Sunday, July 1, 2018


By Ruth Plumly Thompson 
Author of The Hungry Tiger of Oz, Ozoplaning with the Wizard in Oz, and The Wish Express, etc.

Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, August 31, 1919.

Once on a high time all the birds
Decided to choose a king.
They summoned all the feathered folk
And soon upon the wing

Came goose and duck and robin red,
Blue heron, owl and wren,
The crow and blackbird and the gull,
The pheasant and the hen.

More birds than ever I could tell.
The judges take their stand.
Old Mr. Owl presides and calls
The roll in manner grand.

“In choosing, mark ye well, appearance
Counts in any king,
Also the voice,” admonished he,
“And power, strength of wing.”

Outside the gate the peacock stood
And heard the owl with glee.
“It’s very plain,” he murmured, “that
He means a bird like me.”

“I’ll wait until the last bell sounds,
Then sweep into the hall,
With regal head and tail outspread,
And overwhelm them all.”

And so he waited till the last,
Then strutted through the gate.
The birds all craned their necks to see
Who came so proud and late.

But, oh! just then the gate slammed to,
His tail was left outside,
Clipped off neatly and completely,
So here’s what comes of pride.

Without his tail the peacock is
A sorry sight to see.
And while they crowned the eagle KING
He hid behind a tree.

By Ruth Plumly Thompson 
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, March 20, 1921.
The Forgetful Poet’s Puzzles

In last week’s verses our forgetful friend left out know and can’t, used up for down and down for up, awake for asleep and left out ice cream in his very last rhyme. Outside of this, it was pretty good poetry.


I always spend a day, in spring,
Out in the good old Zoo,
I like to see the bearlarpo
And all the monkeys, too.

The lions chatter in their cage,
The bears are most polite,
The monkeys roar with hungry rage,
The hippo’s -----

Is very large. The elephant
Can eat his share I’ll say.
For breakfast he can eat a ton
Or wagonload of -----.

It’s very pleasant, you’ll agree,
To watch the seals eat fish,
Though their voice aren’t as cultured
As a gentleman could -----.

The tiger’s spots and leopard’s stripes
Are odd, one must admit.
I love the Zoo, I really ----
Now aren’t YOU fond of -----?

Well, well, WELL! There are so many mistakes in this poem one scarcely knows where to begin. I wonder if you can find them all?

[Answers next time.]

Copyright © 2018 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 1, 2018


By L. Frank Baum
Author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Boy Fortune Hunters in the Yucatan, Daughters of Destiny, etc

From the stage show The Woggle-Bug. Sheet music originally published in 1905.

Sung by Mombi and 16 Goblins. 

Shadows are falling,
Screech-owls are calling,
Hobgoblins and sprites appear.

[Spoken]: Booh!

With pranks so bold
You shudder to behold
Them creeping up behind you,
Should they find you,
Then you'd better scoot, scoot, scoot.
And if they're jeering,
Then you'd best be fearing,
With devilments wicked they're chock full to boot.

So run away
From where the goblins play,
'Mid gloomy shade of night
To scamper they delight.
And dance with merry tune
Where shines the ghostly moon,
A howlin' and a scowlin',
You can't run away too soon.

When forests darken,
There if you harken, You will hear the goblins call.

[Spoken]: Booh!

Hand joined to hand
That grim and awful band
Dance 'round and 'round so madly,
That you'll gladly
Shake your heels and scoot, scoot, scoot.
With nerves ashiver
And your flesh aquiver,
This company doubtless the timid won't suit.

So run away
From where the goblins play,
'Mid gloomy shade of night
To scamper they delight.
And dance with merry tune
Where shines the ghostly moon,
A howlin' and a scowlin',
You can't run away too soon.

  The Forgetful Poet 
By Ruth Plumly Thompson 
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, March 13, 1921.

The Forgetful Poet’s Puzzles

In the first verse last week the dear fellow used west for east, off for on, out for in and left out day. In the second verse he used doggiewillow for pussywillow, puss-wood for dogwood, gnirps for spring, down for up and left out ’possum. In the last verse he left out red.

The March wind seems to have blown his words about today and they are just as nonsensical as ever. For instance take this:

What, ho! ’Tis spring! But then you -----
I really do not care to how,
Or rake, or dig or even plant,
Or rather shall I say I -----.

The clock ran up
I wound it down
Then broke two saucers
And a cup!

I think he has said the opposite from what he means here, don’t you think so? Well, to conclude he remarks:

I fell awake and dreamed a dream
Of summertime and peach -----

[Answers next time.]

Copyright © 2018 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.

Monday, May 14, 2018


By Ruth Plumly Thompson 
Author of Pirates in Oz, Ozoplaning with the Wizard in Oz, and The Wish Express, etc.

Illustrated by Charles J. Coll

Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger.

[Punctuation corrected for clarity. Racial implications do not reflect the opinions of anyone connected with Hungry Tiger Press.]

The little white Princess mouse wept in her tower—
The King and the Queen had been scolding an hour—
For suitors had come dressed in satins and lace
But the little mouse Princess averted her face!

What though they had titles as long as their tails—
What though the Queen shakes her and all the Court rails,
She sees a wee cottage tucked under a hill
And by a clear brook a wee little Mouse Mill!

Where froggies and fairy folk come with their flour
And a little brown miller mouse looks toward her tower—
Where birds sing delightfully all the day through—
The little brook sings and the mill wheel sings too!

But a wee white mouse Princess may never step down
From her Princessy throne, dears—to wed with a brown!
She may not! I said, but Ho—sometimes she does—
And she did one fine day—why? Oh my—just because!

And when the King thumped on the wee cottage door
He found her as gay as she’d been sad—before.
“You’ve wed a brown mouse!” “No—Your Highness, he’s white.”
And the King looking close—saw the Princess was right.

The little mouse miller was white from the flour.
In a rage the Mouse King hobbled back to his tower!
But the gay little miller and Wee Princess—still
Are as happy as larks in the little mouse mill!

  The Forgetful Poet 
By Ruth Plumly Thompson 
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, March 6, 1921.

The Forgetful Poet’s Puzzles

A good many people don’t say what they mean, but not very many say the exact opposite. The Forgetful Poet has developed [t]his habit lately, besides leaving out words, so that if you can guess what he means you will be brighter than we are down in this office. Unriddle his rhymes if you can, old dears.

The sun rose in the west,
And I rose in the usual way,
Put off my clothes, turned in my toes,
And wished my friends good —.

The doggie willow trees are out,
The puss-wood soon will blossom,
And Gnirps will waken down
The bears and Uncle Billy —.

Two hares caught in the brush,

I wept until my eyes were —,
You see, they were my own,
And should have stayed on top my head!

There are three opposite words in the first, three in the second and a sad mistake in spelling in the third verse and also one in the second verse.

The Forgetful Poet put short for tall, bad for good, day for night, light for dark and out for in—in his last poem.

[Answers next time.] 

Copyright © 2018 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 1, 2018


By L. Frank Baum
Author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Boy Fortune Hunters in the Yucatan, Daughters of Destiny, etc

Originally published in American Fairy Tales, 1901.

Mamma had gone down-town to shop. She had asked Nora to look after Jane Gladys, and Nora promised she would. But it was her afternoon for polishing the silver, so she stayed in the pantry and left Jane Gladys to amuse herself alone in the big sitting-room upstairs.

The little girl did not mind being alone, for she was working on her first piece of embroidery--a sofa pillow for papa’s birthday present. So she crept into the big bay window and curled herself up on the broad sill while she bent her brown head over her work.

Soon the door opened and closed again, quietly. Jane Gladys thought it was Nora, so she didn’t look up until she had taken a couple more stitches on a forget-me-not. Then she raised her eyes and was astonished to find a strange man in the middle of the room, who regarded her earnestly.

He was short and fat, and seemed to be breathing heavily from his climb up the stairs. He held a work silk hat in one hand and underneath his other elbow was tucked a good-sized book. He was dressed in a black suit that looked old and rather shabby, and his head was bald upon the top.

Excuse me, he said, while the child gazed at him in solemn surprise. Are you Jane Gladys Brown?”

Yes, sir,” she answered.

Very good; very good, indeed!” he remarked, with a queer sort of smile. I’ve had quite a hunt to find you, but I’ve succeeded at last.”

How did you get in?” inquired Jane Gladys, with a growing distrust of her visitor.

That is a secret,” he said, mysteriously.

This was enough to put the girl on her guard. She looked at the man and the man looked at her, and both looks were grave and somewhat anxious.

What do you want?” she asked, straightening herself up with a dignified air.

Ah!—now we are coming to business,” said the man, briskly. I’m going to be quite frank with you. To begin with, your father has abused me in a most ungentlemanly manner.”

Jane Gladys got off the window sill and pointed her small finger at the door.

Leave this room ’meejitly!" she cried, her voice trembling with indignation. My papa is the best man in the world. He never ’bused anybody!”

Allow me to explain, please,” said the visitor, without paying any attention to her request to go away. Your father may be very kind to you, for you are his little girl, you know. But when he’s down-town in his office he’s inclined to be rather severe, especially on book agents. Now, I called on him the other day and asked him to buy the ‘Complete Works of Peter Smith,’ and what do you suppose he did?”

She said nothing.

Why,” continued the man, with growing excitement, he ordered me from his office, and had me put out of the building by the janitor! What do you think of such treatment as that from the ‘best papa in the world,’ eh?”

I think he was quite right,” said Jane Gladys.

Oh, you do? Well,” said the man, I resolved to be revenged for the insult. So, as your father is big and strong and a dangerous man, I have decided to be revenged upon his little girl.”

Jane Gladys shivered.

What are you going to do?” she asked.

I’m going to present you with this book,” he answered, taking it from under his arm. Then he sat down on the edge of a chair, placed his hat on the rug and drew a fountain pen from his vest pocket.

I’ll write your name in it,” said he. How do you spell Gladys?”

G-l-a-d-y-s,” she replied.

Thank you. Now this,” he continued, rising and handing her the book with a bow, is my revenge for your father’s treatment of me. Perhaps he’ll be sorry he didn't buy the 'Complete Works of Peter Smith.’ Good-by, my dear.”

He walked to the door, gave her another bow, and left the room, and Jane Gladys could see that he was laughing to himself as if very much amused.

When the door had closed behind the queer little man the child sat down in the window again and glanced at the book. It had a red and yellow cover and the word Thingamajigs was across the front in big letters.

Then she opened it, curiously, and saw her name written in black letters upon the first white leaf.

He was a funny little man,” she said to herself, thoughtfully.

She turned the next leaf, and saw a big picture of a clown, dressed in green and red and yellow, and having a very white face with three-cornered spots of red on each cheek and over the eyes. While she looked at this the book trembled in her hands, the leaf crackled and creaked and suddenly the clown jumped out of it and stood upon the floor beside her, becoming instantly as big as any ordinary clown.

After stretching his arms and legs and yawning in a rather impolite manner, he gave a silly chuckle and said:

"This is better! You don’t know how cramped one gets, standing so long upon a page of flat paper.”

Perhaps you can imagine how startled Jane Gladys was, and how she stared at the clown who had just leaped out of the book.

You didn’t expect anything of this sort, did you?” he asked, leering at her in clown fashion. Then he turned around to take a look at the room and Jane Gladys laughed in spite of her astonishment.

What amuses you?” demanded the clown.

Why, the back of you is all white!” cried the girl. You’re only a clown in front of you.”

Quite likely,” he returned, in an annoyed tone. The artist made a front view of me. He wasn’t expected to make the back of me, for that was against the page of the book.”

But it makes you look so funny!” said Jane Gladys, laughing until her eyes were moist with tears.

The clown looked sulky and sat down upon a chair so she couldn’t see his back.

I’m not the only thing in the book,” he remarked, crossly.

This reminded her to turn another page, and she had scarcely noted that it contained the picture of a monkey when the animal sprang from the book with a great crumpling of paper and landed upon the window seat beside her.

He-he-he-he-he!” chattered the creature, springing to the girl’s shoulder and then to the center table. This is great fun! Now I can be a real monkey instead of a picture of one.”

Real monkeys can’t talk,” said Jane Gladys, reprovingly.

How do you know? Have you ever been one yourself?” inquired the animal; and then he laughed loudly, and the clown laughed, too, as if he enjoyed the remark.

The girl was quite bewildered by this time. She thoughtlessly turned another leaf, and before she had time to look twice a gray donkey leaped from the book and stumbled from the window seat to the floor with a great clatter.

You’re clumsy enough, I’m sure!” said the child, indignantly, for the beast had nearly upset her.

Clumsy! And why not?” demanded the donkey, with angry voice. If the fool artist had drawn you out of perspective, as he did me, I guess you’d be clumsy yourself.”

What’s wrong with you?” asked Jane Gladys.

My front and rear legs on the left side are nearly six inches too short, that’s what’s the matter! If that artist didn’t know how to draw properly why did he try to make a donkey at all?”

I don’t know,” replied the child, seeing an answer was expected.

I can hardly stand up,” grumbled the donkey; and the least little thing will topple me over.”

Don’t mind that,” said the monkey, making a spring at the chandelier and swinging from it by his tail until Jane Gladys feared he would knock all the globes off; the same artist has made my ears as big as that clown’s and everyone knows a monkey hasn’t any ears to speak of--much less to draw.”

He should be prosecuted,” remarked the clown, gloomily. I haven’t any back.”

Jane Gladys looked from one to the other with a puzzled expression upon her sweet face, and turned another page of the book.

Swift as a flash there sprang over her shoulder a tawney, spotted leopard, which landed upon the back of a big leather armchair and turned upon the others with a fierce movement.

The monkey climbed to the top of the chandelier and chattered with fright. The donkey tried to run and straightway tipped over on his left side. The clown grew paler than ever, but he sat still in his chair and gave a low whistle of surprise.

The leopard crouched upon the back of the chair, lashed his tail from side to side and glared at all of them, by turns, including Jane Gladys.

Which of us are you going to attack first?” asked the donkey, trying hard to get upon his feet again.

I cant attack any of you,” snarled the leopard. The artist made my mouth shut, so I havent any teeth; and he forgot to make my claws. But Im a frightful looking creature, nevertheless; am I not?”

Oh, yes;” said the clown, indifferently. I suppose youre frightful looking enough. But if you have no teeth nor claws we dont mind your looks at all.”

This so annoyed the leopard that he growled horribly, and the monkey laughed at him.

Just then the book slipped from the girls lap, and as she made a movement to catch it one of the pages near the back opened wide. She caught a glimpse of a fierce grizzly bear looking at her from the page, and quickly threw the book from her. It fell with a crash in the middle of the room, but beside it stood the great grizzly, who had wrenched himself from the page before the book closed.

Now,” cried the leopard from his perch, youd better look out for yourselves! You cant laugh at him as you did at me. The bear has both claws and teeth.”

Indeed I have,” said the bear, in a low, deep, growling voice. And I know how to use them, too. If you read in that book youll find I'm described as a horrible, cruel and remorseless grizzly, whose only business in life is to eat up little girls—shoes, dresses, ribbons and all! And then, the author says, I smack my lips and glory in my wickedness.”

Thats awful!” said the donkey, sitting upon his haunches and shaking his head sadly. What do you suppose possessed the author to make you so hungry for girls? Do you eat animals, also?”

The author does not mention my eating anything but little girls,” replied the bear.

Very good," remarked the clown, drawing a long breath of relief. you may begin eating Jane Gladys as soon as you wish. She laughed because I had no back.”

And she laughed because my legs are out of perspective,” brayed the donkey.

But you also deserve to be eaten,” screamed the leopard from the back of the leather chair; "for you laughed and poked fun at me because I had no claws nor teeth! Dont you suppose Mr. Grizzly, you could manage to eat a clown, a donkey and a monkey after you finish the girl?

"Perhaps so, and a leopard into the bargain,” growled the bear. It will depend on how hungry I am. But I must begin on the little girl first, because the author says I prefer girls to anything.”

Jane Gladys was much frightened on hearing this conversation, and she began to realize what the man meant when he said he gave her the book to be revenged. Surely papa would be sorry he hadnt bought the Complete Works of Peter Smith when he came home and found his little girl eaten up by a grizzly bear—shoes, dress, ribbons and all!

The bear stood up and balanced himself on his rear legs.

This is the way I look in the book,” he said. Now watch me eat the little girl.”

He advanced slowly toward Jane Gladys, and the monkey, the leopard, the donkey and the clown all stood around in a circle and watched the bear with much interest.

Illustration originally published in the St. Louis Republican, March 3, 1901.

But before the grizzly reached her the child had a sudden thought, and cried out:

Stop! You mustnt eat me. It would be wrong.”

Why?” asked the bear, in surprise.

Because I own you. Youre my private property,” she answered.

I dont see how you make that out,” said the bear, in a disappointed tone.

Why, the book was given to me; my names on the front leaf. And you belong, by rights, in the book. So you mustnt dare to eat your owner!”

The Grizzly hesitated.

Can any of you read?” he asked.

I can,” said the clown.

Then see if she speaks the truth. Is her name really in the book?”

The clown picked it up and looked at the name.

It is,” said he. ‘Jane Gladys Brown;’ and written quite plainly in big letters.”

The bear sighed.

Then, of course, I can’t eat her,” he decided. That author is as disappointing as most authors are.”

But he’s not as bad as the artist,” exclaimed the donkey, who was still trying to stand up straight.

The fault lies with yourselves,” said Jane Gladys, severely. Why didnt you stay in the book, where you were put?”

The animals looked at each other in a foolish way, and the clown blushed under his white paint.

Really—” began the bear, and then he stopped short.

The door bell rang loudly.

It’s mamma!” cried Jane Gladys, springing to her feet. She’s come home at last. Now, you stupid creatures—”

But she was interrupted by them all making a rush for the book. There was a swish and a whirr and a rustling of leaves, and an instant later the book lay upon the floor looking just like any other book, while Jane Gladys strange companions had all disappeared.

* * * * * * * *

This story should teach us to think quickly and clearly upon all occasions; for had Jane Gladys not remembered that she owned the bear he probably would have eaten her before the bell rang.

  The Forgetful Poet 
By Ruth Plumly Thompson 
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, February 27, 1921.

The Forgetful Poet’s Puzzles

Most of you seemed to know just what the Forgetful Poet meant to say, although he put down the exact opposite. The words that should have been changed were dry to get [sic, wet], hot to cold, ice chest to fireplace, black to white, and the word left out was mirror. This week he seems to have mixed himself up just as thoroughly.

An Exactly Opposite Poem

Oh, once there was a jolly giant,
Short as any steeple.
And he was bad as he could be
And never bothered people!

Each night he ventured after light
To walk abroad and peer
Out people’s houses to amuse
Himself, the cute old dear!

There are five wrong words in these two verses. Can you find them?

[Answers next time.] 

Copyright © 2018 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 1, 2018


By Ruth Plumly Thompson 
Author of Speedy in Oz, Ozoplaning with the Wizard in Oz, and The Wish Express, etc.

Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, August 24, 1919.

Once upon a time there was a poor woodchopper mouse named Terry Trim. He lived in a wild weed forest in a little hut made from twigs and worked from morning till night to earn a living for himself, Mrs. Terry Trim and Tommy Trim.

He sold his logs of weed to the fairies and also earned a bit from the birds. He was a great hand to pick up material for nests, as he was working in the forest, and the birds were glad enough to buy of him the bits of silk cord and fern that he collected for them. But times were hard and Mrs. Trim often urged him to move to the city, where she had many relations. But Mr. Trim was very independent and he had a great contempt for the city mice who lived in the houses of men and stole enough to live on.

“I’ll earn what we need or perish in the attempt!” said the valiant little mouse on more than one occasion, after which he would fall to chopping weeds with all the vigor in the world. Then Mrs. Trim would sigh and sew another patch on Tommy’s rompers. Poverty was not the only thing they had to contend with. There were many enemies in the forest. Every night the windows were barred fast to keep away fierce Mr. Owl, who often boasted that he would eat the whole family one fine day.

Then there was Ebenezer Mole. One time he almost coaxed Tommy down into his underground cave, and had not Terry just happened to have been there Tommy Mouse Trim would have been under old Ebenezer’s waistcoat. Then another day he tunneled under the little hut and was just about scratching his way through the floor when Mrs. Tommy heard the noise and poured a kettleful of hot water on him. Yes, there was no doubt about it, Mr. Terry Trim had a hard time of it.

But he only worked faster and kept shaking his head and saying, “Everything will come right directly!”

And sure enough it did! One hot afternoon as he was stacking his bundle of weeds ready to return home, Terry heard a faint cry from under a pile of leaves. He dropped everything and hastened to the spot. A tiny little humming bird had fallen there. It quivered with fright as Terry picked it up and put it carefully under his coat.

Home ran Terry—wood and everything but the forsaken little bird forgotten.

“Here, wife—see what I’ve brought you?” he cried excitedly bursting in upon Mrs. Trim. When she saw the shivering little bird Mrs. Trim gave a little shrug of disappointment.

“I thought you had brought us something for supper!” she sighed reproachfully. Nevertheless she brought out Tommy’s old cradle and made the little stranger as comfortable as she knew how. And soon as the little creature was fed with the last mite of sugar in the house it fell fast asleep and Terry trudged back to the forest for his bundle of fairy logs. When he had sold the last bundle and bought some cheese of an old fairy woman he hurried back home. But everything seemed strange. A neat little path ran straight through the forest, where none had been before. Over the top of some tall weed trees he saw the turrets of a wonderful manor house. Terry rubbed his eyes, for he thought he was lost or dreaming. Yet surely this was the way! Hardly knowing what to think he ran down the path. Whew—there was a regular mouse mansion about as big as a good sized doll house, only much, much beautifuler! Oh, much. There was a garden with a fountain and an arbor and—before Terry could see any more, Mrs. Trim and Tom burst out of the door and ran to meet him.

You see, sweethearts, the humming bird was a very good little fairy and had rewarded the little mouse couple with this beautiful new house and enough mouse money to last as long as they lived. Oh, I wish you had seen that little mouse manor with its cunning pantry and kitchen and its open fireplace and piano!

And if you see a little lost bird be kind to it—for, you know, it might be a fairy.

By Ruth Plumly Thompson 
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, February 20, 1921.

The Forgetful Poet’s Puzzles

The Forgetful Poet was busy writing valentines to all his friends last week and just came in to say that the answers were Tee or T (found eighteen times on a golf course). A patch of sunshine is the cheapest patch in the world and chow describes a dog and a soldier’s dinner, though a soldier does not eat bowwows by any manner of means. When a cat is angry it describes a spitz dog, and the words left out of the poem were ball and small.

The poem he left today sounds dreadfully queer. I think he has said the exact opposite of what he intended to say, and perhaps if you find the right words it will rhyme correctly.

I went out in the day -----
And caught an awful hot, my dear—
Since then I’ve hugged the ice chest
And kept cotton in my ear!

My family say I look quite black—
I looked into my -----?
And must admit that every day
I grow a little queerer!

“Why do trees sway in the wind? Ahem—because they are full of bows.” I don’t know why he answered that himself, I guess he was afraid he’d forget it before next week.

[Answers next time.]

Copyright © 2018 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.

Thursday, February 1, 2018


by W. W. Denslow
Author of Denslow's Scarecrow and Tinman, original illustrator of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Father Goose: His Book, Dot and Tot of Merryland, etc.

Originally published in the Saint Paul Globe, December 13, 1903.

Click Image to Enlarge.

By Ruth Plumly Thompson 
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, February 13, 1921.

The Forgetful Poet’s Puzzle

The blanks in last week’s verses should have been filled in with deer, bear, horse, frog, dog, cat and whale.

This time the Forgetful Poet wants to know what letter is found eighteen times on every full golf course?

What is the cheapest patch in the world?

What soldier name for dinner describes a dog?

When the cat is angry it also describes a bowwow.

Can you fill in these blanks?

An amiable ostrich
Once went to a -----
Where she trod on the toes
Of the great and the -----

Till a young lady elephant
Snatched out a trunk full
Of plumes. Away home
The poor ostrich bird slunk full
                   (of sorrow).

[Answers next time.]

Copyright © 2018 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.