|One of the reasons I admire Dr. Seuss’ work so much, is his ability to convey great truths with great humor. In Horton Hears a Who, Horton the elephant, by virtue of his great big ears, hears voices coming from a dustspeck. He learns that there is a whole city (Whoville) within, and starts talking to the mayor. The other jungle animals, with less keen hearing, decide that Horton is crazy and dangerous and threaten to destroy the dustspeck. Horton begs the citizens of Whoville to make themselves heard:
"Mr. Mayor! Mr. Mayor!" Horton called. "Mr. Mayor!
You’ve got to prove that you really are there!
So call a big meeting. Get everyone out.
Make every Who holler! Make every Who shout!
Make every Who scream! If you don’t, every Who
Is going to end up in a Beezle -Nut stew! "
And, down on the dust speck, the scared little Mayor
Quick called a big meeting in Who- ville Town Square .
And his people cried loudly. They cried out in fear :
"We are here! We are here! We are here!"
The elephant smiled: "That was clear as a bell.
You Kangaroos surely heard that very well."
"All I heard," snapped the big kangaroo, "Was the breeze ,
And the faint sound of wind through the far-distant trees.
I heard no small voices. And you didn’t either."
And the young kangaroo in her pouch said, "Me, neither."
And Horton called back, "I can hear you just fine.
But the kangaroos’ ears aren’t as strong, quite, as mine.
They don’t hear a thing! Are you sure all your boys
Are doing their best? Are they ALL making noise?
Are you sure every Who down in Who -ville is working?
Quick! Look through your town! Is there anyone shirking?"
Through the town rushed the Mayor, From the east to the west.
But every one seemed to be doing his best.
Every one seemed to be yapping or yipping!
Every one seemed to be beeping or bipping !
But it wasn’t enough, all this ruckus and roar!
He HAD to find someone to help him make more.
He raced through each building! He searched floor-to-floor!
And, just as he felt he was getting nowhere ,
And almost about to give up in despair,
He suddenly burst through a door and that Mayor
Discovered one shirker! Quite hidden away
In the Fairfax Apartments ( Apartment 12 -J)
A very small, very small shirker named Jo-Jo
Was standing, just standing, and bouncing a Yo-Yo!
Not making a sound! Not a yipp ! Not a chirp!
And the Mayor rushed inside and he grabbed the young twerp!
And he climbed with the lad up the Eiffelberg Tower .
"This," cried the Mayor, "is your town’s darkest hour!
The time for all Whos who have blood that is red
To come to the aid of their country!" he said .
"We’ve GOT to make noises in greater amounts!
So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!"
Thus he spoke as he climbed. When they got to the top ,
The lad cleared his throat and he shouted out, "YOPP!"
And that Yopp …
That one small, extra Yopp put it over!
Finally, at last! From that speck on that clover
Their voices were heard! They rang out clear and clean.
And the elephant smiled. "Do you see what I mean ?…
They’ve proved they ARE persons, no matter how small.
And their whole world was saved by the smallest of All!"