“Quickly! Hide! Mrs. Gulch is coming!”
Likely we cannot recall who this woman is by name but Ellie will be quick to tell you that the woman riding on the bike is the very mean, Mrs Gulch and if she is coming; she is likely to take something you love away. Over the past year and a half we have watched Ellie run from lions and crocodiles but she now focuses solely on Mrs Gulch. The amazing thing is listening to her little girlfriends, Irene and Paige also yelling, “Mrs Gulch is coming! She’s going to take our shoes!” or “She’s going to take our cat, bear or Toto!” They run and hide with no understanding of the film, the Wizard of Oz, as most children aged 3-4 have likely not seen it but the fever remains in their minds and can make for lengthy creative play.
Ellie recently saw the stage version of the Wizard of Oz with her grandparents and it was a very warm May day when she dressed up in her favourite dress and pink flip-flops before heading downtown. My parents were a little worried about how she would do through a live performance but Ellie was as mesmorized as she always is at the farm when she snuggles in on the couch to watch Dorothy follow the yellow brick road. As the play was a little different from the movie, Ellie was entertained in a new way especially when the Wicked Witch went into a rage screaming, “I want shoes! I want shoes!” Ellie was heartfelt and whispered to Grandma, “She can have my flip-flops.”
Ellie has yet to make the leap that Mrs Gulch and the Wicked Witch are one and the same but she is sympathetic to both when using her very big heart which I know the Tin Man gave her. She uses her courage to save her friends from Mrs Gulch and her brains to get them to skip and run endlessly around the backyard which is cleverly disguised as Kansas, the Witch’s castle and Emerald City.