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Orks

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Orks are unusual flying animals, that live in Orkland.

Description

An Ork is neither a fish nor a bird. It has four legs like those of a stork, and four wings shaped like an inverted chopping bowl and covered with tough skin instead of feathers. Its head is like a parrot's, with a beak that curves downward in front and upward at the edges. It is not a bird, since it has no feathers except a crest of wavy scarlet plumes on the very top of its head.

The most curious thing about an Ork is its tail: a queer arrangement of skin, bones, and muscle shaped like a propeller. It makes a buzzing as it spins, and with brisk flapping of their wings Orks can fly very swiftly. They are admitted to be Kings of the Air.

Orks can speak, and they sit upon their haunches like a cat and use the finger-like claws on their front legs almost as cleverly as if they were hands.

Most Orks are quiet and contented and seldom stray far from home.

History

Trot and Cap'n Bill encountered a restless Ork explorer named Flipper in an underground cavern. He soon joined their party and became their friend, and once they had escaped the cavern he helped them cross the ocean to the Land of Mo. Shortly thereafter, he helped then cross the Deadly Desert into the Land of Oz. He then left them there, in Jinxland, to find his home of Orkland; but he returned once he had found it. He lead an army of Orks to help the Scarecrow conquer King Krewl in the name of Ozma of Oz, ensuring the friendship between the Orks and the people of Oz. They then carried the adventurers over the mountains into the Quadling Country, and left for Orkland. (The Scarecrow of Oz)

Background

L. Frank Baum gave the Ork who helps Trot and Cap'n Bill a name: Flipper. The name is mentioned only once, though, in the book's third chapter; it is a detail easily missed.

Adaptations

Orks make an appearance in The Oz Kids episode, Toto, Lost in New York.

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