Tuesday, December 27, 2016

This Week's Oz Short Story

Yeah, I'm a little late. But I'm on winter break, so that's okay, right? Anyway, even though A New Wonderland was one of the earliest things L. Frank Baum wrote as a writer, he was already starting to experiment with how to tell a story, as evidenced in the penultimate story, "The Fate of the Wise Men". The plum pudding crop is being poached, so of course the king asks his wise men for their advice. They name random animals around the kingdom, only to find that the fox, the bullfrog, and the yellow hen (definitely a precursor of Billina) were all having their own adventures, and so couldn't have done it. This gives Baum to tell three even shorter stories within the framework of this story. Of course the king finally figures out the problem is the bad advice he's getting from his not-very-wise men, so he takes action and does something about them. I won't tell you what, but it works, because the wise man finally reveals that the thief is the Purple Dragon—and we're left on a cliffhanger ending, to be resolved in the final story of the collection, which I will tell you about some time next week. Stay tuned!

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