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From: "William H. Ansley" <wansley@warwick.net>
Subject: (urth) The Wonderful Eyeflash of Oz, part 3
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 00:38:04 

Here is my third posting on the Oz references in _The Eyeflash Miracles_.

The next Oz reference is a throw away line from Nitty. He is in a box car
on a freight train with Mr. Parker and Little Tib. Mr. Parker is asleep in
the back of the car. Nitty is sitting by the open door with Little Tib, and
is describing the scenery outside the train to him. They are passing a
large pine forest and Nitty says that he thinks there are a lot of animals
in the woods. "You like animals, George?[8] Bears and big old cats." This
is certainly another way of saying "Lions and tigers and bears" but without
the "Oh, my."

The first miracle (or at least a possible one) occurs on the train. Little
Tib appears to be feverish[9] and pale, which worries Nitty. Two railroad
police women throw a tear gas grenade into the boxcar. There is a commotion
as Nitty yells and tries to throw the grenade out of the car, Mr. Parker
runs full tilt into a wall of the car and Little Tib is almost overcome by
the gas. There is no Oz vision here, but Little Tib does has a vision or
memory of the first home he can remember where there was a clear, ice-cold
creek and a "kite-flying west wind was blowing."

The gas disappears. At first Nitty and Mr. Parker think that the grenade
has fallen out of the car, but then they find it. It just stopped emitting
gas, much sooner than it should have. Nitty seems to suspect that Little
Tib had something to do with this and later events make him sure of this.
One such later event is that Mr. Parker seems to have completely recovered
his sanity ever since the grenade incident.

Little Tib continues to be feverish and falls asleep. He dreams of a place
with apple and cherry trees with red leaves and red grass around their
roots. The trees have faces in their trunks and talk to each other. There
are red birds in the trees: cardinals.

Little Tib comes upon a little house painted with red and white stripes.
Out the house comes a copper man with features, including a large
moustache, stamped upon his face. He has three key holes in his back (like
a clockwork toy) labeled 'Moving Action', 'Talking Action' and 'Thinking
Action'. There is a loud hammering sound in the hills behind the little
house. It is a giant woman with a giant broom hitting at and missing a
giant rat, over and over. The woman is Little Tib's mother.

Little Tib wakes up crying in a doctor's office with Nitty and Mr. Parker.
Next to him is a woman who has a little girl with a crippled, shrunken leg.
Little Tib touches her leg and heals it. This is the second miracle as I am
reporting them, although it is the first inarguable one. There is no direct
Oz vision during the performance of this miracle, but the echoes of the
Bam! Bam! Bam! from his most recent dream are still in his mind and Little
Tib thinks about how his own legs felt in his earlier Oz dream when he was
running from the spinning sunflowers to the green city.

There is a lot of Oz material here. The trees with faces in their trunks
are from the movie (the scene in the apple orchard). The place where the
leaves, grass, etc. are all red is in the Land of Oz; it is the portion
know as the Country of the Quadlings or Quadlingland. In the Oz books the
Munchkins are only one of the four major groups who live in Oz. To the
north live the Quadlings, to the east live the Munchkins (blue), to the
south live the Gillykins (red) and to the west live the Winkies (yellow).
And in the center is the Emerald City where things are, of course, green.
Oz is first described this way in _The Marvelous Land of Oz_[10].

The copper man is Tiktok, Smith & Tinker's Patent Double-Action,
Extra-Responsive, Thought-Creating, Perfect-Talking Mechanical Man, as it
says at the beginning of his instruction manual. He is introduced in _Ozma
of Oz_ and appears in many books thereafter. Wolfe got a few details wrong
(in the book he has one keyhole in the middle of his back and one under
each arm and one key fits all of them) but his copper man is unmistakable
Tiktok, who is often referred to as a copper man in the Oz books. One of
the great pleasures of the Oz books is the illustrations[11]. Wolfe
obviously remembers the pictures of the characters; the drawings often
showed details that Baum did not describe but that Wolfe does, such as
Tiktok's moustache.

The giant version of Little Tib's mother is based on a giant in _Ozma of
Oz_. The giant in the book is another clockwork man, made of iron, by the
same manufacturer as Tiktok. All the iron giant can do is pound the path
that runs by him with his giant hammer; he is meant to discourage people
from using the path. But if you move quickly and time it just right, you
can run under his hammer. Otherwise you will be crushed.

Stay tuned for the next installment.

William Ansley

[8] Even though George Tibbs always thinks of himself as Little Tib, he
tells people his full name when they ask him, so he is usually called
George by adults in the story.

[9] Little Tib seems to have a fever whenever he works a miracle.

[10] Baum is very inconsistent about the colors of things in these
countries in the different books or even in different places in the same
book. At one point he will say that the predominant color of (for example)
Muchkinland is blue: Munchkins paint their houses blue, wear blue clothes
and grow blue flowers, and so on, even though Munchkinland grass is still
described as green. But elsewhere he will say that everything is blue, the
plants, the dirt, the people's hair (and perhaps skin). Or he will say
everything has a blue tinge, although other colors show through.

[11] The illustrator of _The Wonderful Wizard of Oz_ was W. W. Denslow.
John R. Neill illustrated most of the rest of them. Unfortunately, I am
re-reading these books in plain text form on my Palm III, so I can't say
for sure who illustrated any given book, in general. (Many of the Oz books
are now in the public domain.) But I read all the books in illustrated form
originally and remember the pictures well. Plus I have a copy of _The Road
to Oz_ from our local library with the original illustrations to look at (a
young relative is reading it).

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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