Monday, May 13, 2024

The Latest Oz Short Story

Not only the latest, but also the last, at least for now. The final story from the 2023 issue of Oziana is "Glinda and the Glass Cat" by J. L. Bell, with illustrations by Anna-Maria Cool. Bungle, the Glass Cat, is causing mischief in the Quadling Country. Chasing some of the denizens of the China Country, Glinda corrals Bungle and mentions earlier escapades with the Cuttenclips and the citizens of Bunnybury. Glinda admonishes Bungle, and warns the cat to avoid the hills to the east. But besides being a powerfur sorceress, it seems Glinda is also a master psychologist, because she knows those hills are now irrestistible to Bungle's feline curiosity. Wouldn't you know, those hills are where Glinda has relocated the Hammerheads! Bungle is not wild about meeting them, so she seeks refuge in a neighboring forest, which turns out to be the Fighting Trees! Duly chastened, Bungle thinks it may be best to stay away from that part of the Quadling Country for a while. What really struck me about this story is that every single character was created by L. Frank Baum. There was no need to use characters created by any other writers, nor to create any new ones. Yet it is totally original and in keeping with all that we know already of those characters. This is quite an accomplishment for such a brief story.

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