updated 12/22/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 12/22/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST
When my small sister Vera awoke with a shout.
"My toes hurt," she wailed. "My earlobes are throbbing;
My brain feels filled up with hobgoblins hobgobbling.
Get me a doctor," barked Vera. "Now—on the double.
I need one here pronto, or you'll be in big trouble."
I was weary, a generally pooped kind of guy,
But I got up and groggily said, "I'll comply,
For I know just the man to help your body undroop.
He's more therapeutic than Gram's chicken soup.
He's as soothing as Vicks, more refreshing than juice.
He's funny, inventive, and his name's Dr. Seuss."
DR. SEUSS?" Vera boomed in a voice quite outrageous.
"Is he a real doctor? I might be contagious."
"His title's not medicinal," I patiently spoke.
"He decided to use it as kind of a joke.
He grew up near Springfield in the fair state of Mass.
Graduated from Dartmouth; '25 was his class.
Then he dropped out of Oxford, where he'd been a grad student,
A move that proved both prescient and prudent.
But it made his dad sad, as most dads would be,
So he tacked on a D-R, 'stead of P, H and D."
"And what about 'Seuss'?" Vera asked with a smirk.
"Is that made up, too? Is this some kind of quirk?"
"A middle name," I told her. "It's oh so legit.
Comes 'tween Theodor and Geisel. A very nice fit."
"But how can he help me?" Vera asked looking quizzical.
"I've got a problem that clearly is physical."
"His ideas are elixirish," I vowed. "They relax; they renew.
They lift up the spirits, bad feelings undo.
Seuss even makes house calls, and the man's 82!"
I ran from the room to our library quick.
I stopped at the Seusses. Now which would I pick?
There were two score plus five of them—a hundred million he's sold.
They've been translated into French, Dutch and Farsi, we're told,
And Swedish and German and Hebrew—yes, really—
As well as five others, but not yet Swahili.
Choosing was tricky, so I just took them all
And raced back to Vera, upstairs, down the hall.
We started as Seuss did, on Mulberry Street,
A horse and cart story that no one can beat.
Then came the Grinches, the Greeches, a Who,
The Gussets and Gootches from the New McGrew Zoo.
There were armies of Befts. They go to the left.
And a sling-shooting Yook who was not very deft.
We met Yertle the Turtle and a friendly Jibboo
And a two-feathered girl-bird named Lolla-Lee-Lou.
Then on to the circus of Morris McGurk And his pal Mr. Sneelock, who does all the work.
We saw Frumms, Foons and Flummoxes and a walrus named Rolf
Who stands on five balls, two for tennis, three golf.
We laughed 'til we cried, our heads almost spinning,
But that wasn't all, it was just the beginning.
We traveled to Ronk and to Solla Sollew,
Where they never have troubles, at least very few.
The Cat in the Hat came; he arrived with a bump.
It was such a surprise. That bump made us jump.
Sam-I-Am turned up next, transporting a dish
Of green eggs and ham that was very delish.
The elephant Horton stayed put on his nest
While his bird pal named Maysie flew off for some rest.
For he meant what he said and he said what he meant:
"An elephant's faithful—100 percent."
You're Only Old Once! made us hoot, made us cheer.
Seuss wrote it for oldsters. It came out this year.
Oh, what an adventure, an adventure in rhyme.
His words were fantastical, his drawings sublime.
We'd gone On beyond Zebra when we looked out the window.
The sun was due up, and we had to give in so
We climbed 'neath the covers, in our own cozy beds,
Those wonderful visions fixed in our heads.
Vera was smiling. She felt fit as a goose,
And as sweet slumber neared she said, "Thanks, Dr. Seuss."