May 12, 2013

Chapter 21: The Tin-Woodman Plucks a Rose

Glinda's army appears to be trained very well. It has well-kept weapons and responds swiftly. The number of soldiers wasn't mentioned, but there seemed to be quite many. They even had a marching band! It was quite different from the army of the Emerald City.

Glinda rode in a palanquin this time, not her favorite swan chariot.  The palanquin didn't have wheels and was carried by twelve servants. It must have been so bumpy that Glinda would have become ill with all the movement. Could that be why she didn't attack the Emerald City when the Wizard of Oz ruled? 

The Gump with the Scarecrow and his friends flew along above her palanquin. Don't you have an unpleasant feeling when something follows you above your head? The Scarecrow's party seemed not to care at all, though. Don't you think that Glinda might have felt it was annoying? Then, perhaps when she saw the Gump flying so smoothly across the sky, she cried out, "That's it!" and got the inspiration for the swan chariot.

I feel sorry that Jellia Jamb was forced to pretend to be Mombi and was threatened with death if she said what was going on behind her. The rule that nobody dies in Oz didn't apply here again.

I admire how shrewd Mombi was. She was old and experienced. Even Glinda couldn't find her.

I didn't know the Tin Woodman had a buttonhole on his body. What a fine job! Look at the Ku-Klip's craftsmanship! I'm just worried that it's hard to rub and starts to rust easily.

The Tin Woodman, who loves flowers, doesn't hesitate to cut one. I don't understand his philosophy yet.

As you remember, white is the color for a witch. In this chapter you can once again see the rule that Glinda's army's tents were red but Glinda's was white. However, the white flag which was used when Jinjur sent a messenger to Glinda didn't have the same meaning as the witch's color, of course. Raising a white flag to signify non-combat seems to be well-known in Oz too.

According to my further research, I found an article stating that a person who carries a white flag is recognized as an authorized non-combat messenger as established in the Laws and Customs of War on Land in 1899.

Chapter 20: The Scarecrow Appeals to Glinda

Each member took what they like from the hoardings in the nest.

I can't help feeling pity to the Jackdaws because they were abruptly intruded upon in their nest, attacked and beaten when they wanted the intruders to go away, moreover, their treasures were stolen which they had been save guarding for a long time.

The Scarecrow and his party were shrewd. They caught something for them even if they are in trouble. But there was one negative point for them: They left Dr. Nikidik's wishing pills in the nest. So, it's break-even, I think. They're useless for the Jackdaws, though.

It's regrettable that they forgot to bring the wishing pills. I wonder why they didn't wish that everyone can get to Glinda's palace safely in the first place. Oh, is it a taboo? Haha.

What would it have happened if they wished that they wanted to get back the throne from Jinjur? Maybe they had to forget the pills in order that the readers should forget these other more plausible possibilities.

Then, they arrived at Glinda's palace. I couldn't find any mention of Glinda's beauty. The author mentioned only the beauty of the garden and the throne.

I'm curious why Glinda's army was trained very well. In this Oz? Why? Who was supposed to be their (imaginary) enemy? Hummm...maybe it was the Wizard of Oz? Glinda mentioned she sent her spies to the Wizard in order to observe him.

Tip seemed to hate and loath Mombi anyhow. He cursed her only. No child knows how dear he is to his parents. (I can't help thinking that Mombi cared for him.)

Then, finally, Glinda and her army set off to the Emelard City. Mombi and Jinjur are going to be in danger! Uh...which side am I with?

By the way, Jack's head can turn horizontally, but not vertically. When he wants to look downward, he has to tilt his body being careful not to drop his head. So...he usually can't see the things lower than his eyes, can he? Since he is quite tall, when he sees Tip, I guess he can see only the top of Tip's head. Of course, if he keeps a distance a little from Tip, he can see Tip well, though.

Chapter19: Dr. Nikidik's Famous Wishing Pills

Although they managed to keep the crows off through the Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow's outstanding effort to guard them, the Scarecrow got in serious trouble! All his stuffing was gone. 

His friends found a lot of dollar bills in the nest and stuffed them into the Scarecrow's body instead. Picture the Scarecrow, who is pure, innocent, and non-calculating, with his body full of dollar bills. It's odd, isn't it?

There was a statement that fifty-dollar, one hundred-dollar, and one-thousand dollar bills are stuffed in the Scarecrow's body. Have you ever seen a one thousand dollar bill? I've never even heard of them. I checked on Wikipedia and got the answer immediately.

There were five-hundred, one-thousand, five-thousand, and even ten-thousand dollar bills at one time. They were mainly used for settlements between banks. In 1945, those high-value bills stopped being printed. Following the emergence of the electronic settlement system, the high-value bills lost their necessity, and stopped circulating in 1969.

So, at the time of this book, "The Marvelous Land of Oz," they were a reality! I was really surprised that there were 10,000 dollar bills! But, yes, as there was no online system at that time, banks needed those bills. Imagine how scary it would be if a gust of wind blew away your 10,000 dollar bill. Whoosh!

The "count seventeen by twos" matter was solved by the Saw Horse, not the Scarecrow or the Woggle-bug. A novice happened to look into the problem and solved it easily even though the experts couldn't. That happens in real life too, doesn't it? The Scarecrow said, "You make me quite ashamed of myself," and bowed low to the Saw Horse. I guess he was a little disappointed  but he concealed his feeling and acted politely. How humble he was. Well, could it be the Scarecrow really said it from the heart? If so, it makes me admire him more.

However, I'm always confused when I read this. This solution doesn't make sense. One of my friends gave me an excellent solution. Why didn't they start from 1? 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, right? If you start from 0.5 and count by twos, your next number will be 2.5 then 4.5 and so on.

The Woggle-bug is actually a good guy. He swallowed the wishing pill without hesitation, saying " For I seem to be the only one able and willing to make a wish. Let me have one of the pills," after seeing how much pain Tip was in.It's just that his language is sometimes harsh. He always says more than he needs to. I know he doesn't mean to be mean, but it always makes the situation worse. ;( Yet, I know he isn't a bad person.

May 2, 2013

Chapter18: In the Jackdaws' Nest

I didn't know what Jackdaw was. It's a kind of crow. They don't live in Japan, or even in the USA. ;D

The Gump flew to Europe? Since it took him one night to fly from Oz, Oz must be near Europe, or could the Gump fly that fast?

When I was a child, I thought anything would be happy if it was brought to life. (I wonder if it was the influence of Pinocchio?) However, the Gump wasn't happy at all. Anyone might feel that way when they find out that their body is not the same as before...rather, he was a complete ragbag. I understand that he would never want to see his original tribe. He must have been a very imposing, respected Gump at that time.

Woggle-bug, not reading the situation here again, is annoying as usual. It may not have been a long time since he was magnified, but he is often sarcastic, to everyone's annoyance. It's a thankless role. He's completely different from Jack.

The whole party fell into a Jackdaw's nest. Since the Gump's wings were broken, he couldn't fly again. If the Jackdaws came back, Jack's pumpkin head would be picked with their beaks, and the Woggle-bug would be a good dessert for the crows.

In such a fearful situation, they found that the bottle of the Powder of Life had a false bottom! And, Dr. Nikidik's wishing pills were in it. How lucky! However, they found that they would have to count seventeen by twos in order to make their wish come true. How can you count seventeen by twos? Up and down. What are they going to do? This scene is a page-turner.

Then, the Jackdaws came back to the nest. They noticed the invaders in their nest and started to attack them!