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Lonesome Duck

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The Lonesome Duck
Lonesome-duck

Real Name

Duck

First Appearance

The Magic of Oz (1919)

Original Publisher

Reilly & Britton

Created by

L. Frank Baum

Origin

The Lonesome Duck is the only duck in Oz. It lives in the Gillikin Country.

When Cap'n Bill and Trot were trapped on the Magic Isle it swam "swiftly and gracefully" over to them, astonishing them with its "gorgeously colored plumage." The common Mallard is famous for his sleek green head feathers, and the Pink-headed Duck is, well, pink around the head; but the Lonesome Duck is flashy all over:

"The feathers were of many hues of glistening greens and blues and purples, and it had a yellow head with a red plume, and pink, white and violet in its tail."

In a brief conversation, the Duck explains that it's lonesome because "I haven't any family or relations." The bird tells Trot that it can't make friends, "because everyone I meet be it bird, beast, or person, is disagreeable to me," though one has to suspect it's the other way around. It "used to know the reason" it's the only duck in the Land of Oz "but I've quite forgotten it." It lives in a diamond palace where its food is magically supplied to it. Though it cannot help free Trot and Cap'n Bill from their entrapment, it makes the situation slightly easier to bear, by conjuring large magic toadstools for them to sit on (its words are rather unpleasant, its actions more positive).

Later, the rescue party searching for Trot and Cap'n Bill, consisting of Dorothy Gale, the Wizard of Oz, the Cowardly Lion, the Hungry Tiger, and the Glass Cat, almost stumbles over the Lonesome Duck's diamond palace, earning them a stern rebuke from its inhabitant.

Public Domain Appearances

  • The Magic of Oz

Notes

  • The text never specifies the Duck's gender, referring to it consistently in the third person yet, the avian rule is that the gaudier birds are the males.
  • The Duck makes its loneliness a point of pride.

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