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The Scarecrow of Oz is the ninth book set in the Land of Oz written by L. Frank Baum. Published on July 16, 1915, it was Baum's personal favorite of the Oz books and tells of Cap'n Bill and Trot journeying to Oz and, with the help of the Scarecrow, overthrowing the cruel King Krewl of Jinxland. Cap'n Bill and Trot (Mayre Griffiths) had previously appeared in two other novels by Baum, The Sea Fairies and Sky Island.
Cap'n Bill, a sailor with a wooden peg-leg, and his friend, a little girl named Trot, set out from California on a calm day for a short ride in their row-boat. The calm day suddenly turns dark and stormy and Cap'n Bill and Trot are washed overboard and are carried bymermaids (referred to but not seen) to a cave where they meet an ostrich-like flying creature called an Ork. Flying on the Ork's back, the Ork, Cap'n Bill and Trot strain to arrive at an island where a grim man calling himself Pessim the Observer points out that the Ork should not have eaten the light lavender berries growing on the island. The light lavender berries cause a person to shrink, and the dark purple berries cause a person to grow. Once the Ork resumes normal size, Cap'n Bill and Trot leave the island to escape the Observer's negative attitude-which drove the people in his homeland to exile him here in the first place. To reduce the load on the Ork, Cap'n Bill and Trot each eat a light lavender berry so they are small enough to carry in Trot's bonnet.