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"If I only had a Brain! "
―Scarecrow (1939)
"Hurray! We're off to see the Wizard! "
―Scarecrow (1939)
"I think I'll miss you most of all..."
Dorothy Gale to the Scarecrow (1939)
"I think I'm gonna make it this time"
― Scarecrow. (1978)
OzIcon
Scarecrow
180px-Johnny automatic dramatic scarecrow
The Scarecrow as depicted by John R. Neil
Profile
Title King of Oz (formerly)
Gender Male
Species Scarecrow
Origin Munchkin Country
Residence Corn Mansion (Winkie Country)
Occupation Ruler of Oz (formerly); Tin Woodman's Treasurer; Corn Farmer
Affiliation L. Frank Baum, Land of Oz, Munchkins, Dorothy Gale, Toto, Tin Woodman, Cowardly Lion, Glinda, Wizard, Emerald City, Wicked Witch of the West, Princess Ozma, Tip, Mombi, Jellia Jamb, Guardian of the Gates, Soldier with the Green Whiskers, Fighting Trees, China Country, Hammer-Heads, Gump, Jinjur, Jack Pumpkinhead, Sawhorse, Tik-Tok, Billina Patchwork Girl, Hungry Tiger, Shaggy Man, Braided Man, Polychrome, Wogglebug, Royal Palace of Oz, Powder of Life, Nome King
First Appearance The Wonderful Wizard of Oz


"Witch...? I'm not afraid of a Witch! I'm not afraid of anything... except a lighted match. But I'd face a whole box full of them for the chance of getting some brains! Look, I won't be any trouble, because I don't eat anything. And I won't try to manage things, because I can't think. Won't you please take me with you?"
―Scarecrow (1939)

The Scarecrow is a fictional character invented by L. Frank Baum, author and creator of the Oz legacy. He is first introduced in Baum's first Oz book titled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in 1900. He appears in the third chapter of the novel titled How Dorothy Saved the Scarecrow. He is a being from the magical Land of Oz, and is the first traveling companion and loyal comrade that Dorothy Gale and her pet dog, Toto discovered on their journey down the Yellow Brick Road to see the great and powerful Wizard. The Scarecrow decided to journey with Dorothy to ask the Wizard for a set of brains, which he thought he lacked. In the end of the story and after having many adventures he eventually did receive what he desired and became known as one of the cleverest figures in all of Oz.

"Emerald City needs all the heart and courage it can get right now!"
―Scarecrow in Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return (2014)

Scarecrow of Oz

"There was a great cornfield beyond the fence, and not far away Dorothy saw a Scarecrow, placed high on a pole to keep the birds away from the ripe corn."
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
  • Baum never elaborates how the Scarecrow was given life. Unlike his Oz companion the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow was never a real man with a body of flesh and blood whos soul transferred to its current form. Even though it is never mentioned, it is indeed highly possible that someone such as the Munchkin farmers who made him used the magic substance called "Powder of Life" on him to scare the crows away more effectively. The Powder of Life is an element that Baum introduces in his second Oz book which serves as a sequel to the first story titled The Marvelous Land of Oz, published in 1904. In this story the Powder of Life brings three Oz characters to life: Jack Pumpkinhead, Sawhorse and Gump. In Baum's seventh Oz book titled the The Patchwork Girl of Oz, published in 1913, the Patchwork Girl named Scraps, who later served as the Scarecrow's love interest is brought to life with this same powder by a young Munchkin boy named Ojo.

Later on in the Oz series which serve as 14 offical sequel books to Baum's original story, written by Baum himself, the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman would become best of friends. Having many adventures together after Dorothy was sent back home and even when she returned, the Tin Woodman and Scarecrow remained very close comrades. Just as Dorothy would be with Princess Ozma and the Cowardly Lion would be with the Hungry Tiger of Oz.

In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz...

IMG 20140517 204453

The Scarecrow 1900.

"While looking earnestly into the queer, painted face of the Scarecrow, she was surprised to see one of the eyes slowly wink at her. She thought she must have been mistaken at first, for none of the scarecrows in Kansas ever wink; but presently the figure nodded its head to her in a friendly way. Then she climbed down from the fence and walked up to it, while Toto ran around the pole and barked. "Good day," said the Scarecrow, in a rather husky voice. "Did you speak?" asked the girl, in wonder."
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

Baum's Description

"Dorothy leaned her chin upon her hand and gazed thoughtfully at the Scarecrow. Its head was a small sack stuffed with straw, with eyes, nose, and mouth painted on it to represent a face. An old, pointed blue hat, that had belonged to some Munchkin, was perched on his head, and the rest of the figure was a blue suit of clothes, worn and faded, which had also been stuffed with straw. On the feet were some old boots with blue tops, such as every man wore in this country, and the figure was raised above the stalks of corn by means of the pole stuck up its back. "
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

Somewhere in the middle of the Munchkin Country of Oz. He was introduced as being placed high up on a wooden pole in the cornfields of the Munchkin farmers. He is described as wearing all blue of worn-out and faded hand me down Munchkin clothing, with an old wrinkled pointed hat and old scuffed up farm-boots of navy blue. Because he is wearing Munchkin clothing the original Scarecrow is actually quite short in height like the majority of the Munchkin race in Oz. In the very first Oz illustrations by W. W. Denslow, he is only as tall as Dorothy who is a mere child said to be no older than twelve. So the Scarecrow would only stand about four or five feet high.

Dorothy & Scarecrow...

When he befriended Dorothy, at first he did not understand why the girl wanted to leave the magical Land of Oz and go back to Kansas as the majority of Oz is such a beautiful place when Dorothy described Kansas to be gray, colorless and dull. It is then when Dorothy tried to explain to her new friend that he can't understand because he has no brains. Therefore, he simply cannot grasp the concept of the way people who are made of flesh and blood think, and the desire of returning to where one belongs no matter how beautiful or appealing any other place may be, for home is where the heart is. Thus, concluding that there is "No Place Like Home".

Personality

"Dorothy helped the Scarecrow over the cornfield fence, and they started along the path of yellow brick for the Emerald City. Toto did not like this new addition to the party at first. He smelled around and sniffed the stuffed man as if he suspected there might be a nest of rats in the straw, and he often growled in an unfriendly way at the Scarecrow. "Don't mind Toto," said Dorothy to her new friend. "He never bites, he just has never seen a straw man walk before." "Oh, I'm not afraid," replied the Scarecrow. "Even if he did bite me, I wouldn't feel it. Do let me carry that basket for you. I shall not mind it, for I can't get tired. I'll tell you a secret," he continued, as he walked along. "There is only one thing in the world I am afraid of." "What is that?" asked Dorothy; "the Munchkin farmer who made you?" "No," answered the Scarecrow; "it's a lighted match! "
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

The Scarecrow is a extremely gentle character, his disposition is so kind and considerate, obliging and honest that all who know him love him.

IMG 20141021 222046

Scarecrow gets his Brian.

The Scarecrow is a very clumsy and uncoordinated figure in his mannerisms because he is stuffed with straw. Therefore Scarecrow can never get hurt, though he is awkward in his movements as he literally weighs less than five to ten pounds. He never tires, and never needs to sleep or eat. He also sees very well in the dark. The only thing he fears is the burning flame of hot fire!

History of the Scarecrow of Oz

The Scarecrow doesn't really have any history, he was barley two days old when he met Dorothy after being stuffed, sewn together and placed high up in the Munchkin farmer's ripe cornfield.

The King of Straw & Brains

"Now, let's go and see if we can find ourselves some breakfast. Then, we can go to the Emerald City to visit my friend the Scarecrow, he's the king of Oz, Billina. "
Dorothy Gale in Return to Oz (1985)

When the Wizard left Oz, he announced that the Scarecrow was to substitute as the new King of Oz in his absence. And the Scarecrow ruled very wisely with his new brains, and was loved by all who new him and was respected by all of the Ozians who were happy to have him as their King. A long time later, the Scarecrow was deposed as king when General Jinjur organized an Army of Revolt and took over the Emerald City. He escaped on the Sawhorse, with Tip and Jack Pumpkinhead, to the castle of his good friend the Tin Woodman. On their way back to the Emerald City, they met the Queen of the Field Mice, who allowed a dozen of her subjects to accompany the Scarecrow, nestled inside his straw-filled breast. When they arrived back at the Royal Palace, the Scarecrow released the mice and frightened away his captors. He and his companions then went to Glinda to ask for her help in conquering Queen Jinjur and her army. Glinda refused in light of the fact that only Princess Ozma was the true ruler. When Ozma was found and established on the throne, the Scarecrow went with his friend the Tin Woodman to live in the Winkie Country. (The Marvelous Land of Oz)

When Princess Ozma set out to rescue the Royal Family of Ev from the Nome King, the Scarecrow joined her party. Along the way they found Dorothy and soon arrived in the Nome Kingdom. The Nome King had transformed the Royal Family of Ev into ornaments for his palace, and he tricked the Ozites and began transforming them as well. The Scarecrow was transformed into a golden ornament, but was liberated along with everyone else by Billina the hen. At the conclusion of their successful mission the party returned to the Emerald City. (Ozma of Oz)

After many years of living in the Emerald City, the Scarecrow decided to return to his roots as a farmer. Ozma gave him some land in the Winkie Country and Jack Pumpkinhead designed a mansion for him. (The Emerald City of Oz) He also has a boat made from a hollowed corncob, decorated with brilliant jewels and with a purple silk sail. ("The Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman")

Glinda sent the Scarecrow to Jinxland in the Quadling country to rescue some visitors of Oz: Trot, Cap'n Bill, and Button-Bright. (The Scarecrow of Oz)

Book Appearances

Scarecrow of oz cover

Scarecrow of Oz.

Trivia

- His original paint was made out of oil.

- His left eye is smaller than the right one.

- He's made out ot munchkin clothes.

- As the Tin Man needs to be oiled, he needs to have his face repainted every once in a while.

- His Kansas counterpart in the 1939 film is Aunt Em and Uncle Henry's farm worker, Hunk. He helps Zeke (Cowardly Lion's alter ego) and Hickory (Tin Man's alter ego) repair a wagon. Unlike Zeke, Hickory and Hunk lose their hats with Uncle Henry as they struggle to pry open the cellar when the tornado approaches their farm. Hunk closes and locks the cellar with Zeke when Dorothy arrives at the farmhouse. Hunk reunites with Dorothy when she awakens from being unconscious. He is seen with Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, Zeke, Hickory, and Professor Marvel (The Wizard's alter ego). 

Background

In Magic Land the Scarecrow is called Strasheela.

In The Wiz the Scarecrow is made entirely of garabage.

In The Great Wishy Woz he is Manny Kin.

Peter Schulenburg provides a treatment of the Scarecrow's unique home in The Corn Mansion of Oz.

In the graphic novel adaptation the Scarecrow was a stuffed man as in the original book.

The Scarecrow appears as Fiyero in Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West and Son of a Witch as well as the Broadway musical adaptation, but he does not appear in the third book in the trilogy, A Lion Among Men.

In Treasury of Illustrated Classics The Wizard of Oz the Scarecrow wore the same blue sleeve shirt, sneakers, jeans, and black pointed hat as the Munchkins.

In L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz: The Graphic Novel, the Scarecrow wears an orange jacket, blue jeans and brown hat instead of the usual Munchkin blue outfit.

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Credits

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