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The Glass Dog

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"The Glass Dog" is a short story by L. Frank Baum. It is the second selection in Baum's American Fairy Tales.

Summary

Incongruously, a wizard lives on the top floor of a tenement in an unnamed American city. Disturbed by peddlers and vendors knocking on his door, the wizard consults his neighbor, a glassblower. The glassblower makes a pink canine figurine "with a fine coat of spun glass" and a blue ribbon around its neck. It has shiny black glass eyes. Since the wizard has no money, he pays the glassblower with a universal healing remedy that will cure his rheumatism. The wizard easily enchants the glass dog to life. It proves highly effective at chasing off unwanted visitors.

Before he takes the cure for his rheumatism, the glassblower reads the news that the rich and beautiful Miss Mydas is hopelessly ill. He goes to her town house and offers her the cure-all, if she will marry him. She readily agrees:

"I'd marry any old thing rather than die!" she cried.

The cure works; Miss Mydas is restored to glowing health, and quickly resumes her busy social rounds. She is in less hurry, though, to marry the unprepossessing glassblower. She asks him where he got the cure, and the glassblower tells her about the wizard and his enchanted dog. Miss Mydas prevails on the glassblower to steal the dog for her — and then she uses the dog to chase him from her door.

The wizard complains to the glassblower that he has lost his dog. The glassblower offers to look for it, for an appropriate reward. Unable to make more of the universal cure (he has forgotten the recipe), the wizard offers a beauty powder in its place. With the glassblower's guidance the wizard retrieves his dog. The glassblower uses the beauty powder to turn himself into "the most beautiful man in the world." Miss Mydas falls in love with him and marries him. Yet things go poorly between them; she is jealous, and puts him on an allowance of $4.00 per week; he repays her by running up debts. They make each other mutually miserable.

Background

"The Glass Dog" is one of the three stories in the collection illustrated by Harry Kennedy.

The glass dog magically enchanted to life is a precedent for the creation of the Glass Cat in The Patchwork Girl of Oz (1913).

"The Glass Dog" was reprinted in Oz-story Magazine No. 3 in 1997.

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