Introducing Scarecrow #backstory #Oz #adapted

My name is Socrates Strawman, or at least it is now. It wasn’t always. I didn’t have a name, well I did but it wasn’t really a name apparently. I didn’t realise it wasn’t a name until I got my brain.

I was scarecrow, or I was a scarecrow. That part is confusing. In fact most things are confusing, before, I had no brain things were simple; although I didn’t realise they were simple. Now though, I’ve got all these things, these thoughts, these ideas flying around in my head. I don’t know how you people have managed for so long. It’s like a flock of birds flying around in there, in all kinds of different directions.

That’s something else I should say, I’ve started using analogies. They are all bird related though. You can take the scarecrow out of the field and so on …

The point is that I’ve been alive for a short time. I don’t remember being ‘born’ as it were. One minute there was nothing then the next I was … was. I remember looking around and seeing trees and grass for as far as the eye could see. The sun was shining down (I didn’t know it was the sun at the time, or that they were trees and grass to be honest) and I felt something in my straw, in my middle bit, the part where the farmer would stuff extra straw if I became limp in some way.

Then the birds came, they landed in the grass and started to peck at the ground. I had an urge to scream and shout at them. Which was odd saying I had no clue what they were at the time. Instead I just glared at them and they flew away. It didn’t take long for them to get used to my glaring, my expression didn’t really change, as that’s the way it had been painted on. I wish now that the farmer had been more artistic and made me a sterner scarecrow. Maybe with horns, like a goat. The field next to me would’ve been nice with a goat in it. Or a big apple tree. Wait, one of those thoughts got away from me there. Where was I?

Apple tree, goat, horns, ah yes, being more stern. Well those birds would just land in my field and eat the seeds. That made my straw turn. They used to look at me with mocking bird eyes, all black and beady. Then I found out I could talk, a sound burst from my painted mouth and those birds did know what had hit them. They couldn’t fly away fast enough.

I could talk! I was a talking … something. I couldn’t move, there seemed to be a pole stuck up me. That didn’t bother me; I didn’t know I could walk at that point.

That’s when she came, the little girl with the dog. You know the rest of that story.

I got my brain and was made the King of the Emerald City. I don’t really know why, I hardly felt I was qualified saying that I’d only just been given a brain. They gave me a crown and a throne and a huge bedchamber, which was pointless, as I don’t sleep. I would’ve been content with a cupboard. ‘It’s because you’re the king’ they said ‘you’re meant to have nice things’, that didn’t make much sense to me but then I’d only just got a brain so I assumed they would know better.

I learned a lot of things really fast, which wasn’t a good thing as it all got muddled up in my head. I noticed how people were obsessed with filling their houses with things, they didn’t seem to be bothered about not being able to see grass and trees as long as they had nice things to look at in their houses. It was odd; they seemed to have lived simpler lives when they were afraid of the wizard. I gave them freedom and they just got greedy. I tried to make new rules about being kind and helping each other but a black bird landed in the Emerald Square and I spent two hours chasing it and yelling what I thought were obscenities (these were in fact just a list of house hold items I’d read the day before).

I’d thought that having a brain would’ve solved everything but it was the opposite, I was suddenly aware of all the things I didn’t know and all the things I was expected to know as a leader. I knew nothing, I knew I didn’t like birds but my first decree to outlaw birds from the Emerald City was met with laughter. I hadn’t realised that I was funny.

I found myself making pictures in my head of the field that I ‘was’, being stuck up on that pole, not falling over as much, it seemed so much simpler. I knew I didn’t have a brain but at least I didn’t have to think. Thinking has made everything so much harder.

Why would anyone make grey roads? Why do they trap the trees in grey stone? I’m getting ahead of myself. Well my brain is, but my brain’s in charge so I’m not getting ahead of myself. This is where my brain wants to be.

The Tin Man, the Lion, my friends, we are not in Oz anymore. This world is different and they have filled their houses with things as the people of Oz did. They don’t seem happy though, they think too much. I also seem to have lost my brain. You’d think I’d be happy about that but I can’t seem to recall why having one was so much bother. I’ve also forgotten the name I had, back to being simple old scarecrow. Here in this strange world I hope we can find their leader, their wizard and that he can send us home with a brain, a heart and courage.