Saturday, March 05, 2016

This Week's Oz Short Story

The penultimate story of The Purple Dragon and Other Fantasies by L. Frank Baum is "The Transformation of Bayal the Porcupine", another of the Animal Fairy Tales. Bayal is unhappy being a porcupine, so he is granted a wish by Althos, the porcupine fairy, to become another animal. He is first transformed into an elephant, but runs into problems with a bigger bull elephant. So Althos allows him to take on the form of a black bear, which brings about its own problems. Althos then changes him into a hyena, which has its own issues. Bayal finally realizes that he would be at his best at what he already knows, a porcupine. This story illustrates two sayings: The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, and be careful of what you wish for, for you may get it.

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