- "Suddenly the travelers heard strange noises coming from deep within the thick woods. "It must be other lions", said Dorothy. "Or tigers", said the Scarecrow. "Or bears? ", said the Tin Woodman. But the Lion whispered to his comrades that it was in this part of the forest that the terrible Kalidahs lived. "What are the Kalidahs?" Asked Dorothy in a trembling voice. "They are huge and monstrous beasts with bodies like bears and heads like tigers, "replied the Lion, "and with claws and fangs so long and sharp that they could tear me in two as easily as I could kill poor little Toto. I'm terribly afraid of the Kalidahs!" "I'm not surprised that you are, they sound like dreadful creatures indeed!" Replied Dorothy. And just then, to their horror the group of companions saw running toward them two great beasts with bodies like bears and heads like tigers! "It's the Ka-Ka-Kalidahs!" Cried the Cowardly Lion. "
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
Kalidahs are vicious predators which roam the magical Land of Oz. They first appear briefly in Baums' first Oz book titled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in 1900. They mostly stay in the dark forests of Oz and are described to have bodies like bears, heads like tigers, and claws long and sharp enough to tear a lion in two. The Cowardly Lion, like most creatures in Oz, is afraid of the Kalidahs.
When Dorothy Gale, her dog Toto and their three Oz companions were on the Yellow Brick Road to see the great Wizard, two Kalidahs tried to attack them all. The Cowardly Lion let out a loud and terrible roar, making the Kalidahs stop short. However, after realizing there were two of them and they were both bigger than the Lion, they chased after them again. Luckily they were able to escape the Kalidahs thanks to the Tin Woodman who chopped down a tree so the party could cross over a steep cliff. Once they were safely on the other side the Tin Woodman chopped the trunk of the tree in two and the Kalidahs went falling down into the jagged rocks below and presumably died.
Later, she lead Cap'n Bill and Trot to the same spot to get a flower for Ozma's birthday, and she recounted the story. While there, another Kalidah appeared and attacked, but Cap'n Bill fought it off with his wooden leg and then impaled it into the ground so it could not escape.
While Bill made his raft, the creature spoke to them and laughed at their intentions. The Kalidah revealed that the Kalidahs were uncomfortable around magic. When Bill and Trot went to the island and got stuck, the Kalidah finally escaped and left, going into the forest. (The Magic of Oz)
Kalidahs also appear in modern Oz stories such as Eric Shanower's "Gugu and the Kalidahs." Phyllis Ann Karr's short story "The Guardian Dove," published in the 1990 issue of Oziana, provides a detailed treatment of Kalidah culture.
Kalidahs appear in the Ozu no Mahoutsukai picture book, which is an adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
In the Magic Land series, the Kalidahs are replaced with saber toothed tigers. They are exterminated at the end of the second book (although the forest where they lived remains named after them). A single tiger escapes; he is trapped and killed eight years later, during the fourth book.The Kalidahs appear in the both The Wiz from the 1975 musical and The Wiz Live! from 2015. But In the 1978 movie version, the kalidahs were replaced by a creepy subway peddler who seems to posses powers that brings he's puppets and the subway to life to capture or kill Dorothy and her friends. The Kalidahs in the original show were a frightening witch-like gang, In The Wiz Live! The Kalidahs were returned back to their animal origins but in this case the Kalidahs were shapeshifters and mindreaders, like Sirens.
The party faces a Kalidah in The Wizard of Oz, the 1982 anime. These Kalidahs are giant and fearsome, resembling bears more than tigers. The Kalidah they face falls into a ravine when the Tin Woodman chops off the tree bridge they'd used to cross the ravine.
In Family of Oz (2011), by James C. Wallace II, the Kalidahs play the role of bodyguards for the Cowardly Lion and His court. There is an amusing, yet brief interaction between the Kalidahs and the Queen of the Field Mice during the Cowardly Lion's journey towards the Emerald City.