Nathan (vovat) wrote,


Kalidahs, as seen in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, are ferocious creatures with the bodies of bears and the heads of tigers. According to the Cowardly Lion, they could tear him in two as easily as he could kill Toto (not that he'd WANT to kill Toto, mind you). They're known as some of the most dangerous predators in Oz, and they receive a few other mentions in the series. In Emerald City, they're mentioned as one of the dangers of the fairyland, albeit with a statement that they're "nearly all tamed." Patchwork Girl reports that Dr. Pipt used his Liquid of Petrifaction to turn two Kalidahs into marble, and then placed them in front of his house. Magic includes an encounter with a live Kalidah, whom Cap'n Bill pins to the ground with a wooden stake. When the animal manages to free himself, he has a hole through his body, and goes to see the Kalidah King, who has magic powers. As reported in Magic, the main homeland of Kalidahs is a forest in the eastern part of the Gillikin Country, with part overlapping into the Munchkin, but they can be found other places as well.

The other Famous Forty authors don't do anything with Kalidahs, as far as I can recall, but they do show up in several apocryphal works. The Eric Shanower story that I mentioned yesterday, "Gugu and the Kalidahs," obviously includes the creatures, and Gugu has a conversation with their king (who, while mentioned in Magic, doesn't actually appear in the canon). An Oz manuscript that I've written in rough draft form also includes the Kalidah King, as does Atticus Gannaway's Time Travelling. But one of my favorite post-FF uses of Kalidahs is Phyllis Ann Karr's "The Guardian Dove," which describes their culture in some detail, and introduces Kericot the Considerate Kalidah. It's rare for Oziana characters to reappear in later works, but Kericot and her friends are exceptions, showing up in Karr's own Maybe the Miffin and illustrator Melody Grandy's Thorns and Private Files. Coincidentally enough, a picture of Kericot and her brother Randicot appears in S.P. Maldonado's latest post.

I don't think there's ever been a consensus on how to pronounce the word "Kalidah," but as my post title suggests, I've always pronounced it like the beginning of "kaleidoscope." Jack Snow agrees, and even posits that L. Frank Baum might have derived the name of his wild species from that of the device. But I've heard it said on other ways as well, and I'm not aware of any statement from Baum on the correct pronunciation. For any Oz fans reading this, how do you usually pronounce the word?
Tags: books, characters, monsters, oz

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