Cross-posted from my WordPress blog.
In The Wishing Horse of Oz, we meet Bitty Bit, the Seer of Some Summit. I said a little bit (or should that be "a BITTY bit"?) about him here, but I think he deserves a little more attention. Physically, he's a tiny man who resembles a brownie, although I guess he's not quite small enough to be one, as he's apparently about the same size as Dorothy. He has black eyes, and wears a brown robe and a round cap with a quill. All of the furnishings of his castle on Some Summit, a mountaintop in the Land of Ev, are brown or tan. Bitty lives alone in his castle, aside from a chef who is "even smaller than his Master and almost completely enveloped in a great brown linen apron and tall brown cap" (p. 240). I have to wonder if this cook might be a relative of Bitty's. I have long thought that an appropriate (if not particularly creative) name for him would be Bittier.
The seer is particularly good at what he does, telling King Skamperoo, "I know all, I see all, and what is more, I TELL ALL!" I would imagine Bitty is exaggerating his abilities, as he presumably isn't omniscient, but he does seem to be much more clear with his visions than other prognosticators in the series. Characters like Abrog and the unnamed Soothsayer from Purple Prince tend to prophesy in mysterious, equivocal speech; but Bitty is very direct and accurate. Really, I have to wonder why he doesn't get consulted more often, but I guess that might make things too easy. Even in Wishing Horse, as both David L. Greene and Jared Davis indicate, he's basically a deus ex machina. While an interesting character in his own right, he basically just wanders in and solves everything, putting an abrupt halt to Dorothy and Pigasus' quest for allies. The girl and the pig first meet him in his shooting tower, part of his castle that is built of stones with a rubber-like substance in between. It can expand, contract, and coil; and Bitty can use it to venture out into the world and look for things. When he first meets Dorothy and Pigasus, he is looking for sea serpents, but quickly abandons this search to help the two take back Oz for Ozma instead. With his powers, he is able to discover Skamperoo's treachery with no problem, and sends the conqueror away with several wishes that the seer knows will be used wisely. After that, we never see him again. Not in the Famous Forty, anyway. I'm not sure if there are other books that use him, but I did put him in some of my own stories.