On the Road to OZ

Cover of The Road to Oz by L. Frank Baum. Desi...

Cover of The Road to Oz by L. Frank Baum. Designed by artist John R. Neill. Now out of copyright. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just finished book 5 of the Baum OZ books:  The Road to OZ.  I liked this children’s book quite a good bit.  By the time he wrote this, I think Baum was writing the stories and characters he wanted to write, and returning to OZ only because the market demanded it. Still, I love his creativity.  I’ll never forget the Scoodlers!

Here are some quotes that I enjoyed:

“Where do you expect to get to?” asked Dorothy.

“I’m like Button-Bright. I don’t know,” answered the shaggy man, with a laugh. “But I’ve learned from long experience that every road leads somewhere, or there wouldn’t be any road; so it’s likely that if we travel long enough, my dear, we will come to some place or another in the end.

What place it will be we can’t even guess at this moment, but we’re sure to find out when we get there.”

“Why, yes,” said Dorothy; “that seems reas’n’ble, Shaggy Man.”

——————————————————————

“What’s sov’rin, and what’s c’u’nity?” inquired Button-Bright.

“Don’t ask so many questions, little boy.”

“Why?”

“Ah, why indeed?” exclaimed the captain, looking at Button-Bright admiringly.

“If you don’t ask questions you will learn nothing. True enough. I was wrong. You’re a very clever little boy, come to think of it—very clever indeed. But now, friends, please come with me, for it is my duty to escort you at once to the royal palace.”

——————————————————————————————

I loved the introduction to Johnny Dooit.  I read it while I was donating blood, and the idea really charmed me.  I particularly appreciated that the Shaggy man looked in the water (presumably seeing his reflection) and then felt his anxiety wash away and could sleep.

Long after the others were asleep, however, the shaggy man sat in the starlight by the spring, gazing thoughtfully into its bubbling waters. Suddenly he smiled and nodded to himself as if he had found a good thought, after which he, too, laid himself down under a tree and was soon lost in slumber. ………

“Don’t be too sure of that, my dear,” spoke the shaggy man, a smile on his donkey face. “I may not be able to do magic myself, but I can call to us a powerful friend who loves me because I own the Love Magnet, and this friend surely will be able to help us.”

“Who is your friend?” asked Dorothy.

“Johnny Dooit.”

“What can Johnny do?”

“Anything,” answered the shaggy man, with confidence.

“Ask him to come,” she exclaimed, eagerly.

The shaggy man took the Love Magnet from his pocket and unwrapped the paper that surrounded it. Holding the charm in the palm of his hand he looked at it steadily and said these words:

“Dear Johnny Dooit, come to me.
I need you bad as bad can be.”

“Well, here I am,” said a cheery little voice; “but you shouldn’t say you need me bad, ’cause I’m always, ALWAYS, good.”

A little later we hear Johnny’s wonderful little song.  I may want to memorize this:

Johnny Dooit moved quickly now—so quickly that they were astonished at the work he was able to accomplish. He had in his chest a tool for everything he wanted to do, and these must have been magic tools because they did their work so fast and so well.

The man hummed a little song as he worked, and Dorothy tried to listen to it. She thought the words were something like these:

The only way to do a thing
Is do it when you can,
And do it cheerfully, and sing
And work and think and plan.
The only real unhappy one
Is he who dares to shirk;
The only really happy one
Is he who cares to work.

Whatever Johnny Dooit was singing he was certainly doing things, and they all stood by and watched him in amazement.

—————————————————————–

“Money! Money in Oz!” cried the Tin Woodman. “What a queer idea! Did you suppose we are so vulgar as to use money here?”

“Why not?” asked the shaggy man.

“If we used money to buy things with, instead of love and kindness and the desire to please one another, then we should be no better than the rest of the world,” declared the Tin Woodman. “Fortunately money is not known in the Land of Oz at all. We have no rich, and no poor; for what one wishes the others all try to give him, in order to make him happy, and no one in all Oz cares to have more than he can use.”

——————————————————————————————-

You could love the Tin Woodman because he had a fine nature, kindly and simple; but the machine man you could only admire without loving, since to love such a thing as he was as impossible as to love a sewing-machine or an automobile. Yet Tik-tok was popular with the people of Oz because he was so trustworthy, reliable and true; he was sure to do exactly what he was wound up to do, at all times and in all circumstances. Perhaps it is better to be a machine that does its duty than a flesh-and-blood person who will not, for a dead truth is better than a live falsehood.

I think there is wisdom in here.

English: the Shaggy Man from The Road to Oz

English: the Shaggy Man from The Road to Oz (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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About Tom Bolton

I'm a Husband and Dad, an Enterprise Systems Manager at the City of Milwaukee, and a Disciple and Lay Servant at First United Methodist of West Allis. I love working beside young people. As I study the Bible, sometimes I feel moved to work through my understanding by writing poetry. I also am going through a process to discern my calling, and to learn more about Christian Leadership. Sometimes I just feel like writing about something that grabs my attention too.
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One Response to On the Road to OZ

  1. Pingback: Ah, the Shaggy Man | Hopeful

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