Bunnyburied


I’m running out of ideas for Oz posts, but I did notice that I haven’t yet said much about Bunnybury. I mentioned it here, but only in passing, so I might as well go into more detail now. Bunnybury is a miniature city in the Quadling Country set up by Glinda, who is said to particularly like white rabbits. I didn’t think much of that when I first read The Emerald City of Oz as a kid, but as an adult it bugs me. Did the Good Sorceress set up a segregated community? If a gray or brown rabbit wanted to live there, would they be denied admission? I like to think they wouldn’t, but who knows what L. Frank Baum or Glinda had in mind? Maybe how Bunnybury became integrated would make for an interesting story. To tone down the controversy, a community of white rabbits naturally makes many people think of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and these rabbits do indeed walk around on their hind legs and wear clothing, albeit fancier attire than the famous herald to the Queen of Hearts.

The inhabitants of Bunnybury wear clothes of satin and silk, decorated with gold and jewels. The homes and streets are made of marble, and the lawns are of clover. Overall, it’s a quite beautiful place, but visitors are pretty rare. As the city is a sanctuary for rabbits, it is surrounded by a wall and guests are usually only admitted if they carry letters of introduction from Ozma or Glinda. Anyone who does has to enter through the gate known as the Wicket, which shrinks a person down to rabbit size.

Bunnybury is ruled by a king who was appointed against his will, and initially wanted to return to the wild. With Dorothy’s help, however, he realized how much he would miss if he did so, and decided to stick with ruling.

This king is never named in Baum’s text, and a picture in the front of the book simply identifies him as “King Bunny.”

In his own Oz books, Chris Dulabone refers to him as King Charles, which is as good a name as any. As far as I can recall, the only residents Baum does name are Bristle, the Keeper of the Wicket; and the king’s personal attendant Blinkem. Several other rabbit inhabitants are given names in books by Dulabone and Marin Elizabeth Xiques, most notable among them being the detective Brewster Bunny.

Another author who returned to this fair city is Robin Olderman, whose short tale (appropriate for rabbits) “The Grabbit Rabbit of Oz” has a nasty bunny named Peter stealing the throne and Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion helping the monarch take it back. Bristle’s son Frecklejohn is introduced in this story.

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This entry was posted in Characters, Chris Dulabone, L. Frank Baum, Marin Elizabeth Xiques, Oz, Oz Authors, Places and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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