Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Beginning Of An Oz Book

Some time ago, on the Oz Club message board, I mentioned that I had been working on stories about Oz's early history. I did write a very poor first draft, but later expanded it with a framing sequence, which also serves as the book's first chapter.

(Paragraphs that are in parenthesis would be footnotes if this was printed.)

If I write more, it will depend on my imagination, time, and the reception, so please let me know what you think. Here goes...

The Sawhorse carried the Red Wagon along the smooth road.

"There was no road when I first came this way," remarked Dorothy to Ozma as the two rode to Glinda's palace.

"There wasn't one when I first came this way, either," replied the dainty ruler of Oz. "But your first adventure caused it to happen."

"I've never heard how," replied the homely but sweet princess.

"Well, it wasn't very easy," said Ozma. "First we had to move the Forest of the Fighting Trees, and the Dainty China Country, then we had to move the Hammerheads into a valley where they can't hurt anyone unless they come in. Your first visit caused lots of changes. In fact, I probably never would have become the ruler of the Emerald City had it not been for you."

"How do you mean?"

"Well, let's look at it this way: if you hadn't come, Jinjur never would have had started her army. Then if I ran away from Mombi when I was Tip, I would have found the Wizard still ruling the Emerald City. The Scarecrow would still be in his old cornfield, the Tin Woodman rusting away, the Cowardly Lion still hiding in the Munchkin Forest, and the Wicked Witches of the East and West still alive. If I'd been lucky, I might have found my way to Glinda and sought protection from her. And then who knows what may have happened then?"

(What really DID happen, by the way, is related in "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and "The Marvelous Land of Oz" by L. Frank Baum.)

"Well, maybe things would have worked out all right in the end," suggested Dorothy.

"Perhaps for us," replied Ozma. "But what about you? Your Uncle Henry would have lost his farm regardless of your coming to Oz or not. Then where would that have left you?"

(Uncle Henry and Aunt Em had a plan in "The Emerald City of Oz" by L. Frank Baum.)

"I see your point, but still, I might have found another way to Oz."


"So why are we going to Glinda's? We visit weekly on Thursday when we're not busy with an adventure or something."

Ozma smiled and looked at the Sawhorse.

"Trot!" she shouted.

With a grunt and a snort, the Sawhorse ran as fast as he could.

In a few minutes, the Red Wagon arrived at Glinda's palace, where the two princesses were admitted at once.

Dorothy and Ozma found Glinda in the garden of the palace. Upon her lap was a book with a blue cover and gilt-edged pages.

"Is it done?" asked Ozma.

"Yes, it's done at last," replied Glinda.

"What is it?" asked Dorothy, beginning to feel as if the two were trying to keep some wonderful secret from her.

Glinda smiled at her.

"Oz has a very interesting history," she began.

"I know," returned the girl, "I've lived through most of it."

"Not most, it turns out," replied the Sorceress, holding up the book. "Oz has been around for centuries and you've only seen the latest one."

"But what is it?" asked Dorothy, wishing that her two friends would answer the question.

"Very little of the early history of Oz is known," continued Glinda.

"The earliest we know of it," said Ozma, "is that there was a cruel king who drank from a magical fountain that caused him to completely lose his memory. Afterwards, his subjects began to tell him how wicked he used to be. Fearing he would go back to his old ways, he made his subjects drink from the fountain as well."

"I've heard the story before," replied Dorothy, beginning to guess what Ozma and Glinda were getting to. "But why is it the earliest bit of history that is known?"

"That's it," said Glinda. "Before that time, Oz's history was passed down in stories told to children all throughout their lives. No one bothered to write it down. When the formerly cruel King, Goodvin, made all of his subjects drink from the fountain, all of Oz's history was lost with it."

"But wouldn't it be in the Book of Records?" asked Dorothy.

"No, for the book did not exist when Goodvin made the people drink from the fountain," answered Glinda. "However, there are other sources for this knowledge. I was very fortunate to find them at last. So, with the help of Professor Woggle-Bug, I have put together a book about the earliest histories of Oz."

Dorothy was very glad her question had been answered at last.

"Well," she said, "why don't we look and see how Oz began?"

Ozma smiled at her.

"Why do you think we came here?"


lalalei2001 said...

I love it! I'd like to see more :)

Anonymous said...

blah, kinda stinks.