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The Lorax by Dr Seuss

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I am afraid I am biased, I LOVE Dr. Seuss' stories. What do I like about them? Mostly the nonsense rhyming as the story is told – sometimes it is very silly e.g Green Eggs and Ham ('Do you like green eggs and ham?' - anyone in their right mind would say no!). Also, the simple, colourful illustrations that accompany each story play as much a part as the text.

The Lorax is story with a moral... The plight of our Earth and the damage we humans can do...

We start off in a desolate place... nothing grows, all is grey. The old Once-ler still lives here... let's ask him why the Lorax got lifted and taken away...

The Once-ler tells us this was once a colourful place with Truffula trees growing aplenty... tufts softer than silk and sweet smelling of fresh butterfly milk.

Upon finding this place, the Once-ler decamps and builds a shop. He chops down a Truffala tree, took the soft tuft and knitted a Thneed!

The Lorax pops out of the stump of the Truffula tree... he is shortish, oldish, brownish, mossy, with a voice sharpish and bossy. He speaks for the trees for the trees have no tongue. He is very upset and demands of the Once-ler:

'What is that thing you've made out of my Truffula tuft?'

The Once-ler responds that it was just one tree, no need for alarm.. A Thneed is a Fine-Something-That-All-People-Need – a shirt, a sock, a glove, a hat and much, much more.

The Lorax insists no-one needs a Thneed. At which point a chap comes along and thinks it is great and buys it for three ninety-eight.

The Lorax repeats, he speaks for the trees. The Once-ler calls in his family to knit at full tilt. They are all knitting Thneeds to the sound of the chopping of Truffala Trees. Chopping one tree at a time is too slow so Once-ler invents a Super-Axe-Hacker and whacked off four Truffala Trees at one smacker. The Lorax, who speaks for the trees, knocks on his new office door...

'I'm the Lorax who speaks for the trees which you seem to be chopping as fast as you please. But I'm also in charge of the Brown Bar-ba-loots who played in the shade in their Bar-ba-loots suits and happily lived, eating Truffula Fruits.' Now the Bar-ba-loots have gas and no food in their tummies! The Bar-ba-loots are sent away to find food – the Once-ler is sad to see them go BUT business is business!

Once-ler is next accused by the Lorax of making smogulous smoke which affects the poor Swomee-Swans. They cannot live here so they too are sent off to escape the smog.

The left over goo from the Gluppity-Glupp is poured out into the pond where the Humming-Fish hummed! No more can they hum, for their gills are all gummed. They too are sent off to walk on their fins in search of water that isn't so smeary.

Now the Once-ler gets mad... he yells at the Lorax, ' Now listen here, Dad! All you do is yap-yap and say, 'Bad! Bad! Bad! Bad!' Well, I have my rights sir, and I'm telling you I intend to go on doing just what I do! And, for your information, you Lorax, I'm figgering on biggering and biggering and biggering and biggering, turning MORE Truffual Trees into Thneeds which everyone, EVERYONE, EVERYONE needs!'

Uh-oh – just then is a very loud whack! The very last Truffual Tree of them all is axed! No more trees, no more Thneeds, no more work... everyone leaves and all that is left 'neath the bad-smelling sky was the big empty factory, the Lorax and Once-ler.

The Lorax said nothing, just gave a sad, backward glance, picked himself up by the seat of his pants and heisted himself and took his leave through a hole in the smog, without leaving a trace.

All that the Lorax left here in this mess was a small pile of rocks, with the one word... 'UNLESS'... What does that mean? 'Unless'... what?

Well, I'm not going to tell you! LOL

Contributed by Sonia (with help from the Once-ler)


(Published 4th Mar 2016)

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