Saturday, April 16, 2011

Unless


The Lorax (1971)
by Dr. Seuss

The Lorax said nothing.  Just gave me a glance ...
just gave me a very sad, sad backward glance ...
as he lifted himself by the seat of his pants.
And I'll never forget the grim look on his face
when he heisted himself and took leave of this place,
through a hole in the smog, without leaving a trace.

And all that the Lorax left here in this mess
was a small pile of rocks, with the one word ...
"UNLESS."
Whatever that meant, well, I just couldn't guess.

That was long, long ago.
But each day since that day
I've sat here and worried
and worried away.
Through the years, while my buildings
have fallen apart,
I've worried about it with all of my heart.

"But now," says the Once-ler,
"Now that you're here,
the word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear.
UNLESS someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
It's not.

"SO ...
"Catch!" calls the Once-ler.
He lets something fall.
"It's a Truffula Seed.
It's the last one of all!
You're in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds.
And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs.
Plant a new Truffula.  Treat it with care.
Give it clean water.  And feed it fresh air.
Grow a forest.  Protect it from axes that hack.
Then the Lorax
and all of his friends
may come back."

On my shelf of children's books, you will find a great number of books by the splenderiferous Dr. Seuss.  I don't think the good Dr. needs any introduction or praise from me ... his work speaks for itself.    One of my "projects" is a series of childrens' books ... an educational series about math and science presented in Dr. Seuss style.

I've picked The Lorax because it represents the seriousness of some of his outwardly whimsical work.  This cautionary environmental fable was written FORTY YEARS ago.  The plight of the Lorax, his beloved Truffula Trees (destroyed in the production of Thneeds), and his friends the Bar-ba-loots, Humming-Fish, and Swomee-Swans is nothing short of heartbreaking.  How sad it is that we're STILL talking about the "UNLESS" ... and many don't even believe it's for real.

And, what the heck ... let's make it a Dr. Seuss weekend!  Tomorrow, the Grinch.

1 comment:

  1. This has been one of my all time favorites since my childhood. I have a musical version on video and anytime I wish to humiliate my children I bust out a song from the Lorax.

    "I am the LORAX, I speak for the trees!"

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