Reading this book, I never realized just how selfish this child was. That tree gave him everything to the end of its days, and that ungrateful child never said thank you one time. The kid deserved a good spanking.
But I personally feel bad for missing one very important detail, not about the plot, but the author.
I’ve spent a good portion of my life think this book was written by Dr. Seuss.
Shel Silverstein’s word hit harder and touched on more sensitive subjects (such as the above boy’s greediness) than our dear doctor’s.
Yeah, Dr. Seuss wrote things like “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened” and “A person’s a person, no matter how small”.
Meanwhile, my man Shel Silverstein is like:
“There are no happy endings.
Endings are the saddest part,
So just give me a happy middle
And a very happy start.”
“Underneath my outside face
There’s a face that none can see.
A little less smiley,
A little less sure,
But a whole lot more like me.”
Dr. Seuss is great. Really. I love his Cat In The Hat tv show on PBS, though he’ll never convert me to Green Eggs and Ham.
But when Shel writes things like:
“All The Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
Layin’ In The Sun,
Talkin’ ‘Bout The Things
They Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda Done…
But All Those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
All Ran Away And Hid
From One Little Did.”
“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
You don’t ignore it. And bless his soul, he never lived to see how inspirational his words are to me and thousands of others.
Let’s take a little time to appreciate Shel, who never got the recognition he deserved in his lifetime.