Tuesday, July 13, 2021

This Week's Oz Short Story

The second story in the 2021 issue of Oziana is "The Butter Lamb of Oz" by Nathan DeHoff, illustrated by David Valentin (who also provides a color picture from the story on the back cover). With Easter coming up, Jinjur decides to sculpt a lamb out of butter, then paint its portrait to preserve it for posterity. A mischievous ryl brings the lamb to life, however, with surprising consequences. The rest of the story turns into a quest to find a way to preserve Boutros the lamb so that he won't melt. Jellia Jamb, Carter Green, and Jack Pumpkinhead all accompany him, and they end up in such places from the books as Preserva and Doorways until they end up in, of all places, the Garden of Meats, from the lost chapter of The Patchwork Girl of Oz. In the end, of course, Boutros ends up just fine. Like DeHoff's earlier story in this issue, "The Butter Lamb of Oz" serves little more than a means for the writer to bring in and tie together as many different Oz stories as he can. In fact, both stories even include bibliographies of what stories elements were taken from. It strikes me as less of a way to tell a good story and more of a way to show how deep the writer's Oz knowledge goes. Once the quest starts, our titular character, Boutros, all but disappears as everyone around him deals with events.

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