Thursday, October 29, 2020


By L. Frank Baum
Author of John Dough and the Cherub, The Treasure of Karnak, and The Visitors from Oz. etc.

Originally written for the script of the unproduced musical Prince Silverwings (1903). Later used (slightly revised) in the musical The Woggle-Bug, first produced at the Garrick Theater, Chicago, June 18, 1905.
                (Pattycake and John Doe.)
DOE:      If you will but be mine—
PAT:        What then, if I'll be thine,

BOTH:    We'll bask in windless breezes,
                Where a sunbeam never freezes
                And a toothache always pleases—
PAT:            Baker's-Man, Baker's-Man!
BOTH:     Where a june-bug never sneezes
DOE:                Pat-ty-cake!

We'll stroll along the babbling brooks, our bank account begun;
With Browning for our poet we perpahs will Ad-di-son;
While delicious strains of music through our cullanders will run
And we'll toss 'em in the oven for {hubby/wifey} and me!

DOE:        Pattycake, Pattycake!
PAT:                Baker's Man!
DOE:        Try, dear, to love me!
PAT:            I will, if I can.
BOTH:    Blisses and kisses we'll mix in one pan—
DOE:        Pattycake, Pattycake!
PAT:                Baker's Man!
DOE:       If you will but be true—
PAT:        Ah, then, what will you do,
                        Baker's Man?
BOTH:    We will season Love with spices,
                And desserts of roasted ices—
                We will find where Paradise is
PAT:            Baker's Man, Baker's Man!
BOTH:     This so nice is it entices—
DOE:                Pat-ty-cake!
The world shall be our pudding and served a la carte for two;
We'll always dine in splendor fine, the cloth 'twixt me-'n'-U;
Our eggstacy will be au gratin—fried in crystal dew—
And we'll toss it in the oven for {hubby/wifey} and me!
DOE:        Pattycake, Pattycake!
PAT:                Baker's Man!
DOE:        Try, dear, to love me!
PAT:          I will, if I can.
BOTH:    Blisses and kisses we'll mix in one pan—
DOE:        Pattycake, Pattycake!
PAT:                Baker's Man!
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, August 19, 1917. 

The Inventions of Solomon Wise

Now in Supposyville, my loves,
Among the folks that I've been mentioning,
Lived Solomon Tremendous Wise,
Who had a genius for inventioning;
A dear old thoughtful soul was he,
Experimenting every way
To lessen toil and pour sweet oil
Upon the tasks of every day.

Said he, one hot and dusty morn,
"It seemeth sad that folks must languish
On days like these, for lack of breeze
Doth cause unnecessary anguish."
And having thus expressed himself,
He paced beneath his garden trees;
Resolved, before another dawn,
To find a way to make a breeze.
"If little fans cause little breezes
I'll build a giant whizzing one";
Scarce popped the thought into his head
Before his work's begun;
"I'll keep it for a big surprise,"
Quoth Solomon Tremendous Wise.
Awoke next day the sleepy folk,
With listless looks and aching heads;
With little sighs about the heat,
They tumble from their tumbled beds;
" 'Tis even hotter than before,"
Declareth one unto the other;
"If some cool breeze don't stir the trees
We'll just completely smother."

But in his garden on the hill
Old Solomon Tremendous Wise
Had built (indeed he's working still)
A mill wheel of tremendous size.
Now, chuckling like old Santa Claus,
He touches an electric button;
Next minute--mercy! Goodness me!
The air is full of legs o' mutton!

The butcher, driving past, alas!
Was caught up in the whirling breeze;
And sides of beef and mutton chops,
And he himself, perched in the trees.
Faster, faster, flew the wheel;
A hissing gale rushed down each street,
And stripped the lines, and broke the vines,
And snatched the people off their feet.

The clothes a-drying in the yards
Jerked off; the people spun like tops;
Old Solomon Tremendous Wise
Into the lake abruptly drops;
The Queen and ladies of the Court
Were circling 'round ten feet in air,
Before old Solomon crawled out
And turned his breeze away from there.

"Hum, ho!" sighed he, "you are some blower,
I'll have to make the wheel go slower!"
The which he did; and having done it,
Received the thanks of all. He'd won it
I must admit; and tell me truly,
Don't YOU think 'twas a good invention?
I wish we had a blower here
And several places I might mention.

Copyright © 2020 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020


By Ruth Plumly Thompson
Author of The Gnome King of Oz, "The Wizard of Pumperdink", "King, King! Double King!", etc.
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, June 25, 1916.
Yes, indeed! Oliver Elephant had the most beautiful eyes in all the jungle once. But now his eyes are not as large as Jack Monkey’s and, honeys, this was the way of it.

Tommy Tapir and Oliver had a quarrel—oh! a very mean, disagreeable quarrel, and they would not speak to each other. So Oliver Elephant had to find another chum to play with, and Bobby Bruin and he had great fun together—not as much as he and Tommy would have had, but still—

“If he only would not be such a pig about sweet things,” Oliver confided to Jack Monkey, “we could have the jolliest times ever. But whenever we are in the middle of some game, Bobby Bruin spies some berries or honey and then all the fun is over.”

“I’ll tell you what,” said naughty little Jack Monkey, “we’ll fix it so he will be so disgusted with honey he’ll never want any more. I have a dandy plan. You wait here until I come back,” and through the branches whisked the little monkey, chattering away to himself.

He was gone about an hour, and Oliver was getting very restless when he suddenly dropped down on the big little elephant’s head and started an excited whispering.

“So you see, I fixed it all up, and all you have to do is to show Bobby where the one tree is with the honeycomb in it and then sneeze three times, and all the bees for miles around will go after him. I’ll wager he’ll never want to see honey again when they get through,” finished Jack. Oliver Elephant agreed with the monkey that the plan was lovely and they both started off to find Bobby Bruin. Down by the river they found him turning over the rocks along the bank with his big paw to find the juicy slugs on the under side.

“H’lo, Oliver Elephant! H’lo Jack Monkey!” He hardly looked up, so busy was he in chasing one particularly tempting bug who was trying to escape.

“Come on, Bobby; we’re going to have a game of ‘hide and seek.’ I know a dandy new place to hide—”

Bobby very reluctantly left his feast and slowly followed the other two.

“—and,” finished Oliver Elephant, “we have refreshments, too! A fig, fat honeycomb.” Bobby Bruin’s little eyes gleamed, and his long, red tongue hung out of his mouth at the thought of it. Deep into the forest the three hurried, until finally they came to a clearing, and Oliver Elephant stopped and generously offered to go “it” first. There were plenty of big hollow trees and, to one side, thick underbrush, so Jack and Bobby had no trouble finding places to hide; in fact, all three soon became so interested in the game they quite forgot about the honey until—

Well, I do not know to this day just what happened, but I certainly think Tommy Tapir had a hand in it.

Bobby Bruin was “it,” and Oliver Elephant was hiding in the underbrush when some one sneezed three times very distinctly. Jack Monkey heard it first and with one terrified shriek he swung into the trees and disappeared. Bobby Bruin looked around, and he’d had enough experience to run toward the river and jump in. But Oliver Elephant just stood still—at first!

And whizzing through the air came millions of bees. They settled on the big little elephant, but his hide was too thick for him to feel them, excepting around his eyes and his nose, and these swelled and swelled and swelled until he could not see and he could not breathe.

Then he began to run. And he ran into trees and fell into holes and tore all the buttons off his new suit.

Mother Elephant was baking a huge hay pudding when she heard the noise. Indeed, it sounded almost like a thunderstorm. When she saw it was Oliver Elephant, she ran out to him and tied up his head in a huge plaintain leaf. The swelling would not go down. It was a long, weary time before the bandages could come off.

When the day finally came——! Well, as Mother Elephant said, “It’s a blessing you can see at all. And every time you look at your little eyes and long nose, remember the bees, and never, never make up such a cruel, unkind plan again. Here comes Tommy Tapir, and here’s the ‘Jungle Book.’ Go out under the trees and read it. I want to get this honey cake finished before Bobby Bruin gets here.”

Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, August 12, 1917. 

More Supposyville Happenings

They have the finest orchestras
And bands you ever heard,
In quaint Supposyville; you will,
I know, think I’m absurd
When I declare that not a cent
The music costs ’em, for
Each one can play—you see, that way
They’re sure to love it more;
And from the time a lad or lass
Can toddle he is sent
To the Lord High Fiddler of the realm
To learn what instrument
He can best play; and every day
From then till he is grown
He practices an hour,
With the best results e’er shown;
And what a festival there is
When he has earned a place
In the orchestra or band
Of his town! How they race
Each other, these dear children,
In a merry rivalry,
Nor think of music as a task
Of irksome drudgery!

It’s pretty hard for us sometimes
To practice when the boys
Are playing ball and making all
The gayest sort of noise;
But in Supposyville that couldn’t
Happen if, or whether;
For in Supposyville, sweethearts,
They practice all together;
At five the great tall tower clock
Plays out a merry tune,
And the bugler from the turret
Shrills his summons. Very soon
From east and west and everywhere
The boys and girls go clattering
Indoors to practice, breathlessly
And full of interest, pattering;
And each one knows that all the rest
Are doing just the same,
And that turns practice to the best
And most delightful game;
No calls from comrades outdoors here
To tease, distract and interfere.

I think it would be simply great
If in this very town
A great big bell the hour would tell
To practice; not a frown
We’d ever see, nor pout; dear me!
I really wonder whether
It can’t be done? Think of the fun
Of practicing together!

Copyright © 2020 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020


By Ruth Plumly Thompson
Author of The Hungry Tiger of Oz, "The Wizard of Pumperdink", "King, King! Double King!", etc.

Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, February 13, 1916.

“Well, there’s no use fussing about it, we just won’t win the championship, that’s all! We simply cannot play with four of our best girls gone and one of them the captain!” Bess was on the verge of tears and she was desperately in earnest. “Let’s go down and coax Miss Jamison to let Doris play, anyhow! She has 7 ¾  points in her lessons and I think it’s mean that ¼ point should keep her out of the game. She is our best player. Come on, girls, it won’t hurt to ask.” And Marion, followed by the other five, trooped in to the “gym” teacher to try to soften her “hard” heart to the extent of letting Doris play basketball.

You see, the whole trouble was this. All the girls in the athletic association in the school were so enthusiastic about their “gym” and basketball that lessons had suffered sadly. The day before the championship game was to be played, the gymnastic teacher, Miss Jamison, announced that no girl could play in the game who had not made 8 points in her lessons and the team had lost, as Bessie said, four of their best players, one (Doris, the captain) losing by ¼ point.

Miss Jamison was busy making out report cards when the six girls came rushing into the office, but knowing how disappointed they were about the game, she put down her work to listen to what they had to say.

“Please, Miss Jamison, can’t Doris play? She’s the only one who can save the day for us and w-w-what difference does ¼ point make?” Marion fairly stuttered in her excitement. “Please! Please!” pleaded the others. “We’ll all study extra hard if you’ll just let her play this once!”

“It wouldn’t be fair, girls, to the others!” Miss Jamison argued. But “Please, please!” the girls insisted, until finally Miss Jamison suggested leaving the matter up to Doris herself. “Oh, you’re a dear!” “We’ll study our heads off!” “Come on and tell Doris!” Really, it sounded more like sixty girls than six, and when they finally left to break the news to their captain, Miss Jamison turned back to her work with a shake of her head. The game looked hopeless to her, but she would not tell the girls that—it was too serious a matter to them.

She was not much surprised when, a half hour later the girls came trooping in, dragging Doris with them. “She won’t do it!” “YOU coax her!” “Haven’t you any school spirit?” (This last was addressed Doris.) “I cannot—please, girls! I want to so bad it hurts, but it wouldn’t be square!” Doris was firm and when the girls really were sure she would not play, black gloom settled on the team.

“Why don’t you pick out four girls and coach them this afternoon and in the morning before school?” Miss Jamison suggested.

“Well, you see, we have three girls we can put in from the ‘sub’ team, but there’s not a single girl can take Doris’ place and—oh! what’s the use, we’ll lose!” Elsie explained.

“No, we won’t!” Doris chimed in. “Now, where’s your school spirit? All of you THINK! Who is the likeliest girl you know. If none of you have any one else to suggest, I think Barbara Harlow could be taught—you know how keen she is about the games. She just watches them breathlessly!”

“But she never played!” objected Bess.

“How do you know?” Doris asked. “And anyhow, she knows the game from A to Z and that’s something to start on! Go and ask her, while I hunt up a suit to fit her—and hurry!”

The six girls scattered in all directions and triumphantly returned with a dazed and breathless Barbara in their midst. “But I never—” “Never mind!” finished Doris for her. “Get into this suit and we’ll work like sixty!” And they did!

Even if you have watched basketball and know it, playing it is quite another matter, and by 5:30 o’clock Barbara was worn out and hopeless.

“But,” as Bess said to Marion on the way home, “she did do remarkably well for the first time and all we can expect is to keep from being ‘white-washed.’” “We’ll be lucky if they don’t have a score of 100,” gloomily agreed Marion.

Doris and Barbara were both on the floor at the gym at 7:45 o’clock the next morning and Doris was able to give Barbara some points that helped her play wonderfully. “And remember,” she finished, as the first bell rang and they scurried into their clothes, “Don’t lose your head—don’t get mad—and for pity sakes don’t take any chances!”

There is no use trying to describe the game held that afternoon. It was simply one unexpected event after another and the first half closed with a tie score. Barbara, true to Doris’ teaching, took no chances, and the enthusiastic cheering for “Barbara Harlow” showed what the school thought of their new player. But it was in the last half that Barbara’s excitement told, and while the school watched breathless, she took one daring chance after another, her long arms seeming to be everywhere at once. And, as for the ball, it seemed, in some uncanny way, to always drop in her hands. Indeed, the very last-minute goal that won the game was her doing, and at that the school went quite mad. “What’s the matter with Barbara? – she’s ALL right!” “Why didn’t you tell us you could play?” were shouted at her. “I never did! I’ve played ball with my brother, though, and I’ve watched—BUT I think it really is Doris’ victory!” said Barbara modestly. “Three cheers for Doris—true as steel and square as a die!” Bess led the cheering and the school joined with a will.

“The Double Victory,” Miss Jamison called it. And I think she was about right, don’t you?

Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, August 5, 1917. 
His Highness Tripameasure

Pray let me introduce you to
A wight both bright and jolly,
Whose disposition is the very
Opposite of melancholy,
My Lord of Dancing and the Masque
His Highness Tripameasure,
Of dear Supposyville—you will
I’m sure meet him with pleasure;
He says the trouble with most folks
Is that they quite neglect their heels;
A man must have a way, says he,
To just express the way he feels,
And in each person is a deal
Of spirits that must be expressed,
Or they will sour and turn him dour,
And leave him simply all depressed;
Then, hearts get shaken down, he says,
And must be danced in place;
Besides, to dance is to acquire
A bit of elegance and grace;
We can’t all sing, or play, or write,
But every one can dance;
And in Supposyville he sees
That each one has his chance;
Both old and young, and fat and tall
Assemble in the palace hall;
And there they scrape and bend and bow,
And point and turn and learn just how
Their spirits to express, and when
The weather’s fine and fair
They dance upon the palace lawn
And have the best times there;
It gets to be a habit and scarce
Knowing that they do it,
Each day they trip about and skip,
And gayly dance their way clean through it;
And if you’d shake your troubles
And your stiffness and your sorrow,
Just take a chance and learn to dance;
And now, dear hearts, good morrow!

Copyright © 2020 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020


By Ruth Plumly Thompson
Author of The Lost King of Oz, "The Wizard of Pumperdink", "King, King! Double King!", etc.

Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, November 15, 1914.

Once upon a time, two boys and a dog besides set out to take a walk through the woods, and they had a gun and they had a big box of lunch, and they had a tin bucket full of flap-jack batter. Guess you know that a flap-jack is a giant hot cake, a sort of grandfather to the pancake and the griddle cake and all the other cakes.

Well, the two boys and the dog besides walked on and on through the chilly woods, and after shooting a great many leaves off the trees, they felt very tired and empty in the middle, so they stopped and made a fire and took out their lunch and ate all the cold chicken and sandwiches and whatever else they had. Then one of the boys unslung his frying pan and began to make flap-jacks. Flip, flap, flop, he turned them over with a shake of the pan (a flap-jack is as big as a frying pan), and he made one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, twenty, thirty and twelve besides, and they ate and ATE, and the dog gobbled and GOBBLED till they covered up the rest of their lunch with a nice, warm flap-jacket.

At last the boys unbuttoned their coats and leaned against a tree, and the dog rolled over on his side with his tongue out, and still there was more batter left, so the boy who made the flap-jacks made another one—not a good one, so he threw it on the ground. Then he started to make another one, but in the middle of it he just couldn’t stand looking at flap-jacks another minute, so he and the other boy picked up their things, and, with the dog wobbling behind, they went off and left it, frying pan and all.

“Flour sieves and cake turners,” exclaimed the flap-jack on the ground. “Here’s a state of things! Come back! COME BACK!!”

“Help! Help!” screamed the flap-jack in the frying pan. “I’m ready to turn! Help! I’m BURNING!” (Which was quite true.)

“My poor comrade!” cried the first flap-jack, peering over the edge of the trying pan.

“Well, are you going to stand there and see me burn to a crisp?” cried the flap-jack in the pan irritably.

“No! No, indeed!” cried the first, and seizing the second by the edges he pulled with all his might. Suddenly the flap-jack came loose from the pan, and they both tumbled to the ground. “Too bad, too bad,” cried the first, jumping to its feet.

“What’s too bad?” cried the second crossly.

“Why, you didn’t pan out well. You’re only done on one side!” said the first flap-jack.

“You’re not such a beauty yourself,” snapped the second, trying to smooth the creases out of his stomach. “You’re very pale and not done in the centre,” (which was also true).

“The main thing, John,” said the first flap-jack, pretending not to hear the last remark, “is to get ourselves eaten.”

“What do you call me ‘John’ for?” said the second flap-jack sharply.

“We can’t both be Jacks,” said the first apologetically, “but I’ll be ‘John’ If you don’t want to be.”

“All right, John,” said the second in a little pleasanter tone. “Now, the thing to do is to catch those boys and make them eat us. Come on!”

So Flap Jack and Flap John took hands and ran flip-flap, flip-flap, flip-flap, flip-flap after the boys, and had soon come up with them. “Come back! Come back! Eat us! EAT US!” implored they in their batter voices. The boys turned around, the dog turned around, and when they saw the flap-jacks running after them they stared and stared. It was surprising! Then the boys put their hands to their heads and the dog sniffed sadly and put his tail between his legs, and they all ran as hard as they could till Flap Jack and Flap John were left far behind.

“The chance for being eaten very poor, Jack!”

“Chance for being eaten very poor, John.”

“If we’re not soon eaten we shall crumble away,” sighed the two, walking sadly on together. Though they tried and tried, they could not get themselves eaten. First a bear took a bite of Jack and then a bite of John “WAUGH!” cried the bear and took to his heels. Then a rabbit took a nibble of John and a nibble of Jack and just toppled over backward.

“No one will eat us,” sighed Jack.

“We are disgraced!” sighed John, so the two little flap-jacks sat down on a stone to crumble away. But in the night a snowstorm came up and the little white snowflakes buried Jack and John like the babes in the woods.

But WHAT do you ’spose? Where Flap Jack and Flap John were buried a giant tree grew up—a flap-jack tree, mind you—and on it grow the most perfectest flap-jacks you ever saw. REALLY!!!

Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, July 29, 1917.

The Lord High Hobbyist of Supposyville

Aha! Oh, wouldn’t it be fine,
Oh, wouldn’t it be great and merry,
If we had such a jolly and
Delightful dignitary!
“As what?” you say—just wait a bit;
Now dears and ducks, be still,
And I’ll tell you of the gayest lord
In all Supposyville.
They call him Treasurer of Health
And Chief of Saturday,
And the duties of his office are
To teach folks how to play;
“For,” as the King said to the Queen,
“We all know how to work,
But playing is the very thing
That grown-ups often shirk;
And if you once forget to play,
The way is lost to happiness;
To health and wealth and loving and
A lot of other things, I guess;
Each man should have a hobby,
And here in Supposyville
’Twill be the law, and let no one
Defy my royal will!”
And straightway he picked out the very
Best man in the realm
And called him Lord High Hobbyist,
And put him at the helm;
Then, bubbling over with good will,
With jollity and wit,
A hobby to each person in
The kingdom he did fit;
The blacksmith, worn with sooty toil,
He taught the game of chess;
The miller took to swimming;
And the tailor worried less—
He grew quite broad from boxing;
While the baker grew less fat,
He took to running high jumps,
To gymnastics and all that;
He visited and talked and taught,
And every Saturday
The whole realm and their hobbies
Turned out bodily to play;
The good wives quite forgot their cares
In golf and horseback riding,
In dancing and the like. My dears,
He wasn’t long providing
A bit of fun for every one;
And each day in the lobbies
By scores and dozens folks collect
To talk about their hobbies.
Then hail the Lord High Hobbyist!
And may each be his own,
For life without a hobby’s like
A peach that’s naught but stone.

Copyright © 2020 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 1, 2020


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

Written for the Wooping Cough Quartette.
Originally performed September 15 and 16, 1917, at the 49er Outing of the Uplifters.

Tune: “So Early in the Morning”

What are we goin’ to DO with ’em
Do with ’em—
Do with ’em?
What are we goin’ to DO with ’em
So early in the mornin’?

They won’t be tenderfeet no more;
They’ll take their picks an’ dig for ore
An’ mebbe we will shed their gore
So early in the mornin’!

Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, July 22, 1917.

An Everyday Day in Supposyville

‘Twas six o’clock in the morning
On a lovely summer day,
When skipping o’er the meadows
The Supposies made their way;
Down lanes and roads and crooked streets,
Off toward the woodland shady;
Each lass and dame and little maid,
Each low and high born lady;
And from the bulky baskets and
The bags, I just surmise
A picnic must be brewing
Or some other fine surprise;
The band goes tooting on ahead
And all the birds are singing—
I wonder where the menfolks are
And why the bells are ringing?
Down on the grass beside a brook
They drop with merry chatter,
And all the little wood folks peep
To see what is the matter;
Out come the bags; my goodie, me!
They’re full of socks and mending,
And in a trice each lass and dame
Industriously is bending
Above her darning. How the needles
Twinkle in and out,
And how the band toots bravely with
Its cheeks blown up and out;
Then some one tells a story
And another sings a song,
And the little birds trill gayly
Just to help the work along;
And so they sew, and sew, and sew,
Till when the sun says “Noon”
Each tree and bush and brake with socks
And petticoats is strewn;
Then come the King and all the men,
And now the picnic starts;
And how they feast and dance and frolic—
Bless their merry hearts!
Then back to work the menfolks go,
And back to mending fly
The good Supposy ladies,
While the children play nearby;
Then later on the bugle blows;
The Queen jumps up to see
Who’s work is neatest, who’s is best
And who’s done most. Then she
Awards the prizes, and away
They hustle back to town,
Work turned to fun and neatly done
Before the sun goes down;
Yes, happiness and comradeship
Make tasks and labor light;
Even darning is a picnic
If you go about it right.

Copyright © 2020 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.

Friday, May 1, 2020


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 the Quincy (Illinois) Daily Herald, December 3, 1903.



Their Fads and Foibles Made the Themes of Puns by the Jolly Author of “The Wizard of Oz” and Other Bits of Nonsense.

There lives a young fellow named Bowles
Who ten-pins remarkably rolls;
When he misses a pin
All the boys give a grin
And say: “Ain’t it queer how Bowles bowls?”

Do you know what Dave Wilcox is after?
It isn’t the sun or the moon—
He doesn’t want them,
But, being P. M.,
Dave is certainly after-noon!

Georgie Stahl delights to play
On the golf-links every day;
When he drives he walks, they say—
Isn’t that a funny way?

Good Doctor Schmidt
He has a fidt
When any team by him does flidt;
But he don’t quidt,
For he has gridt
And drives like Texas, all admidt!

Georgie Lyford thinks that art
Is of life the better part.
If you’d know just what he means
Watch him eating pork and beans!

Little Charley Dazey
Sets the people crazy
With his “Old Kentuck” and other plays.
If he keeps a-going,
With his present showing
Dazey’ll be a daisy all his days!

Jim Adams lives in Quincy Town
And he is wond’rous wise;
He does a cake-walk every day
For proper exercise.

Gene Chubbuck has a pretty plant
Which always blooms by night;
Its blossoms are extravagant
Though very gay and bright.
Gene think [sic] this plant will always be
The “only one” there is;
I wonder if we’ll ever see
Another plant like his?

Oh, Uncle Dick—Dick McAfee!—
You’re very slick, as all can see!
At whist or cribbage, skat or chess
You win the cookstove, we confess!

Ed. Botsford is a merry elf—
(When ev’rything all well is.)
He loves his neighbors as himself—
(Especially Jack Ellis!)

Ben Bartlett won a grave renown
By covering his “lies,”
Yet he’s the last man in the town
The people patronize.

Doan tell yo’ fam’ly secrets
To Harry Charles or Sid,
Or let ’em know yo’ troubles
Or what yo’ bes’ gal did.
Yo’ bettah min’ yo’ p’s an’ q’s
An’ find what yo’s about—
For de “Optic’s” gwine to git yo’

Jack Guinan has a love for Poles
And “(w)hoops ’em up” in style.
They may be rough, but he controls
The rascals all the while.

If any dash would proper be
‘Twould not be one that starts with “d—,”
And yet if Dashwood this should hear
He’d bellow like a Texas steer!

Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, July 15, 1917.

A Surprising Supposyville Happening

My goody two shoes! What is all
The fuss and noise about?
A fire, I ’spose—for everybody
In the town is out.
The couriers ride up and down
And make no end of clatter—
What in the world has happened,
And whatever is the matter?
“To the orchards, lads and lassies!”
The bugle each one stirs,
The tardiest obeys the summons—
“Come, Dames, and Hark ye, Sirs!”
The messengers call shrilly—“Hurry!
Bring the baskets—ladders, too,
To the orchards! To the orchards!
His Highness bids us summon you!”
Out o’ doors they all come tumbling,
Running from the east and west,
Some in overalls and aprons,
Some in silks and velvet dressed,
Dragging ladders, bearing baskets,
Lighting lanterns as they ran—
No one thought to stop or question
This surprising night-time plan!
Breathlessly they reached the orchard,
Mounted on a box, the King
Pointed to the threatening storm clouds,
While around him in a ring
To listen, the good Supposies crowd
“Save the peaches! Save the peaches!
Let us pick with might and main—
‘Twon’t be long before it reaches
US—this storm—let’s beat the rain!”
Chuckling with determination,
They hung their lanterns on the trees;
Down like magic drop the peaches—
Never were such folks as these!
In an hour not one hung there,
Not a single peach was skipped,
And the first gusts of the windstorm
Found the orchard wholly stripped.
Into barrows went the baskets,
And right merrily they ran
Trundling homeward with the peach crop
As the pelting rain began.
With their peaches safely stored
What cared they how hard it poured?
If we all could work together
Like they do, I think we’d find
Lot of troubles and misfortunes
And disasters left behind!

 Copyright © 2020 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020


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

Originally published in the Chicago Record-Herald, August 27, 1904.

[The following story is the last in a series of short faux newspaper articles, all uncredited, leading up to and publicizing the debut of L. Frank Baum and Walt McDougall's weekly newspaper comic page Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz (1904-05). The first seventeen episodes of Queer Visitors end with the catch-phrase, "What did the Wogglebug say?" The articles in this series end similarly. This series seems to have been exclusive to the Chicago Record-Herald. A different series of articles, also uncredited—detailing a flight of the Oz characters through outer space—publicized Queer Visitors in newspapers elsewhere. Did L. Frank Baum write these stories? Or did someone at his publisher Reilly & Britton create them? Or did a writer at the Chicago Record-Herald come up with them? Baum did not clip examples for his scrap book, so maybe he isn't the author. The conception of the Land of Oz in these stories diverges from the one Baum later developed in his Oz books, so maybe he isn't the author. They were written before Baum's conception of Oz was fully formed and any differences may mean little, so maybe Baum is the author. Baum's presentation of his Oz characters in Queer Visitors also differed from his later conception, so maybe Baum is the author. Specific details of the Oz characters in these stories match their book counterparts, so maybe Baum is the author. The tone of the stories is as confident and as engaging as Baum's writing could be, so maybe Baum is the author. Maybe we'll never know.]

Advertisement from the Chicago Record-Herald, August 31, 1904.


Which Reminds Former Toymaker How the Woggle Bug Saved the Gum Drop Tree at a Crucial Moment.

“I’ve had a wireless message that the Tin Woodman is with the distinguished Ozite tourists who are soon to reach Chicago,” said the former leading toymaker of Oz yesterday. “This is reassuring news, as the Tin Woodman’s ax will aid greatly in frightening anyone who might wish to attack the party.”

“I’ve always loved the Tin Woodman,” cried the toymaker’s little boy. “He’s such a friend of the children.”

“Of course he is,” said the father. “Do you remember how badly he felt when he was ordered to cut down the gum drop tree? You see, Princess Ozma’s court physician,” went on the toymaker, without waiting for an answer, “had decided that gum drops were bad for children, and that the boys and girls of Oz were eating too many. Se he issued a decree that the huge gum drop tree, which stood in the middle of chocolate cream forest, must be cut down.

“A date was set for the execution, and the Tin Woodman ordered to grind his ax as sharp as possible. On the fatal day Princess Ozma and her entire court, as well as all the children of Oz, gathered about the gum drop tree.

“Many of the smaller children began to cry when they realized they would never see a gum drop again. The Tin Woodman, too, was much affected. He felt the edge of his ax in sorrowful fashion and tears stood in his eyes.

“ ‘It’s a shame,’ he muttered.

“But the court physician had no compunctions. ‘Get ready,’ he cried. The Tin Woodman advanced.

“ ‘Strike,’ bawled the court physician.

“The ax was poised. The children groaned.

“ ‘Stop,’ suddenly rang a voice. The Woggle Bug dashed up.

“ ‘This is absurd,’ he shouted. ‘Don’t you know that the gum drop tree—‘ And he began whispering angrily to the court physician.

“ ‘We must keep the tree,’ cried the latter, quickly turning to the Princess.

“ ‘What did the Woggle Bug say?’ she asked.

“But the court physician would not tell.”

Advertisement from the Chicago Record-Herald, September 8, 1904.

Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, July 8, 1917.

Vacations in Supposyville

Of course, you know in summer
’Tis the thing to go away;
To take a trip, in train or ship,
To mountain, sea or bay;
And up and down, and in and out,
The summer travelers range
In search of the elusive, known
By wise men as a change;
The change they lose to find it is
Enormous; still they fare
With box and bag and baggage east
And west and everywhere.
Now in Supposyville they use
A deal more wit and common sense;
Enjoy the thrills of traveling
Without embarrassing expense;
They day before they set to go
Is spent in packing preparation;
For without this gigantic task
Who’d ever start a real vacation?
They run upstairs and down with hats
And shoes and petticoats and slips,
And make in all before they’re done
Some forty-eleven different trips;
Straps all fast, the porters come
And throw the baggage down the stairs,
In quite the proper traveling style;
Then for the journey each prepares.
A train of chairs is waiting, and
They quickly hop aboard,
The King and Queen and all of ’em;
The miller pulls a cord,
The footman loudly rings a bell,
While dear old Fiddlesticks
Calls out the stations loud and well;
A pail of cinders fix
The matter finally, blown about
With several good big bellows,
They make the ride seem realer still,
While several sturdy fellows
Jiggle the chairs. “Why,” said the Queen,
“For such experiences pay,
When we can be uncomfortable
For nothing in this way?”
Thus travel they the long hot day,
And tumble off at night
Weary and dusty and tired, as if
They’d really traveled right.
“And,” as the King said to the Queen,
“These yearly journeys tend
The joys and comforts of our homes
To doubly recommend,
And hence are useful.” Isn’t that
Just like Supposyville—
To take a journey right at home,
A journey standing still?
And to complete the thing, they change
Their houses with their neighbors,
And have all sorts of larks and fun
In new homes and new labors;
The baker has the tailor’s house,
And gayly tries to sew;
The tailor at the baker’s shop
Strives bravely with the dough;
The miller’s at the castle, and
The King is at the mill;
Oh! Don’t they do the queerest things
In old Supposyville?

 Copyright © 2020 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.