Rinkitink In Oz
The Excitement of Bilbil the Goat
Our story must now return to one of our characters whom we have been forced to neglect.
The temper of Bilbil the goat was not sweet under any circumstances, and whenever he
had a grievance he was inclined to be quite grumpy. So, when his master settled down in
the palace of King Gos for a quiet life with the boy Prince, and passed his time in playing
checkers and eating and otherwise enjoying himself, he had no use whatever for Bilbil,
and shut the goat in an upstairs room to prevent his wandering through the city and
quarreling with the citizens. But this Bilbil did not like at all. He became very cross and
disagreeable at being left alone and he did not speak nicely to the servants who came to
bring him food; therefore those people decided not to wait upon him any more, resenting
his conversation and not liking to be scolded by a lean, scraggly goat, even though it
belonged to a conqueror. The servants kept away from the room and Bilbil grew more
hungry and more angry every hour. He tried to eat the rugs and ornaments, but found
them not at all nourishing. There was no grass to be had unless he escaped from the
When Queen Cor came to capture Inga and Rinkitink, both the prisoners were so filled
with despair at their own misfortune that they gave no thought whatever to the goat, who
was left in his room. Nor did Bilbil know anything of the changed fortunes of his
comrades until he heard shouts and boisterous laughter in the courtyard below. Looking
out of a window, with the intention of rebuking those who dared thus to disturb him,
Bilbil saw the courtyard quite filled with warriors and knew from this that the palace had
in some way again fallen into the hands of the enemy.
Now, although Bilbil was often exceedingly disagreeable to King Rinkitink, as well as to
the Prince, and sometimes used harsh words in addressing them, he was intelligent
enough to know them to be his friends, and to know that King Gos and his people were
his foes. In sudden anger, provoked by the sight of the warriors and the knowledge that
he was in the power of the dangerous men of Regos, Bilbil butted his head against the
door of his room and burst it open. Then he ran to the head of the staircase and saw King
Gos coming up the stairs followed by a long line of his chief captains and warriors.
The goat lowered his head, trembling with rage and excitement, and just as the King
reached the top stair the animal dashed forward and butted His Majesty so fiercely that
the big and powerful King, who did not expect an attack, doubled up and tumbled
backward. His great weight knocked over the man just behind him and he in turn struck
the next warrior and upset him, so that in an instant the whole line of Bilbil's foes was
tumbling heels over head to the bottom of the stairs, where they piled up in a heap,
struggling and shouting and in the mixup hitting one another with their fists, until every
man of them was bruised and sore.
Finally King Gos scrambled out of the heap and rushed up the stairs again, very angry
indeed. Bilbil was ready for him and a second time butted the King down the stairs; but
now the goat also lost his balance and followed the King, landing full upon the confused
heap of soldiers. Then he kicked out so viciously with his heels that he soon freed himself
and dashed out of the doorway of the palace.
"Stop him!" cried King Gos, running after.