- "The last thing I remember is walking through the forest and hearing a loud noise. Now, here I am, flying through the air. What am I anyways? "
- ―The Gump in Return to Oz (1985)
The Gump is a fictional animal character created by L. Frank Baum. He appears in Baum's second Oz book titled The Marvelous Land of Oz, published in 1904. A Gump is an elk-like creature common in the magical Land of Oz. They have wide-spreading antlers, caprine whiskers, and a turned-up nose. Gumps have a screeching cry, and also possess great pride and an independent spirit. They are kind, gentle and non-violent creatures that mostly all live deep within the forests in peace and harmony.
Oz History: Flight of the Gump
The head of a Gump was mounted on the mantle in the great hallway of the Royal Palace of Oz. When the Scarecrow was deposed as King of Oz by General Jinjur who overthrew him, he and his companions were trapped by Jinjur's Army of Revolt. The Wogglebug brought the Gump's head and with two sofas for a body, palm tree limbs for wings, and a broom for a tail, all tied together with clotheslines and ropes, the Tin Woodman created a vehicle for their escape. The Gump was then brought to life using the substance called Powder of Life.
Although their escape was successful, during the night the Gump flew much farther than expected and took the companions over the Deadly Desert and completely outside the magical Land of Oz and straight into our realm. In an attempt to land and turn around, they crashed into a Jackdaw nest and the Gump was damaged. Eventually the Wogglebug used a Wishing Pill to repair the Gump and set them back on their way again.
In Other Media
Return to Oz 1985
Prior to the events of the film, he was just an ordinary Gump walking through the woods until he heard a loud noise (presumably from a gunshot) and died. His head was mounted in the tower attic in the Emerald City's palace. Sometime later, when the magical Land of Oz was taken over by the Nome King and Mombi, who turned it to ruin. Eventually Dorothy Gale (accompanied by her chicken Billina) returned to Oz and met Tik-Tok the mechanical copper man. When Dorothy was taken captive by Mombi and locked in her tower, under her imprisonment she met Jack Pumpkinhead who helped the little party make an attempt to escape. Together they devised a plan to escape the Emerald City; this involved using Mombi's Powder of Life to bring to life the old Gump head in the tower and attaching it to two sofas with a broom for a tail and palm leafs for wings to fly them out. Mombi became aware of their plot and tried to stop them, but despite some complications they finished and brought to life the flying Gump sofa and all escaped out the tower window. They flew across the night sky and the Gump began to tell the story of what happened to him and how surprised he was to find himself in such an odd situation, although he was still willing to aid the group in their escape. Later he remained a mounted head and was placed in Princess Ozma's mirrored palace. (Return to Oz)
Emerald City Confidential
More flying Gumps have been created and serve as taxis for the citizens of the Emerald City. The Shaggy Man has a shop where he constructs them. These Gumps generally have grumpy personalities. When Petra hires a Gump to chase down Cutter, on another Gump, both Gumps fly at exactly the same speed; Petra finally catches up by feeding her Gump candy, making it accelerate from the sugar rush. (Emerald City Confidential)
The Gump also appears in The Wonderful Land of Oz, Shirley Temple's The Land of Oz, The Wonderful Land of Oz and the1981 Marvelous Land of Oz. He also appears in Marvel's The Marvelous Land of Oz.