Jun 27, 2012

Chapter14: Old Mombi indulges in Witchcraft

Ms. Takako Sato's translations are really great. She even translated Woggle-Bug's word play well. In this chapter, Woggle-Bug said to the Saw Horse, who had broken his leg, "Horses are useless if they aren't broken with'breaking bones." (In Japanese, "break bones" means "with great effort.") The original line reads, "For a horse is never much use until he has been broken." 
 However, I can't understand why everyone reacted like that to the Woggle-Bug's next joke, the "horse-and-buggy" thing. Was he being annoying? Or lame? Why? 

 In the next scene, they speak "adult English," don't they? They are very indirect. The Scarecrow doesn't usually talk like this, does he? The Tin Woodman hardly ever threatens anyone with his ax. How out of line was Woggle-Bug? (I'm sad that I can't understand just how badly was acting.) 

 Was the sliver whistle the Tin Woodman uses to call the Queen of the Mice the same one that the Wicked Witch of the West used to call the wolves and ravens? Since the author wrote "a silver whistle," not "the sliver whistle," we can't be sure ...but...personally, I think this is the whistle! The Tin Woodman must have found it in the witch's castle! Don't you think so? 

 Since the Queen talks to the mice in the mouse language, none of the Scarecrow's party can understand what she says. I was surprised that mice had their own language, because I thought there was only one language in Oz. People in Oz can talk with any kind of animals and creatures... except mice? 

 Mombi tried her hardest to stop them from returning to the Emerald City. The part where the 40 roads spin around reminded me of the first scene of the fifth Oz book, "The Road to Oz", which Dorothy was lost between the five roads created by Ozma's witchcraft. Maybe she learn the spell by watching Mombi? 

 Mombi's fire spell scared everyone except the Tin Woodman. In this scene, again, they forget the rule of "Nobody dies in Oz." I wonder when the rule will start. 

 Woggle-Bug was totally surprised by the magic. Didn't Professor Nowitall taught anything about magic? Did he only teach the rules of nature? That's strange for someone who lives in Oz. Perhaps, he's from the outer world (our world). :D 

 Here is a quote from the Scarecrow. "All magic is unnatural, and for that reason is to be feared and avoided." It's true. I've never thought why magic scares us. I guess that makes sense. 

 The Queen of the Mice leads them to the Emerald City safely.


  1. The whistle that calls the mice does appear in Wizard, but not until after the death of the Wicked Witch of the West. It's a rather glaring error in the book, as we never see the mice give this whistle to Dorothy.

    As for the mouse language, I assume the mice can speak both human language AND their own.

  2. Nathan, thank you for your comment always. I like talking with someone about Oz very much.

    You mean, the whistle of the Wicked Witch of the West cannot call the mice?

    About the mouse language, I see, they must be so smart that they can speak both languages.

  3. In Chapter 14 of Wizard, Baum writes, "Dorothy blew the little whistle she had always carried about her neck since the Queen of the Mice had given it to her." So it presumably isn't the same one the Witch used, although that might also be able to call mice.