OVER THE RAINBOW written by Anastacia Kellogg illustrations by Carmen Ngo, layout by Andrew Evans
n the civilized countries there are no witches left, nor wizards, nor sorceresses, nor magicians. In the civilized countries there are no towns delicate as china, nor cities made of jewels. In the civilized countries there are no armies of pretty faces and knitting needles, nor wild beasts with grace and manners, nor boys who turn into princesses wearing flowers and gauze. But, you see, the Land of Oz has never been civilized.
On a warm, pleasant day, which had been spent half attending to important affairs of ruling and half doing nothing at all, Ozma suggested to Dorothy that they should go on a journey together to a corner of her kingdom that they had not yet visited. “After all,” she said, “it has been a curiously long time since our last adventure, and I am not used to so much quiet!” Ozma was the Ruler of Oz, and though she looked like a young girl she was widely considered to be the fairest and the wisest Ruler the country had ever had. Dorothy Gale had once been a little Kansas girl but was now a Princess of Oz and Ozma’s constant companion. “We shall make it a whole procession,” said Ozma decidedly, “and we’ll invite anyone who wants to come along. And you must bring your aunt, for she has seen so little of the beautiful country for all her time here.” “I’m sure I’d be glad of the trip,” agreed Dorothy. “You know, my dear, it’s very strange, but continues to be a mystery to me. That is, I always find her a touch odd when we speak, and never know why. Perhaps it is because she isn’t from Oz to begin with—but then, neither are you. You must tell me more about your Kansas!” “There isn’t much to say ‘bout it,” replied Dorothy. “Least, not that I haven’t already told you.” “But you’ve told me so little,” said Ozma. “I know of your farm, and your fields, and your cyclone cellar. But here in Oz you have travelled from one side to another, and you have brought back so many stories that you must know my own kingdom better than I do!” “That’s dif’rent,” said Dorothy. “Oz is very new and queer to me. You know I grew up on the prairie, where everything was gray. You could travel for miles across that country and still see everything looking the same, but you can’t go more than ten feet in Oz without meeting someone stranger an’ stranger.”
Dorothy was ten years old, sitting on the broad Kansas prairie, and had just found Aunt Em softly crying while Uncle Henry tried to comfort her. Then Dorothy asked them to tell her what was the matter. They had not told their niece the sad news for several days, not wishing to make her unhappy, but now they told her how desperately poor they were, how they were about to lose the farm and the house, how uncertain they were of food. The girl listened quite seriously. “Do you suppose you could manage to return to your 06 | OutWrite, 2018
fairyland, my dear?” asked Aunt Em. Uncle Henry shook his gray head doubtfully. “These things all seem real to Dorothy, I know; but I’m afraid our little girl won’t find her fairyland just what she had dreamed it to be.” They were uneasy, for this is a practical humdrum world.
Every morning, they stopped for Bill, the Yellow Hen, to lay her daily egg. Aunt Em waited impatiently to collect it, an old habit of hers from living on a farm. “I can’t und’rstand why she won’t let me put the ‘eena’ on the end” declared Dorothy earnestly to her friend as they stood to the side. “Surely ‘Billina’ is a prettier name than ‘Bill’ anyway.” “Oh, it isn’t any concern of yours,” said Ozma carelessly. “And if it’s such an easy name to change, perhaps there’s really no difference between them.” “But it’s all wrong, you know.” Ozma looked sternly at the Kansas girl. “Really, Dorothy, that’s a rude thing to say about anyone’s name.” Dorothy, as even her friends had to admit, had one notable deficiency in speaking, which was that she did not often think before she did it. She felt rightly embarrassed by that now, however, and tried to mend matters by explaining, “It’s just that all the Bills I know have been—” “—have lived in Kansas, not in Oz. Perhaps you find her name unusual, Dorothy, but everything in life is unusual until you get accustomed to it.” “I s’pose so,” replied Dorothy with her pride a little bruised, for she did not like arguing with her friend. “After all,” said Ozma, “is Billina a girl?” “No-o-o,” said Dorothy, “she’s a yellow hen.” “Then perhaps it is best left to a yellow hen to decide what name is right for a yellow hen.”
In the Country of the Gillikins, which is at the North of the Land of Oz, lived a youth called Tip. This boy remembered nothing of his parents, for he had been brought quite young to be reared by the old woman known as Mombi. Tip was made to carry wood from the forest, that the old woman might boil her pot. He also worked in the corn-fields, hoeing and husking,
“‘That’s dif’rent,’ said Dorothy. ‘Oz is very new and queer to me.’”