Ruth Plumly Thompson’t first Oz book, The Royal Book of Oz, begins with a burst of energy as Professor Wogglebug hies him to the Emerald City with another of his brilliant ideas.
At the court of Princess Ozma, the eminent insect announced his intention to all present. “As Oz is the most interesting and delightful country on the Continent of Imagination and its people the most unusual and talented, I am about to compile a Royal Book which will give the names and history of all our people. In other words, I am to be the Great, Grand Genealogist of Oz!”
Most were impressed with the idea, and willingly told of their family lines. But the Scarecrow, belittled by the Wogglebug for his lack of ancestry, sat in a corner moping and Dorothy sympathized with him.
That very night, the Scarecrow, who can see in the dark and never tires, set out to return to the farm where he was made, to explore his “family tree”– the pole he used to occupy. On his way, he met the A-B-Sea Serpent, a creature made of lettered blocks, and the Rattlesnake, a snake made of… rattles.
They helped him cross a river and soon he reached the farm of the Munchkin who built him. On a whim, he began digging around the base of the beanpole when suddenly the earth gave way and he found himself plummeting down an immensely deep hole.
After a meeting with hideous creatures called Middlings, and the discovery of a lovely fan and parasol, the Scarecrow finally landed in the midst of a grand throne room, surrounded by grey-skinned Orientals in magnificent robes. To his amazement, he was welcomed as their returning Emperor!
In the morning, Dorothy, unable to find the Scarecrow, set out with the Cowardly Lion to find him. When he turned out not to be at his corncob castle in the Winkie Country, they made to return to the Emerald City. A storm beset them and when it let up, they found they were quite lost, not to mention sleepy.
They arrived at the Kingdom of Pokes, inhabited by people so slow-moving that they kept snails as pets. Here they met Sir Hokus of Pokes, seemingly the ruler, but actually a prisoner or the torpid city. A former Knight of the Round Table, Sir Hokus bemoaned his fate:
“Ah, friends, behold in me a Knight who has never had a real adventure, never killed a dragon, nor championed a Lady, nor gone on a Quest!”
He pledged to help Dorothy, who gave her a ribbon for his standard.
In a gambit the Knight had tried and failed in before, the three began to sing, which the Pokes could not stand, and, despite encroaching sleep, managed to get out of the city.
Glinda meanwhile had learned from her Magic Book that the Emperor of the Silver Islands had returned to his people.
Never having heard of the place, she got on with her day.