Rinkitink In Oz
The Warriors from the North
King Rinkitink was so much pleased with the Island of Pingaree that he continued his
stay day after day and week after week, eating good dinners, talking with King Kitticut
and sleeping. Once in a while he would read from his scroll. "For," said he, "whenever I
return home, my subjects will be anxious to know if I have learned 'How to be Good,' and
I must not disappoint them."
The twenty rowers lived on the small end of the island, with the pearl fishers, and seemed
not to care whether they ever returned to the Kingdom of Rinkitink or not. Bilbil the goat
wandered over the grassy slopes, or among the trees, and passed his days exactly as he
pleased. His master seldom cared to ride him. Bilbil was a rare curiosity to the islanders,
but since there was little pleasure in talking with the goat they kept away from him. This
pleased the creature, who seemed well satisfied to be left to his own devices.
Once Prince Inga, wishing to be courteous, walked up to the goat and said: "Good
"It isn't a good morning," answered Bilbil grumpily. "It is cloudy and damp, and looks
"I hope you are contented in our kingdom," continued the boy, politely ignoring the
other's harsh words.
"I'm not," said Bilbil. "I'm never contented; so it doesn't matter to me whether I'm in your
kingdom or in some other kingdom. Go away -- will you?"
"Certainly," answered the Prince, and after this rebuff he did not again try to make friends
Now that the King, his father, was so much occupied with his royal guest, Inga was often
left to amuse himself, for a boy could not be allowed to take part in the conversation of
two great monarchs. He devoted himself to his studies, therefore, and day after day he
climbed into the branches of his favorite tree and sat for hours in his "tree-top rest,"
reading his father's precious manuscripts and thinking upon what he read.
You must not think that Inga was a molly-coddle or a prig, because he was so solemn and
studious. Being a King's son and heir to a throne, he could not play with the other boys of
Pingaree, and he lived so much in the society of the King and Queen, and was so
surrounded by the pomp and dignity of a court, that he missed all the jolly times that boys
usually have. I have no doubt that had he been able to live as other boys do, he would
have been much like other boys; as it was, he was subdued by his surroundings, and more
grave and thoughtful than one of his years should be.
Inga was in his tree one morning when, without warning, a great fog enveloped the Island
of Pingaree. The boy could scarcely see the tree next to that in which he sat, but the
leaves above him prevented the dampness from wetting him, so he curled himself up in
his seat and fell fast asleep.