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The Diamondback

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"The Diamondback" is a short story by L. Frank Baum. It is one of his rare animal fables that was not published in his lifetime; discovered in the Baum papers with its first page missing, the surviving portion was printed in The Baum Bugle in 1982.

Baum's correspondence shows that he did try to sell the story to magazines. Biographer Katharine Rogers considers it unsurprising that "The Diamondback" failed in the contemporaneous marketplace; she characterizes it as "a strange though powerful story, narrated by a sympathetic rattlesnake," that shows that all animals are subject to intense suffering.[1]

"The Diamondback" can be compared to "The Tiger's Eye," another dark animal fable by Baum that was not printed in the author's era.


  1. Katharine M. Rogers, L. Frank Baum, Creator of Oz: A Biography, New York, St. Martin's Press, 2002; pp. 222, 284 n. 30.

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