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I did not like Green Eggs and Ham
I thought the book to be a scam.
I knew that it could not be right
for all the eggs I’d seen were white.
I was then too young to see
the humor in absurdity.
The notion of an egg gone green
seemed a most distasteful thing.
But I did so love that scruffy cat
with yellowed fur and floppy hat.
His face would twist into disgust
when offered up his green breakfast.
It did not matter time or place
he would not have a single taste.
Until many days had long gone by
he finally gave green food a try.
His eyes then sparkled with delight
after having eaten just one bite.
What looked to all like spoiled meat
was to his mouth a tasty treat.
The moral here is plain to see
and it’s not one of food safety.
For if you eat a ham that’s green
You’ll end up in the latrine.
The moral is about assumptions,
taking risks and having gumption.
Don’t assume an object’s wealth
until you see it for yourself.
I read many books then by Geisel
and think that they all served me well.
Until that time I did not know
the places books would let me go.
Along with helping me to read
they taught other things I’d need
About learning to share with others
and treating strangers like they’re brothers
Those basic lessons still hold true
but now there’s a problem or two
Drawings meant to make us titter
now come across as mean and bitter
An Asian man with slits for eyes
and straw hat pointed to the sky.
Or African men ready to feast
drawn to look less man than beast.
I don’t know what was in the heart
of the person who made that art.
Probably didn’t give much thought
to the pain they might have wrought
I suspect back then they couldn’t tell
their drawings could not age real well.
Not all, of course, it was only six
books to be taken from the mix.
Cue the howls from the angry right
craving a culture war to fight.
“None of these changes can be good,
they’re an attack on my childhood!”
But we really need not think that way:
some things said back then were not OK.
So we’ve cut six of his books loose,
that does not mean we’ve cancelled Seuss.
Walter Rubel can be reached at email@example.com.