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Tiktok and the Nome King

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"Tiktok and the Nome King"
is an Oz short story written by L. Frank Baum, first published in 1913. The story is one of the six Little Wizard Stories of Oz.

In the tale, Tik-Tok travels from Oz to the Nome Kingdom in search of replacements for his worn parts. Tik-Tok, however, is not a diplomat, and angers Ruggedo the Nome King with a too-frank approach: "I'm not a-fraid of a fat Nome." (A tactless remark — but his thought-works need two new springs.) The enraged monarch strikes a blow that knocks the wind-up metal man in pieces. Yet the steward Kaliko puts the machine man back together. The Nome King is terrified when he thinks he confronts a "phantom clockwork man" — the idea of a robot's ghost probably being a unique innovation in world literature.

The Nome King is afraid that Ozma will be offended by his breaking Tik-Tok; so the machine man leaves the Nome Kingdom with a load of jewels, a gift for the Girl Ruler.

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