- "...Deadly Desert?"
- ―Billina in Return to Oz (1985)
|Title||Queen and Governor of the Chickens in Oz|
|Residence||Kansas farm/Emerald City|
|First Appearance||Ozma of Oz|
Billina is a yellow hen, spunky and talkative with a sharp, distinct voice.
Billina the talking hen is introduced in L. Frank Baum's third Oz book titled 'Ozma of Oz 'published in circa 1907. She is one of Dorothy Gale's loyal pets in Kansas on the farm besides Toto her little dog. Billina has natural sass and attitude. She speaks her mind and at times comes off rather cynical. She believes in old fashion values yet isn't scared of anything bigger than herself and never is too hesitant to tell it like it is. Billina has a sharp tongue and mostly has a rather witty personality and is at times a complete wise-cracker even when in dangerous situations. She is very brave, practical and is a loving and real friend to all those who know her rather it be in plain old Kansas or the magical Land of Oz.
Billina takes pride in laying a fresh egg every morning, after which she enjoys a morning cackle. She never cares to hatch them unless she has a nice nest with a baker's dozen of them.
Her hen house is in the gardens behind the Royal Palace of Oz. It has a porch, and she keeps the house as neat as a pin. All the chairs inside are silver roosting poles.
Her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren all live in the yards nearby, and she is acknowledged as Queen and Governor of all the chickens in Oz.
Billina was originally named Bill because as a chick no one could tell whether she was going to be a hen or a rooster. She was raised on a farm in Kansas.
During a voyage to Australia, Bill was traveling in a chicken coop that was blown overboard during a storm. Though all the other chickens drowned, she survived along with a girl named Dorothy Gale. As they approached the shores of the Land of Ev, she found herself able to talk. Dorothy changed her name to a feminine form by adding "eena" to the end.
Billina and Dorothy visited Evna, the capital of Ev, and joined a party from the Land of Oz who were traveling to the Nome Kingdom to rescue the Royal Family of Ev. The Nome King deceived the rescue party, but Billina was able to solve the his puzzle, thanks to her overhearing his discussion with Kaliko, his Chief Steward. She also provided the eggs which the Scarecrow used to defeat the Nomes, eggs being poison to Nomes. After that adventure Billina settled in the Emerald City where she generally wears the pearl necklace she received from King Evardo of Ev. (Ozma of Oz)
Later Billina hatched many chicks (their father unknown). She named all of them Dorothy after her young friend and had gold lockets engraved with the letter "D" for each of them. (The Road to Oz) When some of the chicks turned out to be "horrid roosters" she renamed them Daniel. (The Emerald City of Oz)
- Ozma of Oz (first appearance)
- Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
- The Road to Oz
- The Royal Book of Oz
- The Emerald City of Oz
- The Magic of Oz
- Merry Go Round in Oz
Billina was most notably brought to life in Disney's 1985 Cult Classic film Return to Oz. She was a state of the art electronic puppet that was made from the Jim Henson puppet company.
- One of L. Frank Baum's earliest books described raising Hamburg chickens, and he drew on that expertise in depicting Billina.
- Billina cameos in the Sister's Grimm book Once Upon a Crime: though she has no lines, she is referred to by name.