The Surprising Adventures of the Magical Monarch of Mo and His People eBook: Page1

L. Frank Baum (2005)




  THE SURPRISING ADVENTURES OF THE MAGICAL MONARCH OF MO AND HIS PEOPLE

  by

  L. FRANK BAUM

  With pictures by Frank Ver Beck

  1903

  To the Comrade of myboyhood daysDr. Henry Clay Baum

  TO THE READER

  This book has been written for children. I have no shame inacknowledging that I, who wrote it, am also a child; for since I canremember my eyes have always grown big at tales of the marvelous, andmy heart is still accustomed to go pit-a-pat when I read of impossibleadventures. It is the nature of children to scorn realities, whichcrowd into their lives all too quickly with advancing years. Childhoodis the time for fables, for dreams, for joy.

  These stories are not true; they could no be true and be so marvelous.No one is expected to believe them; they were meant to excite laughterand to gladden the heart.

  Perhaps some of those big, grown-up people will poke fun of us--at youfor reading these nonsense tales of the Magical Monarch, and at me forwriting them. Never mind. Many of the big folk are still children--evenas you and I. We cannot measure a child by a standard of size or age.The big folk who are children will be our comrades; the others we neednot consider at all, for they are self-exiled from our domain.

  L. FRANK BAUM.

  June, 1903.

  CONTENTS

  THE FIRST SURPRISEThe Beautiful Valley of Mo

  THE SECOND SURPRISEThe Strange Adventures of the King's Head

  THE THIRD SURPRISEThe Tramp Dog and the Monarch's Lost Temper

  THE FOURTH SURPRISEThe Peculiar Pains of Fruit Cake Island

  THE FIFTH SURPRISEThe Monarch Celebrates His Birthday

  THE SIXTH SURPRISEKing Scowleyow and His Cast-Iron Man

  THE SEVENTH SURPRISETimtom and the Princess Pattycake

  THE EIGHTH SURPRISEThe Bravery of Prince Jollikin

  THE NINTH SURPRISEThe Wizard and the Princess

  THE TENTH SURPRISEThe Duchess Bredenbutta's Visit to Turvyland

  THE ELEVENTH SURPRISEPrince Fiddlecumdoo and the Giant

  THE TWELFTH SURPRISEThe Land of the Civilized Monkeys

  THE THIRTEENTH SURPRISEThe Stolen Plum-Pudding

  THE FOURTEENTH SURPRISEThe Punishment of the Purple Dragon

  _The First Surprise_

  THE BEAUTIFUL VALLEY OF MO

  I dare say there are several questions you would like to ask at thevery beginning of this history. First: Who is the Monarch of Mo? Andwhy is he called the Magical Monarch? And where _is_ Mo, anyhow? Andwhy have you never heard of it before? And can it be reached by arailroad or a trolley-car, or must one walk all the way?

  These questions I realize should be answered before we (that "we" meansyou and the book) can settle down for a comfortable reading of all thewonders and astonishing adventures I shall endeavor faithfully torelate.

  In the first place, the Monarch of Mo is a very pleasant personageholding the rank of King. He is not very tall, nor is he very short; heis midway between fat and lean; he is delightfully jolly when he is notsad, and seldom sad if he can possibly be jolly. How old he may be Ihave never dared to inquire; but when we realize that he is destined tolive as long as the Valley of Mo exists we may reasonably suppose theMonarch of Mo is exactly as old as his native land. And no one in Mohas ever reckoned up the years to see how many they have been. So wewill just say that the Monarch of Mo and the Valley of Mo are each apart of the other, and can not be separated.

  He is not called the Magical Monarch because he deals in magic--for hedoesn't deal in magic. But he leads such a queer life in such a queercountry that his history will surely seem magical to us who inhabit thecivilized places of the world and think that anything we can not find areason for must be due to magic. The life of the Monarch of Mo seemssimple enough to him, you may be sure, for he knows no other existence.And our ways of living, could he know of them, would doubtless astonishhim greatly.

  The land of Mo, which is ruled by the King we call the Magical Monarch,is often spoken of as the "Beautiful Valley." If they would only put iton the maps of our geographies and paint it pink or light green, andprint a big round dot where the King's castle stands, it would be easyenough to point out to you its exact location. But I can not find theValley of Mo in any geography I have examined; so I suspect the men whomade these instructive books really know nothing about Mo, else itwould surely be on the maps.

  Of one thing I am certain: that no other country included in the mapsis so altogether delightful as the Beautiful Valley of Mo.

  The sun shines all the time, and its rays are perfumed. The people wholive in the Valley do not sleep, because there is no night. Everythingthey can possibly need grows on the trees, so they have no use formoney at all, and that saves them a deal of worry.

  There are no poor people in this quaint Valley. When a person desires anew hat he waits till one is ripe, and then picks it and wears itwithout asking anybody's permission. If a lady wishes a new ring, sheexamines carefully those upon the ring-tree, and when she finds onethat fits her finger she picks it and wears it upon her hand. In thisway they procure all they desire.

  There are two rivers in the Land of Mo, one of which flows milk of avery rich quality. Some of the islands in Milk River are made ofexcellent cheese, and the people are welcome to spade up this cheesewhenever they wish to eat it. In the little pools near the bank, wherethe current does not flow swiftly, delicious cream rises to the top ofthe milk, and instead of water-lilies great strawberry leaves grow uponthe surface, and the ripe, red berries lie dipping their noses into thecream, as if inviting you to come and eat them. The sand that forms theriver bank is pure white sugar, and all kinds of candies and bonbonsgrow thick on the low bushes, so that any one may pluck them easily.

  These are only a few of the remarkable things that exist in theBeautiful Valley.

  The people are merry, light-hearted folk, who live in beautiful housesof pure crystal, where they can rest themselves and play their gamesand go in when it rains. For it rains in Mo as it does everywhere else,only it rains lemonade; and the lightning in the sky resembles the mostbeautiful fireworks; and the thunder is usually a chorus from the operaof Tannhauser.

  No one ever dies in this Valley, and the people are always young andbeautiful. There is the King and a Queen, besides several princes andprincesses. But it is not much use being a prince in Mo, because theKing can not die; therefore a prince is a prince to the end of hisdays, and his days never end.

  Strange things occur in this strange land, as you may imagine; andwhile I relate some of these you will learn more of the peculiarfeatures of the Beautiful Valley.