Today (May 15) is the 162nd birthday of L. Frank Baum, author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and 13 subsequent books taking place in the same universe. Since its publication on May 17, 1900, the first book in particular has become a cultural icon and has been adapted far and wide—for stage, for screen, in parodies and more.
In an inscription in a book he gave to his sister Mary Louise Baum Brewster, he wrote:
When I was young I longed to write a great novel that should win me fame. Now that I am getting old my first book is written to amuse children. For aside from my evident inability to do anything “great,” I have learned to regard fame as a will-o-the-wisp which, when caught, is not worth the possession; but to please a child is a sweet and lovely thing that warms one’s heart and brings its own reward.
Indeed, in 1944, Baum’s son Harry Neal told the Chicago Tribune that L. Frank wrote his Oz books based on whimsical stories he would tell to Harry and his brother.
In memory of L. Frank Baum, choose one of the following quotes from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, fill in the blanks, and use it as the opening to a story of your own. (Bonus imaginary internet points if you can include more than one.)
- “The _____________ have wonderful powers. And one of the most curious things about them is that they can _____________ .”
- “It was _____________ that made _____________ laugh, and saved her from growing as gray as her other surroundings.”
- “I cannot understand why you should wish to leave _____________ and go back to _____________ .”
- “There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces _____________ .”
- “I’m really a very good _____________ , but I’m a very bad _____________ , I must admit.”
Post your response in the comments in 500 words or fewer.