The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, IX.—The Queen of the Field Mice
Tonight’s Soundtrack: Modest Mouse, “Wild Packs of Family Dogs”
I can only imagine that if I were a little girl far from home in a strange land full of dark woods and raging rivers, where dead witches throw themselves under me and dolls come to life, where the last thing I see before succumbing to poisonous fumes is the unconscious body of my loyal dog, knowing that I may never see anything again, if I were that girl, and then, blinking and yawning, improbably alive, the next thing I see is thousands and thousands of intelligent mice arrayed on the field before me, staring directly at me, with a wildcat corpse in two pieces just a couple of yards over there, I fain say I would plotz.
Not Dorothy, though. She just nods. She’s a survivor.
* * *
I mean, what kind of living hell was Kansas, right? What has she been through already that she does not bug out at least a little on this phantasmagorical road trip?
Legions of mice are staring at her.
* * *
And what are we to make of the Tin Woodman’s morality? He can’t stand to harm anything, not even a bug. Well, unless he’s harming Kalidahs, in which case murder is self-defense. Or y’know: chopping the head off a wildcat, but only because the thing is threatening a field mouse. Never mind that we don’t know if it’s a good field mouse or not. Never mind also that when our little dog friend threatens the field mouse, he gets a pass.
The axe knows what it wants. That’s all the funny tin man has now.
* * *
I think these are the rules of Oz so far:
- Relax. Everything’s cool, unless it’s a monster.
- You’ll know it’s a monster because you or your friends killed it.
- Keep walking, and don’t look back.