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The Mandarin and the Butterfly

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The Mandarin and the Butterfly

by L. Frank Baum

Genre: Fairy Tale
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Promising


“I command you to dip your two front feet into this magic compound and then fly away until you meet a child. Fly close, whether it be a boy or a girl, and touch the child upon its forehead with your feet. Whosoever is thus touched, the book declares, will at once become a pig, and will remain such forever after. Then return to me and dip you legs afresh in the contents of this cup. So shall all my enemies, the children, become miserable swine, while no one will think of accusing me of the sorcery.”

“Very well; since such is your command, I obey,” said the butterfly.


A dark, dark fairy tale with rather Doestoevskian overtones; not what you’d expect from L. Frank Baum. But quite interesting and even a little philosophical. The action itself is thin, but perhaps sufficient for a one-act.


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