Tuesday, August 25, 2020

THE DOUBLE VICTORY!

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

FLAP JACK AND FLAP JOHN

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.
(Really!)

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

Monday, June 1, 2020

WHAT ARE WE GOIN’ TO DO WITH ’EM

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

VERSE ABOUT PROMINENT QUINCY CITIZENS

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.

FRANK BAUM
FATHER GOOSE

SOME JINGLES ABOUT PROMINENT QUINCYANS.

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

A BOLD MAN.
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?”

POST-MERIDIAN.
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!

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

A FAST FRIEND.
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!

PALETTE-ABLE.
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!

“PLAY-DAZE.”
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!

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

QUIXOTIC—EXOTIC.
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?

HANDS UP!
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!

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

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

POPULAR COON SONG.
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’
Ef
    yo’
        doan’
            watch
                 out!

FOREIGN DIPLOMACY.
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.

IMPROPER.
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

TIN WOODMAN COMING WITH PARTY FROM OZ

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.

TIN WOODMAN COMING WITH PARTY FROM OZ

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.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

FLYING GUMP COMING; ASK THE WOGGLE BUG

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 26, 1904.

[The following story is the fourth 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, September 1, 1904.

FLYING GUMP COMING; ASK THE WOGGLE BUG

Most Wonderful Air Ship in Existence Is on Its Way to Chicago With Party From Princess Ozma’s Domain.

Definite news came to the Oz colony in Chicago yesterday that the party which is on the way from Princess Ozma’s marvelous domain is to arrive in the Flying Gump. Those who have seen it describe the Gump as being the only perfect air ship in existence. They say it is so safe that the smallest child is able to reach the very farthest stars in it, while to fly around the sun is scarcely more of an undertaking than to visit the Lincoln Park zoo.

The Gump, however, had not always so great a reputation. When it first appeared in Oz people were afraid to venture in it.

“I am entirely safe,” declared the Gump. “It’s impossible for me to fall, while if anyone tumbled out of me they’d have the funniest time of their lives.”

No one was convinced, however, except the Woggle Bug. He took his seat in the Gump. They flashed upward, while all the children of Oz shouted.

Up and up they went. Suddenly the children saw the Woggle Bug rise to his feet.

“This is too tame,” remarked the Woggle Bug to the Gump. “I’m going to jump out.”

“Take care you don’t hurt yourself laughing,” said the Gump.

And to the children’s horror they saw the Woggle Bug plunge into space. Instead of falling down, however, he fell up. Three seconds later he vanished behind a golden cloud.

Such sorrowing as there was in Oz! The children wept for the wonderful Woggle Bug, while they were most severe to the Gump. But four days afterward there was wild rejoicing. The Woggle Bug suddenly appeared at the children’s great national playground. He was laughing uproariously.

“The Gump’s a splendid fellow!” he cried. “It was the funniest place in the world.” And he roared again with laughter.

“Where have you been?” shouted the children.

“I’ll tell you,” said the Woggle Bug. He sprang on the horns of the Gump, amid breathless silence, and spoke rapidly for six minutes.

“What did the Woggle Bug say?” asked the children as he finished.

For the Woggle Bug had talked in Greek.

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


Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, June 24, 1917.

A Rainy Day in Supposyville

A rainy day to most folks
Is a dreary stay-indoors affair;
Or else with big umbrellas
They go bobbing crossly here and there;
They shake their heads at all they meet,
And mumble ’bout the awful weather,
Or mope around the house and get
Their griefs and grievances together;
But pshaw, now! In Supposyville
They chuckle when the rain comes pelting;
You see, Supposies aren’t one bit
Afraid of just entirely melting.
“ ’Tis very plain we must have rain
To wash the trees and towns and houses;
To make the gardens bloom again
And wake the seedling where it drowses!
“Come on!” they cry. “Come out! Come out!
Let’s help the storm clouds clean up town!”
Then every one comes splashing out,
And why on earth should any frown?
But frowns on rainy days, I s’pose,
Are oftenest a case of clothes;
And here these quaint and jolly folks
Are sensibler still;
They all wear woolen bathing suits
In dear Supposyville;
They throw hot suds upon the walks
And fences, and the trees,
And splash around with brush and broom
As gayly as you please;
The spigots of the sky pour down
A plenteous supply
Of water; come to think of it,
I really wonder why
We do not do the same? Well, after
All the work is done
They patter here and there, and have
The greatest sort of fun;
They paddle down the lanes and paths
And revel in free shower baths;
The lads and lassies sail their boats
And seem to have much more
Enjoyment than some little folks
I know have at the shore;
And when they’re dried and brushed and dressed
They look as fresh and blowsy
As garden flowers after showers.
Wish I were a Supposy.
(Don’t you?)


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

Saturday, February 1, 2020

FEAR FOR THE OZITES IN STATE STREET RUSH

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 25, 1904.

[The following story is the third 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, September 1, 1904.

FEAR FOR THE OZITES IN STATE STREET RUSH

Former Inhabitants of Land Remember Jack Pumpkinhead and His Plight and Wonder “What Did the Woggle Bug Say?”

Children who formerly lived in Oz are expressing fear lest accident befall some of the less clever members of the party which is coming from the marvelous land to Chicago. They recall the scrape their old friend Jack Pumpkinhead, in particular, got into at the time of Princess Ozma’s coronation, and they hope his comrades will see to his safety on State street.

It seems that he was intrusted with the crown to take back to the palace after the coronation. “It’s easy,” he thought, trundling off confidently with the silver wheelbarrow, in which was the crown, covered with cloth of gold. He had not gone far, however, before he met a wayfarer, also pushing a silver barrow, in which lay something hidden by gold cloth. Jack stopped, wondering.

“Have you got a crown too?” he asked.

“I should say so,” said the stranger, “and it’s worth five million dollars.”

“This one is only worth one million,” said Jack disgustedly.

“Well, you’re such a fine fellow that I’ll give you this crown in place of yours,” declared the other. “Think how pleased the princess will be.”

“Splendid,” cried silly Jack, seizing the barrow and running off, with never a look at the supposed crown.

The instant he reached the palace the royal chamberlain dashed down the steps.

“Delighted to see you,” cried the chamberlain, and threw back the cloth of gold. He and Jack both bellowed. Nothing was there but a huge jam tart.

Jack was instantly dragged before the lord high chancellor.

“You’re sentenced to be fed on dry soda crackers for the rest of your life,” shouted the chancellor, “unless someone answers this riddle. If a green sugar chicken costs seven cents how many blue gingerbread apples can you get for a dollar?”

The Woggle Bug sprang forward. He spoke to the chancellor.

“Correct,” pronounced the great dignitary, nodding his head.

“What did the Woggle Bug say?” demanded grateful Jack.
 

The chancellor only laughed.

Advertisement from the Chicago Record-Herald, August 30, 1904.


Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, June 17, 1917.

The Troubadour of Supposyville

The troubadour sang blithely
As he passed the castle gate;
The Queen leaned out the casement
And entreated him to wait;
So, springing from his saddle,
He struck his sweet guitar;
The little birds a-hearing him
Sang loudly near and far;
And, just as he had ended up
His merry, merry lay,
Down tripped the Queen, and, if it were
Not too far from his way,
Begged that he take some posies
To poor lame old Mistress Sue,
And leave her pony at the blacksmith’s,
“See, he’s lost his shoe;
And tell the tailor please to put
Blue buttons on this coat;
And if you pass a postbox will
You kindly mail this note;
And will you leave this flour at
The miller’s? And please take
These berries to the baker, for
I want a berry cake;
And would you buy for me a spool
Of yellow thread, and one
Of tea rose pink? That’s all, I think.
I thought it would be fun
To give the folks a holiday,
And they’ve already gone;
And dear knows what I should have done
Had you not come along!”
The troubadour, who’d listened
In a daze—sprang on his horse,
Taking one thing, then another,
And murmuring “Of course,”
“Oh, certainly, your highness,”
And “Blue buttons for the cake;
Delighted, I assure you.”
Off he galloped—mercy sake!
The pony trotting after
And the flour on his knee,
The berries in his bonnet,
And the Queen’s coat flying free
From the saddle; and he sang a tune
That sounded monstrous queer,
“Sweet miller for the flour,
And buttons have I here”;
He hailed the postman lustily
And flung the Queen’s coat down;
“Just mail this please!” Next minute he’s
The other side of town.
Still singing gayly, on he hurries
To the blacksmith’s, leaves
The posies on the forge, then quite
A sigh of pleasure heaves;
“I’m almost finished,” chuckles he
And while the posies scorch
He drags the pony firmly up
On Madam Sue’s front porch,
Opens the door and shoves it in;
Next minute he’s away,
Taking no note of noise or din;
“A cake without delay;
With buttons blue, and hurry, too!”
He calls to the tailor man;
And dumping down the flour
To the baker shop he ran
And left the letter. “See you put
Blue berries on this flour!”
Slam went the door, my dears, before
The baker man had power
To raise a hand. The troubadour
Now paused and waved his hat,
Then caroled off contentedly—
What do you think of that?


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