Idea Cubby

This blog is a cubby for ideas and reflections from BAUMHOFER and friends.

It’s a cozy compartment with a sturdy wooden door and a brass handle. The hinges are well-oiled, allowing the door to swing open easily and silently (it is never locked) to reveal a small plush closet. Rich velvet covers the walls (the better to hold everything in). It is rather cocoon-like. Precocious individuals might decide to venture inside (the trick is to swing your foot up and hoist one leg in… the rest is sure to follow). Then you might discover that the tiny door is just a trick of the eye and that the space is quite vast and bottomless. A verdant garden grows on the walls and hammocks hang from the strongest branches. Hovering lamps shed light on the pages you peruse and your favorite snack appears just at the moment you begin to feel peckish….

Or perhaps not. There’s a very good chance this cubby holds nothing but a pile of dusty old papers, or worse yet (for who writes anything down these days?) a blank buzzing screen. Yes, that’s probably all you’ll find, and you can be sure you’ll have to fetch your own snack.

Ozma of Oz and Dorothy's Lunchbox Tree

L. Frank Baum: Ozma of Oz

At first she was greatly disappointed, because the nearer trees were all punita, or cotton-wood or eucalyptus, and bore no fruit or nuts at all. But, bye and bye, when she was almost in despair, the little girl came upon two trees that promised to furnish her with plenty of food.

One was quite full of square paper boxes, which grew in clusters on all the limbs, and upon the biggest and ripest boxes the word “Lunch” could be read, in neat raised letters. This tree seemed to bear all the year around, for there were lunch-box blossoms on some of the branches, and on others tiny little lunch-boxes that were as yet quite green, and evidently not fit to eat until they had grown bigger.

The leaves of this tree were all paper napkins, and it presented a very pleasing appearance to the hungry little girl.

But the tree next to the lunch-box tree was even more wonderful, for it bore quantities of tin dinner-pails, which were so full and heavy that the stout branches bent underneath their weight. Some were small and dark-brown in color; those larger were of a dull tin color; but the really ripe ones were pails of bright tin that shone and glistened beautifully in the rays of sunshine that touched them.

Dorothy was delighted, and even the yellow hen acknowledged that she was surprised.

The little girl stood on tip-toe and picked one of the nicest and biggest lunch-boxes, and then she sat down upon the ground and eagerly opened it. Inside she found, nicely wrapped in white papers, a ham sandwich, a piece of sponge-cake, a pickle, a slice of new cheese and an apple. Each thing had a separate stem, and so had to be picked off the side of the box; but Dorothy found them all to be delicious, and she ate every bit of luncheon in the box before she had finished.