Sunday, August 30, 2020

This Week's Oz Short Story

I made myself some more time and went back and read the second story from the 2014 issue of Oziana, which is "Labor of Love", written and illustrated by Kim McFarland. The Scarecrow and Scraps decide, since they're spending so much time together, they should get married. The only trouble is, they're not exactly sure what that means, since it's never really crossed their radars before. The first person they tell is Jack Pumpkinhead, but he's not much wiser than they are on the subject, even with a new head. But they have more luck with their next visit, to the Tin Woodman. Having once been flesh-and-blood and in love himself, Nick tells them a little more about what marriage actual is and means. As Emperor of the Winkies, he even has the power to perform the ceremony, and does so. By the time the happy couple gets to the Emerald City, word has spread, and they are warmly greeted and congratulated by their friends. But part of being married is the decision to have children, which everyone thinks will be impossible for the new couple. So imagine everyone's surprise when Scraps shows up with a baby that's part patchwork, part denim, and stuffed with straw! Both Scraps and the Scarecrow contributed parts of themselves towards the creation of Pip (whom the Scraps declares will decide whether they are a boy or a girl in a few years). After some question and hesitation, Pip is accepted by everyone, and the seamstresses and tailors of the Emerald City contribute all kinds of fabric that can be added to Pip andmake them grow.

This is hardly the first story about these two characters having a romance and becoming a couple. But this one is really very sweet, and a realistic (if that word can be used about an Oz story) portrayal of what these two might actually go through. Pip is a great creation, too, and it would be cool to see a story about them in a few years. Scrasp teaching Pip about eating in much the same way as she learned in The Patchwork Girl of Oz is endearing, and shows that she has great potential as a mother, no matter how maternal she may not appear to be in the books.

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