FictionForest

Chapter 22 – Ozma’s Banquet

L. Frank BaumOct 04, 2016'Command+D' Bookmark this page

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Ozma had seen in her Magic Picture the liberation of
Inga’s parents and the departure of the entire party
for the Emerald City, so with her usual hospitality
she ordered a splendid banquet prepared and invited
all her quaint friends who were then in the Emerald
City to be present that evening to meet the strangers
who were to become her guests.

Glinda, also, in her wonderful Record Book had
learned of the events that had taken place in the
caverns of the Nome King and she became especially
interested in the enchantment of the Prince of
Boboland. So she hastily prepared several of her most
powerful charms and then summoned her flock of sixteen
white storks, which swiftly bore her to Ozma’s palace.
She arrived there before the Red Wagon did and was
warmly greeted by the girl Ruler.

Realizing that the costume of Queen Garee of Pingaree
must have become sadly worn and frayed, owing to her
hardships and adventures, Ozma ordered a royal outfit
prepared for the good Queen and had it laid in her
chamber ready for her to put on as soon as she arrived,
so she would not be shamed at the banquet. New costumes
were also provided for King Kitticut and King Rinkitink
and Prince Inga, all cut and made and embellished in
the elaborate and becoming style then prevalent in the
Land of Oz, and as soon as the party arrived at the
palace Ozma’s guests were escorted by her servants to
their rooms, that they might bathe and dress
themselves.

Glinda the Sorceress and the Wizard of Oz took charge
of Bilbil the goat and went to a private room where
they were not likely to be interrupted. Glinda first
questioned Bilbil long and earnestly about the manner
of his enchantment and the ceremony that had been used
by the magician who enchanted him. At first Bilbil
protested that he did not want to be restored to his
natural shape, saying that he had been forever
disgraced in the eyes of his people and of the entire
world by being obliged to exist as a scrawny, scraggly
goat. But Glinda pointed out that any person who
incurred the enmity of a wicked magician was liable to
suffer a similar fate, and assured him that his
misfortune would make him better beloved by his
subjects when he returned to them freed from his dire
enchantment.

Bilbil was finally convinced of the truth of this
assertion and agreed to submit to the experiments of
Glinda and the Wizard, who knew they had a hard task
before them and were not at all sure they could
succeed. We know that Glinda is the most complete
mistress of magic who has ever existed, and she was
wise enough to guess that the clever but evil magician
who had enchanted Prince Bobo had used a spell that
would puzzle any ordinary wizard or sorcerer to break;
therefore she had given the matter much shrewd thought
and hoped she had conceived a plan that would succeed.
But because she was not positive of success she would
have no one present at the incantation except her
assistant, the Wizard of Oz.

First she transformed Bilbil the goat into a lamb,
and this was done quite easily. Next she transformed
the lamb into an ostrich, giving it two legs and feet
instead of four. Then she tried to transform the
ostrich into the original Prince Bobo, but this
incantation was an utter failure. Glinda was not
discouraged, however, but by a powerful spell
transformed the ostrich into a tottenhot — which is a
lower form of a man. Then the tottenhot was transformed
into a mifket, which was a great step in advance and,
finally, Glinda transformed the mifket into a handsome
young man, tall and shapely, who fell on his knees
before the great Sorceress and gratefully kissed her
hand, admitting that he had now recovered his proper
shape and was indeed Prince Bobo of Boboland.

This process of magic, successful though it was in
the end, had required so much time that the banquet was
now awaiting their presence. Bobo was already dressed
in princely raiment and although he seemed very much
humbled by his recent lowly condition, they finally
persuaded him to join the festivities.

When Rinkitink saw that his goat had now become a
Prince, he did not know whether to be sorry or glad,
for he felt that he would miss the companionship of the
quarrelsome animal he had so long been accustomed to
ride upon, while at the same time he rejoiced that poor
Bilbil had come to his own again.

Prince Bobo humbly begged Rinkitink’s forgiveness for
having been so disagreeable to him, at times, saying
that the nature of a goat had influenced him and the
surly disposition he had shown was a part of his
enchantment. But the jolly King assured the Prince that
he had really enjoyed Bilbil’s grumpy speeches and
forgave him readily. Indeed, they all discovered the
young Prince Bobo to be an exceedingly courteous and
pleasant person, although he was somewhat reserved and
dignified.

Ah, but it was a great feast that Ozma served in her
gorgeous banquet hall that night and everyone was as
happy as could be. The Shaggy Man was there, and so was
Jack Pumpkinhead and the Tin Woodman and Cap’n Bill.
Beside Princess Dorothy sat Tiny Trot and Betsy Bobbin,
and the three little girls were almost as sweet to look
upon as was Ozma, who sat at the head of her table and
outshone all her guests in loveliness.

King Rinkitink was delighted with the quaint people
of Oz and laughed and joked with the tin man and the
pumpkin-headed man and found Cap’n Bill a very
agreeable companion. But what amused the jolly King
most were the animal guests, which Ozma always invited
to her banquets and seated at a table by themselves,
where they talked and chatted together as people do but
were served the sort of food their natures required.
The Hungry Tiger and Cowardly Lion and the Glass Cat
were much admired by Rinkitink, but when he met a mule
named Hank, which Betsy Bobbin had brought to Oz, the
King found the creature so comical that he laughed and
chuckled until his friends thought he would choke. Then
while the banquet was still in progress, Rinkitink
composed and sang a song to the mule and they all
joined in the chorus, which was something like this:

“It’s very queer how big an ear
Is worn by Mr. Donkey;
And yet I fear he could not hear
If it were on a monkey.

‘Tis thick and strong and broad and long
And also very hairy;
It’s quite becoming to our Hank
But might disgrace a fairy!”

This song was received with so much enthusiasm that
Rinkitink was prevailed upon to sing another. They gave
him a little time to compose the rhyme, which he
declared would be better if he could devote a month or
two to its composition, hut the sentiment he expressed
was so admirable that no one criticized the song or the
manner in which the jolly little King sang it.

Dorothy wrote down the words on a piece of paper, and
here they are:

“We’re merry comrades all, to-night,
Because we’ve won a gallant fight
And conquered all our foes.
We’re not afraid of anything,
So let us gayly laugh and sing
Until we seek repose.

“We’ve all our grateful hearts can wish;
King Gos has gone to feed the fish,
Queen Cor has gone, as well;
King Kitticut has found his own,
Prince Bobo soon will have a throne
Relieved of magic spell.

“So let’s forget the horrid strife
That fell upon our peaceful life
And caused distress and pain;
For very soon across the sea
We’ll all be sailing merrily
To Pingaree again.”

 

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