Saturday, December 05, 2015

This Week's Short Story

The second story from The Purple Dragon and Other Fantasies by L. Frank Baum is also from A New Wonderland, "The Ruby Casket". It's a slight little day-in-the-life story where the king, not having celebrated his birthday for a few weeks, decides to celebrate that occasion with a party. The festivities include opening the magical, titular ruby casket, the entertainment that ensues, and then what happens when everyone goes skating on the crystal sugar surface of a nearby lake. (Let's just say that there was a thin spot where a few skaters fell through.) There's not much else to say, really, although it does do a good job of what we now call world building. The Wise Donkey appears in this story, and for those reading only this book, a footnote or other explanation as to how the donkey got so wise might have helped with understanding things, but it works anyway.

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