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Billina

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"Bowk-bawk-bok-bawk! Bowk-bok-bawk!" "What's that?" cried Dorothy as she opened her eyes. "Why, I've just laid an egg, that's all," replied a small, but sharp and distinct voice. And looking around her the little girl discovered a fat yellow hen squatting in the opposite corner of the chicken coop. "Dear me!" she exclaimed, in surprise; "have YOU been here all night, too?" "Of course," answered the hen, stretching her soft wings and yawning. "When the coop blew away from that ship, I clung for dear life to this corner right here, with claws and beak, yes I did! For I knew if I fell straight into the ocean I'd surely be drowned. Indeed, I nearly did drowned, with all that water washing over me. I've never been so wet before in all my little life! "
Ozma of Oz (1907)
OzIcon
Billina
Billina
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Title Queen and Governor of the Chickens in Oz
Species Talking Chicken
Origin Kansas
Residence Kansas farm/Emerald City
First Appearance Ozma of Oz


"Please tell me; how is it that you are able to talk all of the sudden?" Asked Dorothy. "I thought hens could only cluck and cackle." "Why, as for that," answered the yellow hen thoughtfully, "I've clucked and cackled all my life, and never spoken a word before this morning, that I can remember. But when you asked a question, a minute ago, it seemed the most natural thing in the world to answer you. So I spoke, and I seem to keep on speaking, just as you and other human beings do. Strange, isn't it?" "Very," replied Dorothy. "But if we were in the magical Land of Oz, I wouldn't think it so queer, because many of the animals can talk in that country." "Oz, what's Oz?" Asked the yellow hen. "Oh, it's an incredible place me and my dog Toto have been to, even though we're the only ones from the outside world who know it exist." Replied the girl. "
Ozma of Oz (1907)

Billina is a fat hen with soft yellow feathers. She is a very spunky and talkative animal with a sharp, distinct husky voice that holds a strong country accent. Billina is introduced in L. Frank Baum's third Oz book titled Ozma of Oz, published in 1907. She was originally from the Gale farm in Kansas but made a trip to the magical Land of Oz and now resides there permanently in the land's Imperial Capital aka the Emerald City.

  • The character of Billina most notably had a starring role in Walt Disney's 1985 cult classic film "Return to Oz "
"...Deadly Desert? "
―Billina in Return to Oz (1985)
"Glad it ain't fried chicken..."
Return to Oz (1985)
"Princess Mombi is some housekeeper..."
―Billina in Return to Oz (1985)
"What is this a man or a melon? "
Return to Oz (1985)

Description

Billina is one of Dorothy Gale's loyal pets from the Kansas farm besides Toto, her little black dog. Once out of Kansas and in the realm where Oz can be found, Billina was able to talk actual words instead of just clucking and cackling. While speaking, Dorothy noticed that Billina had natural sass and attitude. She spoke her mind and at times came off rather cynical, but humorously cynical. Billina believes in old fashion values yet isn't scared of anything bigger than herself and she is never too hesitant to tell it like it is. Overall, 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 a very brave, practical and loving hen who is a real humble friend to all those who know her, rather it be in Kansas or Oz.

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Billina 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 Emerald City's 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.

History

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 the farm in Kansas where the Gales resided.

The story starts out in a voyage to Australia. Uncle Henry and Dorothy Gale are visiting relatives overseas while Aunt Em and Toto stayed behind to keep an eye on the farm. Bill was traveling in a chicken coop on the same ship with Henry and Dorothy. But when a terrible storm came with rain and lighting, she was blown overboard and cast into the ocean. Though all the other chickens drowned, she survived along with Dorothy who also was blown overboard. Luckily, they found refuge in an old wooden chicken coop that was floating nearby. Billina and Dorothy where carried away by the strong waves until they washed up upon the shores of the magical Land of Ev, (a enchanted country neighboring Oz). Billina found herself able to talk which let Dorothy conclude that the two were in a magic country. And after seeing Billina had a feminine voice, Dorothy then changed her name to a feminine form by adding "eena" to the end.

Billina and Dorothy visited Evna, the capital of Ev, where they met the bad-mannered Wheelers and Tik-Tok the mechanical copper man. After being rescued from the captivity of the spoiled and vain Princess Langwidere, they then joined Princess Ozma's 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 answer to his little trick game. Billina became everyone's hero thanks to her overhearing his discussion with the trusty 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 wears a beautiful pearl necklace with diamonds 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)

Book appearances

Film appearances

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.

Trivia

  • 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.

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