Royal Book of Oz

Ruth Plumly Thompson

The Royal Book of Oz
Ruth Plumly Thompson
Chapter 1
Professor Wogglebug's Great Idea
"The very thing!" exclaimed Professor Wogglebug, bounding into the air and upsetting his gold inkwell. "The very next idea!"
"Who, me?" A round-faced little Munchkin boy stuck his head in the door and regarded Professor Wogglebug solemnly. He was working his way through the Professor's Athletic college, and one of his duties was to wait upon this eminent educator of Oz.
"Certainly not!" snapped Professor Wogglebug. "You're a nobody or a nothing.
Stop gaping and fetch me my hat. I'm off to the Emerald City. And mind the pupils take their history pills regularly while I'm gone," he added, clapping his tall hat Zif held out to him on the back of his head. "Yes, sir!" said the little Munchkin respectfully.
"Don't hurry back, sir!" This last remark the Professor did not hear, for he was already half way down the college steps.
"Ozma will be delighted with the idea. How clever I am!" he murmured, twirling his antennae and walking rapidly down the pleasant blue lane.
The Professor, whose College of Art and Athletic Perfection is in the southwestern part of the Munchkin country, is the biggest bug in Oz, or in anyplace else, for that matter. He has made education painless by substituting school pills for books. His students take Latin, history and spelling pills; they swallow knowledge of every kind with ease and pleasure and spend the rest of their time in sport. No wonder he is so well thought of in Oz! No wonder he thinks so well of himself! Swinging his cane jauntily, the Professor hurried toward the yellow brick road that leads to the Emerald City, and by nightfall had reached the lovely capital of Oz.
Oz! That marvelous country where no one grows old, where animals and birds talk as sensibly as people, and adventures happen every day. Indeed, of all fairylands in the world, Oz is the most delightful, and of all fairy cities, the Emerald City is the most beautiful. A soft green light shone for miles about, and the gemmed turrets and spires of the palace flashed more brightly than the stars. But its loveliness was familiar to Professor Wogglebug, and without a pause he proceeded to Ozma's palace and was at once admitted to the great hall.
A roar of merriment greeted his ears. Ozma, the lovely girl ruler of Oz, was having a party, and the room was full of most surprising people surprising to some, that is, but old friends to most of us.
Jack, holding tightly to his pumpkin head, was running as fast as his wooden feet and wobbly legs would take him from Dorothy. A game of blind-man's buff was in full swing, and Scraps and Tik-Tok, the Scarecrow and Nick Chopper, the Glass Cat and the Cowardly Lion, the Wizard of Oz and the wooden Sawhorse, Cap'n Bill and Betsy Bobbin, Billina and the Hungry Tiger were tumbling over each other in an effort to keep away from the blindfolded little girl. But Dorothy was too quick for them. With a sudden whirl, she spun 'round and grasped a coatsleeve.
"The Scarecrow!" she laughed triumphantly. "I can tell by the way he skwoshes and now he's it!"
"I'm always it!" chuckled the droll person. "But hah! Behold the learned Professor standing so aloofly in our midst."
No one had noticed Professor Wogglebug, who had been quietly watching the game. "I don't like to interrupt the party," he began, approaching Ozma's throne apologetically, "but I've just had a most brilliant idea!"
"What? Another?" murmured the Scarecrow, rolling up his eyes.
"Where did you lose it?" asked Jack Pumpkinhead, edging forward anxiously.
"Lose it! Who said I'd lost it?" snapped the Professor, glaring at poor Jack.
"Well, you said you'd had it, and had is the past tense, so" Jack's voice trailed off uncertainly, and Ozma, seeing he was embarrassed, begged the Professor to explain.
"Your Highness!" began Professor Wogglebug, while the company settled down in a resigned circle on the floor, "As Oz is the most interesting and delightful country on the Continent of Imagination and its people the most unusual and talented, I am about to compile a Royal Book which will give the names and history of all our people. In other words, I am to be the Great, Grand Genealogist of Oz!"
"Whatever that is," the Scarecrow whispered in Dorothy's ear.
"And," the Professor frowned severely on the Scarecrow, "with your Majesty's permission, I shall start at once!"
"Please do," said the Scarecrow with a wave toward the door, "and we will go on with the party!"
Scraps, the Patchwork Girl, who had been staring fixedly at the Professor with her silver suspender-button eyes, now sprang to her feet:
"What is a genealogist? It's something no one here has missed; What puts such notions in your head? Turn out your toes or go
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