” I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful one-hundred percent.”~Horton Hatches an Egg

In 1940 Dr. Seuss produced Horton Hatches an Egg.horton-hatches-the-egg Through this book, Dr. Seuss continuously manipulated language, by creating words where English fell short. These word compounds, onomatopoeic words, and nonsensical words are a credit to Dr. Seuss’s verbal attributes. He claimed that he was drawing upon what he learned in his High School Latin classes and one can also readily see the influence of his studies into Old English while at Oxford. Seuss was an individual engaged in the process of creating his own language.

As America prepared for World War 2, Ted accepted an offer to join the lpo-2army to make instructional and training films for soldiers. His boss, Frank Capra, and Jack Jones, the animator responsible for such American characters as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, taught Ted to edit a script and bring film to life by leaving much behind on the editing room floor. His work won awards, including two Academy awards for the film, Hitler Lives in 1946 and a documentary on Japan in 1947. Ted credited both Capra and Jones for teaching him the conciseness which brought so much to his later children’s writing.

McElligot’s Pool is a Seuss classic written after his discharge from the army. It’s a single poetic variation on the theme of adult skepticism that’s no matchseuss_47mcelligotts for childhood faith and daydreaming. A small boy is fishing in the tiny, unpromising McElligot’s Pool, a puddle that (as a passing farmer informs our diminutive hero) is nothing but a hole where people dispose of their junk. But the boy is all optimism: what if the pool is deeper than anyone thinks? What if it connects to an underground stream that flows under the town to the sea? Might not all sorts of fish then swim up the stream and be caught here? “I might catch an eel… (Well, I might. It depends.) A long twisting eel with a lot of strange bends. And, oddly enough, with a head at both ends!” The moral of the story is straightforward: “If I wait long enough, if I’m patient and cool,/ Who knows what I’ll catch in McElligot’s pool?”

“Cause you never can tell/What goes on down below!/This pool might be bigger/Than you or I know! “~ McElligot’s Pool