In the tradition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, the WALLYPUG OF WHY is rich in nonsense and absurd situations and it humorously depicts life in late-Victorian times. The novel's protagonist, known only as Girlie, finds a letter written home by her youngest brother (known only as Boy). The letter protrudes slightly from its envelope, and Girlie is able to read the following:
I have found a goo
Rather than extract the letter from its envelope and read it completely, Girlie pauses to wonder what a "goo" might be — which leads to a chain of fantastic events.
She visits the land of Why, the source of all questions and answers, where the Wallypug is supposedly the king. It is a topsy-turvy place: the Wallypug must address all the citizens as 'Your Majesty' and do what people tell him to do. Many of the residents are talking animals with curious habits and quirks of personality — including a "socialistic cockatoo."
The original was illustrated by Harry Furniss, who had collaborated with Lewis Carroll on Sylvie and Bruno (1889) and Sylvie and Bruno Concluded (1893). Vignettes were provided Dorothy Furniss (1879–1944), Furniss’s 15-year-old daughter.
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The Wallypug of Why was first published in 1895 and is a children's novel by G. E. Farrow.
The book is an exercise in humorous nonsense, rich in wordplay and absurd situations - much in the tradition of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. A popular success with children in its day, it inaugurated a series of “Adventures by the Wallypug.”
This was Farrow's first book and it was well received by the reviewers who likened it to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and was enthusiastically received by its child readers. The Wallypug of Why undeniably owes a great deal to Lewis Carroll. In the latter decades of the 19th century there were many Alice imitations, many of them very close to the original. Of these imitators Farrow is easily the best, and also the most prolific. The Wallypug is a genuinely original and endearing character, a "nervous little nonentity who in theory rules the land of Why, but in practice is ruled by his subjects whom he addresses as 'Your Majesty. Harry Furniss's drawings of the Wallypug with his crown tipped over one eye caught the character so well that other illustrators who worked on the Wallypug sequels copied the Furniss interpretation.
TAGS: #Childrens_stories, #ChildrensBooks, #Folklore, #Fairy, #Folk, #Tales, #bedtime_story, #legends, #storyteller, #fables, #moral_tales, #myths, #happiness, #companions, #comrades, #Wallypug, #Majesty, #Olive, #bluedwarfs, #Esq, #Doctor-in-Law, #Auntie, #Cockatoo, #Kis-Smee, #Rex, #Oom, #Ho-Lor, #Sister-in-Law, #old, #poor, #horse, #Kangaroo, #palace, #Mi-Hy, #pretty, #strange, #shouted, #creatures, #shute, #color, #colour, #porter, #station-master, #afraid, #Crow, #forest, #Wallypugland, #Crocodile, #scream, #train, #Turtle, #village, #Blush, #Madame, #Pelican, #uncle, #Gra-Shus, #laugh, #carpet-bag, #crown, #Mike, #Olive, #bottle, #Ape, #bank, #beautiful, #fir cones, #Gombobble, #ridiculous, #aunt, #barrier, #bears, #book, #London, #bedroom, #bottom, #China, #fairies, #Oom-Hi, #Ough, #Will-o’-the-wisp, #Withdraw, #wives, #wretched looking, #Strange Welcome, #Terrible Night, #Late, #Breakfast, #Depose, #Foil, #Little_Blue_People, #Crown, #Wer-Har-Wei, #Railway, #Complexion
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By G. E. Farrow
Author Of “The Wallypug Of Why,”“The Wallypug In London,” Etc.
With Fifty-Six Illustrations By Alan Wright
Originally Published By
A. L. Burt Company, Publishers, New York
Resurrected ByAbela Publishing, London
Adventures in Wallypug Land
Typographical arrangement of this edition
© Abela Publishing 2020
This book may not be reproduced in its current format in any manner in any media, or transmitted by any means whatsoever, electronic, electrostatic, magnetic tape, or mechanical ( including photocopy, file or video recording, internet web sites, blogs, wikis, or any other information storage and retrieval system) except as permitted by law without the prior written permission of the publisher.
So soon as we got into the street, we met the Turtle and the Pelican, walking arm-in-arm, and each smoking a cigarette
acknowledges the work that
G E FarrowandAlan Wright
did in writing, illustrating and preparing this book
for publication in a time well before
electronic media was in use.
10% of the profit from the sale of this ebook
will be donated to charities.
My dear little Friends,
I have again to thank you for the many kind and delightful letters which I have received from all parts of the world, and I cannot tell you how happy I am to find that I have succeeded so well in pleasing you with my stories.
What am I to say to the little boy who wrote, and begged “that, if the Wallypug came to stay with me again, would I please invite him too?” or to the other dear little fellow who came to me with tears in his eyes, to tell me that some superior grown-up person had informed him that “there never was a Wallypug, and it was all just a pack of nonsense”; that “Girlie never went to Why at all, and that in fact there was no such place in existence”?
I can only regretfully admit that, sooner or later as we grow up to be men and women, there are bound to be many fond illusions which are one by one ruthlessly dispelled, and that many of the dreams and thoughts which, in our younger days, we cherish most dearly, the hard, matter-of-fact world will always persist in describing as “a pack of nonsense.” However, for many of us fortunately, this tiresome time has not yet arrived, and for the present we will refuse to give up our poor dear Wallypug—for whom I declare I have as great an affection and regard, as the most enthusiastic of my young readers.
You will see that in the following story I have described my own experiences during a recent visit to the remarkable land over which His Majesty reigns as a “kind of king”, and I may tell you that, amongst all of the extraordinary creatures that I met there, there was not one who expressed the slightest doubt as to the reality of what was happening; while for my own part, I should as soon think of doubting the existence of the fairies themselves, as of the simple, kind-hearted, little Wallypug.
There now! I hope that I have given quite a clear and lucid explanation, and one which will prevent you from being made unhappy by any doubts which may arise in your mind as to the possibility, or probability, of this story. Please don’t forget to write to me again during the coming year.
Believing me to be as ever,
Your affectionate Friend,
G. E. Farrow.
I.How I Went to Why
II.A Strange Welcome
III.A Terrible Night
IV.Late for Breakfast
VI.His Majesty is Deposed
VIII.The Little Blue People
IX.The Wallypug Recovers his Crown
X.The Home of Ho-Lor
XI.The Why and Wer-Har-Wei Railway
XII.Back Again at Why
XIII.A New State of Affairs
XIV.“Good for the Complexion”
XV.“Wallypug’s Blush Limited”
The Blue Dwarfs
For some time past I have been the guest of his Majesty the Wallypug at his palace in the mysterious kingdom of Why—a country so remarkable that even now I am only just beginning to get used to my strange surroundings and stranger neighbors. Imagine, if you can, a place where all of the animals not only talk, but take an active part in the government of the land, a place where one is as likely as not to receive an invitation to an evening party from an ostrich, or is expected to escort an elderly rhinoceros in to dinner; where it is quite an everyday occurrence to be called upon by a hen with a brood of young chickens just as you are sitting down to tea, and be expected to take a lively interest in her account of how the youngest chick passed through its latest attack of the “pip.”
In such a country, the unexpected is always happening, and I am continually being startled in the streets at being addressed by some dangerous-looking quadruped, or an impertinent bird, for I must say that as a class the birds are the most insolent of all the inhabitants of this strange land. There is in particular one old crow, a most objectionable personage, and a cockatoo who is really the most violent and ill-natured bird that I have ever been acquainted with.
She takes a very active interest in Parliamentary affairs, and is a strong supporter of woman’s wrongs.
“Every woman has her wrongs,” she declares, “and if she hasn’t she ought to have.”
You will naturally wish to know how I reached this strange country, and will, no doubt, be surprised when I tell you how the journey was accomplished.
One morning a few weeks since, I received a letter from his Majesty the Wallypug asking me to visit him at his palace at Why, in order to assist him in establishing some of our social customs and methods of government, which he had so greatly admired during his visit to England, and which he was desirous of imitating in his own land. A little packet was enclosed in the letter, bearing the words, “The shortest way to Why. This side up with anxiety.” “Well,” I thought, “I suppose they mean ‘This side up with care,’” and was proceeding very carefully to open the packet when a gust of wind rushed in at the window, and blowing open the paper wrapper, scattered the contents—a little white powder—in all directions. Some particles flew up into my eyes, and caused them to smart so violently that I was obliged to close them for some time till the pain had gone, and when I opened them again, what do you think? I was no longer in my study at home, but out on a kind of heath in the brilliant sunshine, and apparently miles from a house of any kind. A finger-post stood a little way in front of me, and I could see that three roads met just here. Anxiously I hurried up to the post to see where I was. One arm pointed, “To Nowhere.” “And I certainly don’t want to go there,” I thought; the other one was inscribed, “To Somewhere,” which was decidedly a little better, but the third one said, “To Everywhere Else.”
“THAT’S NOT MUCH USE.”
“And, good gracious me,” I thought, “that’s not much use, for I don’t know in the least now which of the last two roads to take.” I was puzzling my brain as to what was the best thing to be done, when I happened to look down the road leading to “Nowhere,” and saw a curious-looking little person running towards me. He had an enormous head, and apparently his arms and legs were attached to it, for I could see no trace of a body. He was flourishing something in his hand as he ran along, and as soon as he came closer I discovered that it was his card which he handed to me with a polite bow and an extensive smile, as soon as he got near enough to do so.
“MR. NOBODY,No. 1 NONESUCH-STREET,NOWHERE,”
is what I read.
The little man was still smiling and bowing, so I held out my hand and said:
“How do you do, sir? I am very pleased to make your acquaintance. Perhaps you can be good enough to tell me—”
The little man nodded violently.
“To tell me where I am,” I continued.
Mr. Nobody looked very wise, and after a few moments’ thought smiled and nodded more violently than ever, and simply pointed his finger at me.
“Yes, yes,” I cried, rather impatiently; “of course I know that I’m here, but what I want to know is, what place is this?”
The little fellow knitted his brows, and looked very thoughtful, and finally staring at me sorrowfully, he slowly shook his head.
“You don’t know?” I inquired.
He shook his head again.
“Dear me, this is very sad; the poor man is evidently dumb,” I said, half aloud.
Mr. Nobody must have heard me, for he nodded violently, then resuming his former smile, he bowed again, and turning on his heels ran back in the direction of Nowhere, stopping every now and then to turn around and nod and smile and wave his hand.
“What a remarkable little person,” I was just saying, when I heard a voice above my head calling out:
I looked up and saw a large crow perched on the finger-post. He had a newspaper in one claw, and was gravely regarding me over the tops of his spectacles.
“Well! what are you staring at?” he remarked as soon as he caught my eye.
“Well, really,” I began.
“Haven’t you ever seen a crow before?” he interrupted.
“Of course I have,” I answered rather angrily, for my surprise at hearing him talk was fast giving way to indignation at his insolent tone and manner.
“Very well, then, what do you want to stand there gaping at me in that absurd way for?” said the bird. “What did he say to you?” he continued, jerking his head in the direction in which Mr. Nobody had disappeared.
“Nothing,” I replied.
“Very well, then, what was it?” he asked.
“What do you mean?” said I.
“Why, stupid, you said Nobody and nothing, didn’t you, and as two negatives make an affirmative that means he must have said something.”
“I’m afraid I don’t quite understand,” I said.
“Ignorant ostrich!” remarked the crow contemptuously.
“Look here,” I cried, getting very indignant, “I will not be spoken to like that by a mere bird!”
“Oh, really! Who do you think you are, pray, you ridiculous biped? Where’s your hat?”
I was too indignant to answer, and though I should have liked to have asked the name of the place I was at, I determined not to hold any further conversation with the insolent bird, and walked away in the direction of “Somewhere,” pursued by the sound of mocking laughter from the crow.
I had not gone far, however, before I perceived a curious kind of carriage coming towards me. It was a sort of rickshaw, and was drawn by a kangaroo, who was jerking it along behind him. A large ape sat inside, hugging a carpet bag, and holding on to the dashboard with his toes.
“Let’s pass him with withering contempt,” I heard one of them say.
“All right,” was the reply. “Drive on.”
“I say, Man,” called out the Ape, as they passed, “we’re not taking the slightest notice of you.”
“WHERE’S YOUR HAT?”
“Oh, aren’t you? Well, I’m sure I don’t care,” I replied rather crossly.
The Kangaroo stopped and stared at me in amazement, and the Ape got out of the rickshaw and came towards me, looking very indignant.
“Do you know who I am?” he asked, striking an attitude.
“No, I don’t,” I replied, “and what’s more, I don’t care.”
“But I’m a person of consequence,” he gasped.
“You are only an ape or a monkey,” I said firmly.
“Oh! I can clearly see that you don’t know me,” remarked the Ape pityingly. “I’m Oom Hi.”
“Indeed,” I said unconcernedly. “I am afraid I’ve never heard of you.”
“Never heard of Oom Hi,” cried the Ape. “Why, I am the inventor of Broncho.”
“What’s that?” I asked. “Good gracious! what ignorance,” said the Ape; “here, go and fetch my bag,” he whispered to the Kangaroo, who ran back to the rickshaw and returned with the carpet bag.
“This,” continued Oom Hi, taking out a bottle, “is the article; it is called ‘Broncho,’ and is excellent for coughs, colds, and affections of the throat; you will notice that each bottle bears a label stating that the mixture is prepared according to my own formula, and bears my signature; none other is genuine without it. The Wallypug, when he returned from England and heard that I had invented it, declared that I must be a literary genius.”
“A what!” I exclaimed.
“There,” continued Oom Hi, taking out the bottle, “is the article; it is called ‘Broncho.’”— Wallypugland.
“A literary genius,” repeated the Ape, smirking complacently.
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