The Lunch Pail Tree

7 Mar

When I was in the first grade, I played Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz in a school play.  For some reason, the one line that I remember from that play was, “Oh I’m awfully sorry for you!”  It was during an exchange with Dorothy and the Scarecrow.  The play was based on an abridged version of L. Frank Baum’s book The Wizard Of Oz.  I think that was what started my fascination about Oz and its denizens. I was given a copy of L. Frank Baum’s book a year later, after that performance in school.  I guess I must’ve done really well! 🙂

In 1985, my father went to England to study in Oxford for 3 months.  We missed him terribly and he seemed to be away for so very long!  But when he came back, he came back with several books that had accompanying tapes (I think this was the reason why I didn’t find the British accent so alien, and this was the reason I found it so easy to understand most British accents!).  You would play the tape and read along with the reader.  The book that I adored most was the book about Dorothy Gale’s return to Oz.  My dad bought me the complete set: the book, the tape and the magazine about the movie, Return To Oz.  I later found out that this story was an integration of several of L. Frank Baum’s books about Dorothy’s return to the Land of Oz.

My favourite part of the story was near the beginning.  After Dorothy returns to Oz via a flood, if my memory serves me right, she crosses the Deadly Dessert and encounters quite the interesting tree: the Dinner Pail Tree.  In the book Ozma of Oz, I think Dorothy encounters the Lunch Box Tree.  But I think these two trees are pretty much the same.  They are lunch bearing trees.  They have leaves of paper napkins.  And you can tell that their fruit is ripe for the picking when they turn bright red.  From what I remember, these are the contents of the fruit:  the lid has a compartment for lemonade, and inside, growing on a separate stem, each item is wrapped in white paper: a ham sandwich, a sponge-cake, a pickle, a slice of cheese, and an apple.

The summer after my dad came home from the UK I was obsessed with the Oz series and its creator L. Frank Baum (he even has the same birthday as me, how cool is that?!?).  I loved every single book he wrote after the Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  Did you know that he wrote 13 sequels for Oz?  But what I remember the most was the lunch pail tree.  So each time I had a drink of calamansi juice with a slice of cake, I imagined I was Dorothy Gale eating the contents of my lunch pail tree fruit!  I loved the idea of an all-in-one fruit, where you had your drink, your sides (the cheese and pickle), your main (the ham sandwich) and your dessert (the sponge cake slice).  And if, by chance, you weren’t a neat lunch eater, all you had to do was pick a leaf, because the leaves were made of paper napkins!  I think that was the part of the book that I read over and over and over again!

If there was ever a tree that I would love to see, it would be the lunch pail tree! 🙂


3 Responses to “The Lunch Pail Tree”

  1. Layla 8 March 2011 at 00:17 #

    if there are lunch pail trees everywhere, di na ako gagawa ng pambaon ko for lunch sa school, or kakain sa school canteen, haha. 🙂

  2. Feorin 31 March 2011 at 22:22 #

    Actually, Dorothy finds both a lunch box tree and a dinner pail tree in Ozma of Oz. Delicious. =)

    • Yelly 1 April 2011 at 18:23 #

      You’re right actually 🙂 Spoken like a person who’s read Ozma of Oz! Thanks for stopping by!

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