Sawhorse (Oz)

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The Sawhorse
Oz character
Sawhorse.gif
as illustrated by John R. Neill in The Marvelous Land of Oz
First appearance The Marvelous Land of Oz (1904)
Created by L. Frank Baum
Information
Species Animated Sawhorse
Nationality Gillikin

The Saw-Horse, sometimes spelled Sawhorse, is a character from L Frank Baum's Oz books series.[1] He first appears in The Marvelous Land of Oz.

History[edit]

The Saw-Horse is literally a sawhorse brought to life with the Powder of Life by Tip to carry Jack Pumpkinhead (whose wooden joints were wearing out from walking). He is a log with a notch cut in one end for a mouth, two knots for eyes and a branch for a tail. When he was first made he had no ears and could not follow directions, so Tip whittled him two. He also had a post installed on his back so Jack could hold on while riding. His friends deride him as the least intelligent member of their party, though he usually has intelligent things to say when he speaks.

The Saw-Horse is one of the fastest creatures in Oz because he never gets tired. He carries Glinda in her pursuit of Mombi into the Deadly Desert while the latter is in the form of a gryphon. Princess Ozma has his legs shod with plates of gold to keep his legs from wearing out.

In The Road to Oz, the Sawhorse is among the guests at Princess Ozma's birthday party.

In The Marvelous Land of Oz, Baum emphasizes the awkwardness with which the Saw-Horse walks, tottering one way and then the other because his legs do not bend, and front and hind move together. In Ozma of Oz, he is described as walking as well as a real horse; however, he approaches the Giant with the Hammer too quickly, and sends his rider, Omby Amby, up to the giant's arm. This knocks off his ears and leaves him deaf until they can be replaced. He is integral in defeating the Nome King, kicking him with his hind legs in order to protect Dorothy Gale.

In later Oz books, he is frequently shown drawing Ozma's Red Wagon. One example is shown in Dorothy of Oz where he is enlisted by Glinda to carry Dorothy to her palace and then to the palace of Princess Gaylette. Both times, the Sawhorse ran fast enough to cross the hill of the Hammer-Heads without getting hit by their hard heads.

In March Laumer's The Careless Kangaroo of Oz, he is given the proper name "Lignum."

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jack Snow, Who's Who in Oz, Chicago, Reilly & Lee, 1954; New York, Peter Bedrick Books, 1988; p. 186.