Open Letter in Defense of the Wicked Witch of the West

We were very concerned to hear of the Wizard of Oz’s plans to get Dorothy and her friends to attack the Wicked Witch of the West and bring him her broomstick. As citizens of Oz, we felt it was our duty to speak up in the Witch’s defense.

We feel that it is dangerous to leap to conclusions about what the Wicked Witch meant when she (allegedly) said, ‘I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too’. Isn’t it a nice thing to call someone ‘my pretty’? Surely this was simply the Wicked Witch’s way of paying Dorothy a friendly compliment and offering her help! As everyone in Oz knows, Dorothy is desperately trying to get back home to Can-Sass, wherever that is. The Witch was probably just offering her a ride when she offered to ‘get’ Dorothy and her dog! (To be quite frank, we don’t know why Dorothy is making such a fuss about that remark, the ungrateful little hussy….)

As for the accusation that the Wicked Witch was threatening the Emerald City when she circled it on her broomstick yelling ‘Surrender Dorothy’, that was almost certainly an innocent misunderstanding. The Witch probably thought that Dorothy was being held against her will, and was trying to get her released. And yet she is being persecuted for her kind efforts!

How is any citizen of Oz supposed to guide people home when anything we say or do can be taken out of context?!

We have known the Wicked Witch of the West for a long time, and she has never threatened any of us personally or tried to steal our shoes. Yes, the cackling and the flying monkeys are a bit creepy. And yes, she is the Wicked Witch of the West, but that’s no reason to make unreasonable assumptions and treat her so unfairly!

Concerned Citizens


We Retract
We retract our letter published in the Oz Times yesterday. Our concerns were to ensure that all Wicked Witches be treated with fairness and consideration, no matter how many Munchkins their sister may have enslaved in the past or how many ruby slippers they may currently be trying to steal. We were not aware of the full facts of the case, which have now been brought to our attention by the Munchkins, Glinda the Good Witch of the North, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, the Cowardly Lion, the citizens of the Emerald City, and—well, everybody. We definitely don’t think it’s ok to drug or kidnap young girls who are just trying to find their way home. We assure you that we are committed to ensuring that neither citizens of Oz nor visitors are subjected to this sort of antisocial behavior.

Sorry, guys. Our bad.

Mary Flannery: I’m a writer and professor based in Switzerland. My funny words have appeared in McSweeney’s, Points In Case, and 251. My fancy words have appeared in the Times Literary Supplement and Washington Post. I tweet medievally as @15thcgossipgirl.

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