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Our friend and artist Kristin Tercek aka Cuddly Rigor Mortis (previously featured here) recently shared two awesome new paintings created for Gallery Nucleus’ group show Not in Kansas Anymore: A Tribute to the Wizard of Oz, which opened on Saturday March 16th and runs through April 7th, 2013.

The top painting, entitled Nikko and Toto, depicts Dorothy Gale’s canine companion in the arms of a flying monkey friend. They appear to be having a fantastic time together. The second painting, entitled Billina, is a portrait of Dorothy’s avian companion on her second trip to Oz, the Queen and subsequent Governor of the chickens of Oz.

Flying monkeys and fancy chickens. Awesomeness abounds where Cuddly Rigor Mortis is concerned.

There is a character that boldly defies gender norms in Ozma of Oz. But it’s not the boy who turned into a princess at the end of the last book. Instead, it’s a talking hen. Go figure. 

This hen goes by the name Bill. Dorothy decides to call her Billina because “the ‘eena’ makes it a girl’s name,” but the hen still prefers to call herself Bill. Bill likes to get into fights with roosters, but she also likes to lay an egg every day. 

Sweden recently added a gender-neutral pronoun to its language, and that new word is “hen.” Coincidence?