Thursday, October 15, 2009


By L. Frank Baum
Author of John Dough and the Cherub, The Amazing Bubble Car, and The Visitors from Oz. etc.

This Ozma of Oz, copyrighted in 1909, was Baum's script for a play based on his 1907 book of the same name. Eventually it evolved into the play The Tik-Tok Man of Oz, staged in 1913, which was the basis for Baum's 1914 Oz book of a similar name. The following song, which would have had music (not known to still exist) by Manuel Klein, opens the play with the Dorothy Gale-analog Betsy Baker, Hank the mule, and the spring chicken Baden-Baden in the Rose Kingdom. This scene provided the basis for the similar episode in the book Tik-Tok of Oz.

What an impolite intrusion!
You have filled us with confusion--
An action most ungracious in a mortal such as you!
We are occupied in growing
And you really must be going
For to interfere with roses is a careless thing to do.

But I've just been badly wrecked
And I surely can expect
A little hospitality in such a bow'r of beauty,
But I'll tell you what's the matter;
There are thorns in all your chatter,
And some day you will be reproached for laxness in your duty.

We are very cultivated;
Our variety is stated
By expert horticulturists to be exceeding rare,
But when angered ev'ry petal
Is at once upon its mettle,
And every bud and blossom is as dangerous as fair.

Hey dey! That is to say,
You're pretty to look at but horrid to strangers!
Heigh ho! Where shall we go?
Wherever we wander we run into dangers.

Hee haw!
Poor little Hank!
There's no one to love us or comfort us, dear.
Hee haw!
Who but a crank
Would turn us away when we want to stay here?

You are very pert and saucy!
And inclined to be quite bossy,
But we'll not submit to impudence from any mortal maid!
Spite of all your bluff and braying
You have no excuse for staying
This hot-house is too warm for you we're very much afraid.

Roses, you are on the scent!
Fragrant though you stalk,
Vagrant is the scent-I-meant
That pervades your talk!

Though so dainty now you look,
You're a lot of loons;
When you get the pruning-hook
You'll be full of prunes.

You are very inconsistent.
For although you are persistent
In claiming hospitality where none is offered you;
We must still insist on saying
That our laws we are obeying
By forcing you to leave us and to bid our land adieu.

By Ruth Plumly Thompson 
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, February 2, 1919.


Some Puzzles to Puzzle You

The Forgetful Poet says that a letter is feminine because it is a miss-ive - and I s;pose that it is - and a German food describing a wise man is sausage, for is not a wise man full of saws and is he not also a sage? Then, therefore, he is a sawsage.

He will have his joke. Listen to this:

The snowman went off
To deposit his money.
He went to a snow bank.
Why shouldn't he, honey?

He was talking to one of the Supposies the other day--he's quite fond of the dear things--and this Supposy told him that the King had gone fishing. "Then he's a bird!" said the Forgetful Poet triumphantly, and the Supposies have gone off to Solomon Tremendous Wise to solve the riddle. Can you do it for them?

He says he often sees funny things in his dreams. The other night he saw

A nose that was gay
And a toe that was red;
A leg made of money,
A foot with a head.

[Answers next time.]

Copyright © 2009 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


By Ruth Plumly Thompson
Author of Ozoplaning with the Wizard of Oz, The Wish Express, "King, King! Double King!", etc.

Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, July 7, 1918.

Sir Solomon Tremendous Wise,
The King's chiefmost adviser,
Seems every day to find a way
Of proving himself wiser.
"There is," said he, "one thing that we
Have overlooked, your Highness;
A matter of importance and
A matter of much finesse!

"It has to do with weddings, Sire,
Contentedness and quiet;
It has to do with the tremendous
Part of each man's diet
That lacking causes pain, distress,
The blues and melancholy;
That eaten regularly keeps
Him jovial and jolly.

"A peaceful household you will find
Where good pie is a factor,
It is a never failing calm,
A masculine attractor;
And knowing this to be the case,
Your Majesty, 'twere best
To make each maiden pass, before
She weds, a high pie test!"

"A high pie test! Sir Solomon,
Your genius is sublime, Sir!"
Thus spoke the King, "and so your hint
I regard as very prime, Sir!"
By royal proclamation it
Was spread North, East and West
And South: "No maid shall wed until
She's passed the high pie test!"

And after that--'most every day,
Sir Solomon Tremendous Wise
Is called upon to test and pass--
Well, several dozen pies.
Sometimes the King helps. The insides
Must be both sweet and shaky;
As for the crust--of course, that must
Be white and light and flaky.

And when the pies have passed, the maid
May wed--Aho! I'm thinking
Sir Solomon just made that rule--
Yes; once I saw him winking--
Because he wanted pie himself.
Not having any wife
He thought he'd just insure himself
Against a pieless life!

He tests the pies himself, you know.
Now what a merry joke
The wise old wight has played this time
On our Supposy Folk.

By Ruth Plumly Thompson 
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, January 26, 1919.

The Forgetful Poet

Would you believe it? Sometimes this dear old chap forgets the answers to his own riddles, and then every one in the office has to get to work to help him out. But, as he says, his head is so full of new ideas that he has not room for all the old ones. Last week's answers were: Longfellow, Eugene Field, Shelley, Whittier, Wordsworth, Bret Harte, Scott, Browning.

The preserved letter in the alphabet which appeals to boys and girls is candy.

This week he asks:

"Why is a letter (the kind you write) feminine?"

"What German food describes a wise man--Solomon Tremendous Wise, for instance?"

He felt pretty good, because he really got off a joke on me.

"Do your feet correspond?" he asked me suddenly. I looked down hastily to see whether I had the right shoe on the left foot or anything. "What do you mean?" I said, quite mystified.

"Well, I've often heard of foot notes--so I thought possibly your feet corresponded!" Before I could get even, he hurried out and I could hear him laughing all the way down the entry. Pshaw!

[Answers next time.]

Copyright © 2009 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.