by Santa.

 

Continuity notes: This is the back-story of Jim the Chimney sweep in The Curious Cruise of Captain Santa.  While this could take place in the 18th century, Neill's illustration in the latter book portrays a boy dressed in the typical 19th century style.

 

The Singing Monarch

 

Story: When a princess arrives upon a white mare at the gate of the Clef Kingdom, adjacent to the Scale Domain, she is asked to match her voice to the note played by the tuning fork of a shepherd, a test that all who wish to enter the musical kingdom must adhere to if they're to gain admittance to the realm of singing, dancing and merrymaking.  Those who cannot are not permitted, and those who reside there, but are guilty of hoarseness, scolding, loud talk, or sadness are punished by having to remain silent for a month.  Whoever persists in sadness is exiled for a year.  The princess, however, declines to sing or even speak.  The King is besides himself, as he finds her the most beautiful and fair maiden ever, and begs his Prime Minister to allow an exception to their rule.  Yet, the Prime Minister argues that all outsiders would have to be excused their rule, and before long their kingdom would be overrun by loud and obnoxious sounding individuals.  Yet, so enamored is the King of her that he summons his wise men, but they are unable to come to agreement.  Finally, the shepherd strikes the princess across the hand!  The king comes close to killing the shepherd, who explains that in so doing this, he discovered that the princess is mute, which is why she does not comply with the law.  Upon learning this, the king flings open the gates and allows her in, at which point she begins to sing exquisitely.  The king then endeavors to marries the princess, who had sought to test him to see that he loved her first for who she was.

Continuity notes:

Dating: No date is given, but it appears to an older story.

Scale Dominion and Clef Kingdom: The Royal Timeline of Oz postulates that various musical communities in Oz were established by the same royal house from the Scale Dominion.  Thus, the Clef Kingdom, which is noted as being adjacent to the Scale Dominion, was recently founded by the unnamed and unmarried King of this story (who regretted creating the law of the land when he meets the princess).  The Winkie community of Tune Town, from The Gnome King of Oz, was also likely established by royalty from the Scale Dominion, and may even lie within or near the Clef Kingdom (though that is uncertain), and was likely established by Queen Jazzma, who is some kind of relation to the King, though whether a daughter, younger sister or cousin, is not yet known.  The Munchkin community of Musicton, in the Munchkin Country, from the Invisible Inzi of Oz, was likewise similarly established by a royal relation or noble.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oz Reimagined

The Cobbler of Oz

 

 

Continuity notes: Unlike the other stories in this anthology, Maberry's "The Cobbler in Oz" is historically harmonious, dealing with an untold chapter in the history of the Silver Shoes.  The date of the story is uncertain, though it must take place prior to Dorothy's arrival in Oz, and some time after the Wizard's arrival. 

 

There is a continuity-glitch, as the Wicked Witch of the West never owned the Silver Shoes.  So, the reader is forced to either:

 

a) substitute the Wicked Witch of the East for her sister, who is depicted here. 

b) envision a scenario in which the Wicked Witch of the West temporarily owned (stole) the Silver Shoes.  In The Magic Umbrella of Oz, her shoes were stolen, so it's a plausible scenario.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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