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Magic Umbrella

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The Magic Umbrella is a talisman that can transport its human carrier anywhere in the world.

Description

It is a large umbrella, as long as an eight- or nine-year-old child is tall. It is far from new; once covered in thick brown cloth, it has faded with the years to a dull drab (except in the creases). It has been described as looking common and very old-fashioned. Its wooden handle is carved in the shape of an elephant's head, the long trunk was curved to form the crook of the handle. The elephant has small red gems for eyes, and two tiny tusks of ivory.

It has long been in the possession of the von Smith family of Philadelphia. It is believed that no one knows of the umbrella's powers, though the family always believed it brought them good luck.

To use the umbrella, the person holding asks it to take him to a given destination and then hangs on. It travels faster than any railroad train and is powerful enough to move more than one person through the air at a time. Once it is given a destination, it will go there and nowhere else; it cannot be stopped or turned. Also, it only works for members of the family that rightfully owns it, the von Smith family.

According to Rosalie, the Pinkie witch, the umbrella has no power in itself, but is enchanted by fairy power so that it is made to fly and carry passengers through the air by fairies. (Sky Island)

History

The umbrella was first discovered by Button-Bright's great-great-grandfather, who was an Arabian Knight.

Button-Bright found the umbrella in his family's attic and discovered its magical properties by accident on the way to his Uncle Bob's. He traveled to Buffalo, Chicago, Denver, and finally to California where he met Trot and Cap'n Bill.

The trio planned to picnic on an island out to sea, which Trot had named "Sky Island". Instead the umbrella took them to an island in the sky, where it was prompty confiscated by the Boolooroo of the Blues. He was unable to make it work, so he tossed it away and a palace servant named Tiggle threw it into the rubbish heap. Eventually, after conquering all of Sky Island, the umbrella was found.

When the travelers tried to pass through the Fog Bank, the frogs who live there were offended by the umbrella and refused passage. In response, the umbrella's elephant head handle came to life and grew into a full-sized white elephant. The frightened frogs fled, and the elephant led the way through the Fog Bank and then shrank back into an umbrella.

The travelers returned home, and then Button-Bright used the umbrella to get back to Philadelphia. His father took the umbrella and locked it in a big, strong chest in the attic. (Sky Island)

Background

Paul Dana gives the umbrella, Button-Bright, and the von Smith family extensive consideration in The Lost Boy of Oz.

In Alexander Volkov's Tales of the Magic Land, it is mentioned that Bastinda's umbrella had similar properties, but they were never demonstrated.

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