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The Sea Fairies (1911)
L. Frank Baum
Mayre Griffiths is the daughter of Charlie Griffiths and his wife. She has big solemn eyes and an earnest, simple manner.
She was born in California and since her father was a sailor, she was raised by her mother and Cap'n Bill, a family friend. It is said that she had been marked on the forehead at birth by fairies with their invisible mystic signs. When she began to walk, she took so many steps that she was nicknamed "Trot", and has been called that name ever since. All her life she was accustomed to depend on Cap'n Bill, and rarely did anything without him.
One day, Trot and Cap'n Bill were discussing mermaids. Though the Cap'n warned her how dangerous the creatures were, Trot expressed a wish to meet a mermaid. Princess Clia heard her wish and transformed the girl and her guardian into mer-people, Trot having a tail with irridescent pink scales. The mermaids gave their guests a tour of their underwater kingdom. They were captured by the evil Zog the Terrible, but managed to escape with the help of King Anko. The mermaid queen, Aquareine, gave Trot a golden ring which she could use to summon help at any time.
When Button-Bright arrived in California with his Magic Umbrella, Trot and Cap'n Bill joined him on a picnic trip that ended up at Sky Island. They landed in the Blue Country and were captured by the Boolooroo, who took the Magic Umbrella and made Trot a servant of the Six Snubnosed Princesses. She and her companions escaped through a Fog Bank and found themselves in the Pink Country where Polychrome saved them from being thrown over the edge of the island. Polychrome also reminded the Pinkies that their Great Book of Laws required the person with the lightest skin to rule the Country, and Trot was immediately made Queen of the Pinkies. She led an invasion into the Blue Country, and when Cap'n Bill was captured by the Blueskins, Trot entered the city in search of him with the help of Rosalie's magic ring, which made her invisible. She found the Cap'n, and through an unusual string of events, conquered the Boolooroo and became "Booloorooess" herself. She and her companions set things to right in both kingdoms, recovered the Magic Umbrella, and returned home to California.
Later, while on an excursion in a rowboat, they were trapped by a whirlpool and deposited in a cavern deep under the sea. There they met a strange flying creature called the Ork, who carried them to Jinxland, a country on the other side of the Deadly Desert. After their adventures in Jinxland, Ozma invited them to stay in the Land of Oz.
Trot and Cap'n Bill had many wonderful adventures there including getting their feet "rooted" while searching for a gift for Princess Ozma's birthday.
Public Domain Appearances
- The Sea Fairies
- Sky Island
- The Scarecrow of Oz
- The Magic of Oz
- The Royal Book of Oz
- Baum had attempted to close the Oz series the previous year: in the brief concluding chapter of The Emerald City of Oz (1910), Dorothy Gale writes to the author to explain that "You will never hear anything more about Oz, because we are now cut off forever from all the rest of the world." Baum was tired of Oz, and wanted to tell new and different stories. When the new series did not sell as well as its predecessor, Baum resumed the Oz series, and eventually Trot and Cap'n Bill were brought into the series when they emigrated to the Land of Oz.
- While the original character who appeared in Oz books published before 1923 is in public domain, any versions published post-1923 are NOT.