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Professor Wogglebug

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Professor Wogglebug
Woggle-Bug Book

Real Name

H. M. Wogglebug

First Appearance

The Marvelous Land of Oz (1904)

Original Publisher

Reilly & Britton

Created by

L. Frank Baum

Origin

Professor H.M. Wogglebug, T.E. is a Highly Magnified and Thoroughly Educated Wogglebug who lives in the Land of Oz.

Professor Wogglebug is a normal wogglebug who was magnified to a size several thousand times larger than normal; he stands fully as tall as a man. He has a great, round body with slender arms and legs, delicate feet, and toes that curl upward. His body is rather flat, the back being a glistening dark brown, and the front striped with bands of light brown and white. He has a long neck, and his head is much like a mans except that his ears and nose end in curling antennae. His black eyes are rather bulging, but his face is by no means unpleasant.

He wears a dark blue swallow-tail coat with a yellow silk lining and a flower in the button-hole. His white duck vest stretches tightly across his body. His knickerbockers are of fawn colored plush and fasten at the knees with gilt buckles. On his head he wears a tall, silk hat.

Being thoroughly educated, the Wogglebug uses a great many long words when he speaks. He also enjoys puns, considering them eminently proper among eduated people.

The Wogglebug was once a regular bookworm, who lived in a schoolhouse for three years where he would listen in on the lessons of the teacher, Professor Nowitall. One day, the professor caught him crawling across the hearth, and decided to use him for an impromptu lesson on wogglebugs. His magnified image was projected on the wall and, taking advantage of a sudden distraction, he escaped, remaining in that magnified condition.

During his early travels, the Wogglebug saved the ninth life of a tailor. In gratitude, he furnished the giant insect with his stylish costume. The Wogglebug met up with the Scarecrow and his companions, and joined them in trying to overthrow General Jinjur's Army of Revolt that had conquered the Emerald City. When Princess Ozma of Oz was discovered and restored to her rightful place as ruler of Oz, the Wogglebug was appointed to the post of Public Educator and became an important advisor to the Princess.

As "Professor Wogglebug", he runs the College of Art and Athletic Perfection in the southwestern part of Munchkin Country. The students at the College take school pills that give a student knowledge without having to attend lessons, so that the student's time can be applied to Athletic pursuits. He also invented Square Meal Tablets, which contain a six course dinner in one small pill.

The Wogglebug is also an accomplished composer and poet. He composed "Shining Emperor Waltz" in honor of the Tin Woodman. For Ozma's birthday, he wrote "Ode to Ozma" and read it at her birthday banquet. It was written in very good rhythm and was well received by those in attendance.

One day, the Wogglebug thought up the idea to write the Royal Book of Oz, which would contain the genealogies of all the important personages therein. He went to the Emerald City, where Ozma agreed to his idea, and he then set to work interviewing everyone.

According to an animal king the Wogglebug met on his journey, the Wogglebug was a member of the extinct insect species Sullivanthauros.

Although of ordinary size, The Wogglebug's father was, according to the Wogglebug, "a famous Bug-Wizard in his day, and claimed descent from the original protoplasm which constituted the nucleus of the present planetary satellite upon which we exist." 

Public Domain Appearances

Books:

  • The Marvelous Land of Oz
  • The Woggle-Bug Book
  • Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
  • The Road to Oz
  • The Emerald City of Oz
  • The Scarecrow of Oz
  • The Magic of Oz
  • The Royal Book of Oz

Stage:

  • The Woggle-Bug

Notes

  • Baum originated the term "wogglebug" on Coronado Beach in California, when a little girl picked up a sand crab and asked what it was. The term popped into his head. Maud Baum liked it, and advised her husband to include it in his current Oz book, then about one-third written.
  • While the original character who appeared in Oz books published before 1923 is in public domain, any versions published post-1923 are NOT.

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