Last month, I attended the famous (in our house) All4Kids Consignment Sale–my biannual “mom’s night out” to purchase Emerson’s entire wardrobe for that season, on the cheap. I’ve been doing this sale for years now, and I have the whole routine down to a science: make a list of specific needs and legitimate wants and scout those out in the beginning (bathing suits, rain boots, roller skates, long silk gloves for Halloween costume, etc…), file through the clothes in Emerson’s size and the size above(can’t you hear the hangers clicking together as I quickly flip through each item of clothing?), speed-browse the game and puzzle section and see if there is anything that looks fun (this year’s finds were Operation, Tiddly-Winks, Kid’s Cranium, and Mancala…all for a dollar each), and then, then I head to the book section, set down my (very full) bag, sit down on the floor and peruse the bins. Oh the beautiful, hard-back, mint condition, Caldecott Medal winners I have found there…beautiful, beautiful books, all for a dollar or two…
This fall (well, let’s face it, every fall…and spring) I came home with quite a few treasures. One of them, was this Dr. Seuss book:
As Matty and I read this to the girls over the past month, we couldn’t help but notice how timely the stories were–the story of Yertle, for example, a big man (turtle) in a high place. But Yertle–how did you get there?
As we read this at home, it started to remind of a little something… The character of Yertle the Turtle, of course, is not based on American CEOs, but on someone far more insidious (Hitler, in fact), but the greed is there, and the selfishness, and the delusions of grandeur, and the disregard for the rights of others…(shall I go on?) It’s hard to read such a politically charged author–who spent his life advocating progressive ideas and social change–and not take away something that has to do with the here-and-now.
We all know the end of Yertle the Turtle, a big man brought down by a tiny action from a “plain little turtle whose name was just Mack.” As flawed as I think our two-party political system is, I am thankful to live in a country where all people still have a voice, a say in the outcome of where this country is headed. There are some of us out there on this day-after-election who, I’m sure, think this country is going straight to hell. But I happen to think that Theodor Geisel, that “Dr.” every kid longs to hear, that champion of human rights, that man who denounced racism, isolationism, and discrimination of any sort, would be smiling right now.