What You might Not Know about Dr. Seuss

What You might Not Know about Dr. Seuss

In the 50’s, 23 different Dr. Seuss poems were published in Redbook Magazine. All but one, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” were original.  “The Zode in the Road” By Dr. Seuss was not included in the list of rhymed stories that they published, but I know it was published in a magazine, because my mother cut it out and glued it to cardboard (I believe because I used it as the poem I memorized it for school–something we had to do once a week way back then) and for many years I had it in with my favorite “things.”  Here is that poem:

The Zode in the Road by Dr. Seuss

Did I ever tell you about the young Zode,
Who came to two signs at the fork in the road?
One said to Place One, and the other, Place Two.
So the Zode had to make up his mind what to do.
Well…the Zode scratched his head, and his chin and his pants.
And he said to himself, “I’ll be taking a chance
If I go to Place One. Now, that place may be hot!
And so, how do I know if I’ll like it or not?
On the other hand though, I’ll be sort of a fool
If I go to Place Two and find it too cool.
In that case I may catch a chill and turn blue!
So, maybe Place One is the best, not Place Two,
But then again, what if Place One is too high?
I may catch a terrible earache and die!
So Place Two may be best! On the other hand though…
What might happen to me if Place Two is too low?
I might get some very strange pain in my toe!
So Place One may be best,” and he started to go.
Then he stopped, and he said, “On the other hand
On the other hand…other hand…other hand though…”
And for 36 hours and a half that poor Zode
Made starts and made stops at the fork in the road.
Saying, “Don’t take a chance. No! You may not be
Then he got an idea that was wonderfully bright!
“Play safe!” cried the Zode. “I’ll play safe. I’m no dunce!
I’ll simply start out for both places at once!”
And that’s how the Zode who would not take a chance
Got no place at all with a split in his pants.

Probably most people don’t know that Dr. Seuss also wrote “Our Job in Japan,” a training film for soldiers embarking on occupation duty in Japan in 1945–that was later remade into a documentary entitled “Design for Death,”  that received an academy award in 1947.  HERE is a link to that training film which contains some information I had never heard before.

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