Sunday, November 20, 2016

This Week's Oz Short Story

This week's selection from A New Wonderland was "How Prince Jollikin Fought the Gigaboo". This is a pretty straightforward little tale of a fantastic beast in the wild hinterlands of Phunnyland who comes to the settled parts of the country and causes chaos. Only Prince Jollikin is brave enough to face him, and he ends up being torn limb from limb, as well as decapitated. Fortunately, the noise scares off the Gigaboo, and dismemberment is nowhere near the problem in Phunnyland as it would be for you and me. As the Prince's body parts get back together, the Gigaboo regains his courage and returns, resulting in a rematch. All turns out well in the end, of course—unless you're an innocent Gigaboo. The Gigaboo reminded me of the Purple Dragon, just following his own nature which, unfortunately, goes against the settled areas of Phunnyland. And Prince Jollikin's problems are an extension of the King losing his head in the collection's first story, only the prince has to deal with losing other body parts as well. So even this early in his writing career Baum was borrowing from himself!

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