The Magic of Oz

       L. Frank Baum / Fantasy
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The Magic of Oz
Produced by Dennis Amundson.

The Magic of Oz

A Faithful Record of the Remarkable Adventures of Dorothy and Trot and the Wizard of Oz, together with the Cowardly Lion, the Hungry Tiger and Cap'n Bill, in their successful search for a Magical and Beautiful Birthday Present for Princess Ozma of Oz


L. Frank Baum

”Royal Historian of Oz”


--To My Readers-- 1. Mount Munch 2. The Hawk 3. Two Bad Ones 4. Conspirators 5. A Happy Corner of Oz 6. Ozma's Birthday Presents 7. The Forest of Gugu 8. The Li-Mon-Eags Make Trouble 9. The Isle of the Magic Flower 10. Stuck Fast 11. The Beasts of the Forest of Gugu 12. Kiki Uses His Magic 13. The Loss of the Black Bag 14. The Wizard Learns the Magic Word 15. The Lonesome Duck 16. The Glass Cat Finds the Black Bag 17. A Remarkable Journey 18. The Magic of the Wizard 19. Dorothy and the Bumble Bees 20. The Monkeys Have Trouble 21. The College of Athletic Arts 22. Ozma's Birthday Party 23. The Fountain of Oblivion

To My Readers

Curiously enough, in the events which have taken place in the last fewyears in our ”great outside world,” we may find incidents so marvelousand inspiring that I cannot hope to equal them with stories of The Landof Oz.

However, ”The Magic of Oz” is really more strange and unusual thananything I have read or heard about on our side of The Great SandyDesert which shuts us off from The Land of Oz, even during the pastexciting years, so I hope it will appeal to your love of novelty.

A long and confining illness has prevented my answering all the goodletters sent me--unless stamps were enclosed--but from now on I hope tobe able to give prompt attention to each and every letter with which myreaders favor me.

Assuring you that my love for you has never faltered and hoping the OzBooks will continue to give you pleasure as long as I am able to writethem, I am

Yours affectionately,

L. FRANK BAUM, ”Royal Historian of Oz.” ”OZCOT” at HOLLYWOOD in CALIFORNIA 1919

1. Mount Munch

On the east edge of the Land of Oz, in the Munchkin Country, is a big,tall hill called Mount Munch. One one side, the bottom of this hilljust touches the Deadly Sandy Desert that separates the Fairyland of Ozfrom all the rest of the world, but on the other side, the hill touchesthe beautiful, fertile Country of the Munchkins.

The Munchkin folks, however, merely stand off and look at Mount Munchand know very little about it; for, about a third of the way up, itssides become too steep to climb, and if any people live upon the top ofthat great towering peak that seems to reach nearly to the skies, theMunchkins are not aware of the fact.

But people DO live there, just the same. The top of Mount Munch isshaped like a saucer, broad and deep, and in the saucer are fieldswhere grains and vegetables grow, and flocks are fed, and brooks flowand trees bear all sorts of things. There are houses scattered hereand there, each having its family of Hyups, as the people callthemselves. The Hyups seldom go down the mountain, for the same reasonthat the Munchkins never climb up: the sides are too steep.

In one of the houses lived a wise old Hyup named Bini Aru, who used tobe a clever Sorcerer. But Ozma of Oz, who rules everyone in the Landof Oz, had made a decree that no one should practice magic in herdominions except Glinda the Good and the Wizard of Oz, and when Glindasent this royal command to the Hyups by means of a strong-winged Eagle,old Bini Aru at once stopped performing magical arts. He destroyedmany of his magic powders and tools of magic, and afterward honestlyobeyed the law. He had never seen Ozma, but he knew she was his Rulerand must be obeyed.

There was only one thing that grieved him. He had discovered a new andsecret method of transformations that was unknown to any otherSorcerer. Glinda the Good did not know it, nor did the little Wizardof Oz, nor Dr. Pipt nor old Mombi, nor anyone else who dealt in magicarts. It was Bini Aru's own secret. By its means, it was the simplestthing in the world to transform anyone into beast, bird or fish, oranything else, and back again, once you know how to pronounce themystical word: ”Pyrzqxgl.”

Bini Aru had used this secret many times, but not to cause evil orsuffering to others. When he had wandered far from home and washungry, he would say: ”I want to become a cow--Pyrzqxgl!” In an instanthe would be a cow, and then he would eat grass and satisfy his hunger.All beasts and birds can talk in the Land of Oz, so when the cow was nolonger hungry, it would say: ”I want to be Bini Aru again: Pyrzqxgl!”and the magic word, properly pronounced, would instantly restore him tohis proper form.

Now, of course, I would not dare to write down this magic word soplainly if I thought my readers would pronounce it properly and so beable to transform themselves and others, but it is a fact that no onein all the world except Bini Aru, had ever (up to the time this storybegins) been able to pronounce ”Pyrzqxgl!” the right way, so I think itis safe to give it to you. It might be well, however, in reading thisstory aloud, to be careful not to pronounce Pyrzqxgl the proper way,and thus avoid all danger of the secret being able to work mischief.

Bini Aru, having discovered the secret of instant transformation, whichrequired no tools or powders or other chemicals or herbs and alwaysworked perfectly, was reluctant to have such a wonderful discoveryentirely unknown or lost to all human knowledge. He decided not to useit again, since Ozma had forbidden him to do so, but he reflected thatOzma was a girl and some time might change her mind and allow hersubjects to practice magic, in which case Bini Aru could againtransform himself and others at will,--unless, of course, he forgot howto pronounce Pyrzqxgl in the meantime.

After giving the matter careful thought, he decided to write the word,and how it should be pronounced, in some secret place, so that he couldfind it after many years, but where no one else could ever find it.

That was a clever idea, but what bothered the old Sorcerer was to finda secret place. He wandered all over the Saucer at the top of MountMunch, but found no place in which to write the secret word whereothers might not be likely to stumble upon it. So finally he decidedit must be written somewhere in his own house.

Bini Aru had a wife named Mopsi Aru who was famous for making finehuckleberry pies, and he had a son named Kiki Aru who was not famous atall. He was noted as being cross and disagreeable because he was nothappy, and he was not happy because he wanted to go down the mountainand visit the big world below and his father would not let him. No onepaid any attention to Kiki Aru, because he didn't amount to anything,anyway.

Once a year there was a festival on Mount Munch which all the Hyupsattended. It was held in the center of the saucer-shaped country, andthe day was given over to feasting and merry-making. The young folksdanced and sang songs; the women spread the tables with good things toeat, and the men played on musical instruments and told fairy tales.

Kiki Aru usually went to these festivals with his parents, and then satsullenly outside the circle and would not dance or sing or even talk tothe other young people. So the festival did not make him any happierthan other days, and this time he told Bini Aru and Mopsi Aru that hewould not go. He would rather stay at home and be unhappy all byhimself, he said, and so they gladly let him stay.

But after he was left alone Kiki decided to enter his father's privateroom, where he was forbidden to go, and see if he could find any of themagic tools Bini Aru used to work with when he practiced sorcery. Ashe went in Kiki stubbed his toe on one of the floor boards. Hesearched everywhere but found no trace of his father's magic. All hadbeen destroyed.

Much disappointed, he started to go out again when he stubbed his toeon the same floor board. That set him thinking. Examining the boardmore closely, Kiki found it had been pried up and then nailed downagain in such a manner that it was a little higher than the otherboards. But why had his father taken up the board? Had he hidden someof his magic tools underneath the floor?

Kiki got a chisel and pried up the board, but found nothing under it.He was just about to replace the board when it slipped from his handand turned over, and he saw something written on the underside of it.The light was rather dim, so he took the board to the window andexamined it, and found that the writing described exactly how topronounce the magic word Pyrzqxgl, which would transform anyone intoanything instantly, and back again when the word was repeated.

Now, at first, Kiki Aru didn't realize what a wonderful secret he haddiscovered; but he thought it might be of use to him and so he took apiece of paper and made on it an exact copy of the instructions forpronouncing Pyrzqxgl. Then he folded the paper and put it in hispocket, and replaced the board in the floor so that no one wouldsuspect it had been removed.

After this Kiki went into the garden and sitting beneath a tree made acareful study of the paper. He had always wanted to get away fromMount Munch and visit the big world--especially the Land of Oz--and theidea now came to him that if he could transform himself into a bird, hecould fly to any place he wished to go and fly back again whenever hecared to. It was necessary, however, to learn by heart the way topronounce the magic word, because a bird would have no way to carry apaper with it, and Kiki would be unable to resume his proper shape ifhe forgot the word or its pronunciation.

So he studied it a long time, repeating it a hundred times in his minduntil he was sure he would not forget it. But to make safety doublysure he placed the paper in a tin box in a neglected part of the gardenand covered the box with small stones.

By this time it was getting late in the day and Kiki wished to attempthis first transformation before his parents returned from the festival.So he stood on the front porch of his home and said:

”I want to become a big, strong bird, like a hawk--Pyrzqxgl!” Hepronounced it the right way, so in a flash he felt that he wascompletely changed in form. He flapped his wings, hopped to the porchrailing and said: ”Caw-oo! Caw-oo!”

Then he laughed and said half aloud: ”I suppose that's the funny soundthis sort of a bird makes. But now let me try my wings and see if I'mstrong enough to fly across the desert.”

For he had decided to make his first trip to the country outside theLand of Oz. He had stolen this secret of transformation and he knew hehad disobeyed the law of Oz by working magic. Perhaps Glinda or theWizard of Oz would discover him and punish him, so it would be goodpolicy to keep away from Oz altogether.

Slowly Kiki rose into the air, and resting on his broad wings, floatedin graceful circles above the saucer-shaped mountain-top. From hisheight, he could see, far across the burning sands of the DeadlyDesert, another country that might be pleasant to explore, so he headedthat way, and with strong, steady strokes of his wings, began the longflight.

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