With apologies to the oft-parodied Dr. Seuss, who first wrote about the grinch in a short (32-line) rhyming fable called “The Hoobub and the Grinch” published in Redbook magazine in 1955 (Marlon Brando on the cover of that issue, by the way.)
In the original, Seuss’s Hoobub is enjoying the sun. A grinch approaches, and asks the Hoobub what he’ll pay for the string, give them that the string is worth so much more than the sun. This modern New Hampshire edition differs slightly:
The Hoobub was sitting looking out at the trees
From the top of a mountain, chin on his knees.
There’s nothing,” he said, “quite as good as woods such as these!”
Then up walked a grinch with a long piece of wire
“How much will you pay for this that I assume you desire?”
“You surely should have it, you’ll find it’s all good
And worth so much more than a few scraggly woods.”
“Huh…?” asked the Hoobub. “Sounds silly to me.
Wire worth more than woods…? Why that surely can’t be!”
“But it is!” grinned the grinch. “Let me give you the reasons.
The woods are full of bugs and mud in some seasons.
For you’ll have to admit that in spring and then in July
The woods are unpleasant, thanks to black and deer flies.
But this wonderful wire that I have right here
Would be good and so handy every month of the year!”
“Even so…” said the Hoobub. “I still sort of doubt…”
“But you know,” yapped the Grinch, and he started to shout,
“That from most woodsy places you can’t even see out!
But this marvelous wire all shiny and clean, I declare
Can do wondrous things for our stockholders shares
And of the woods and the views, I mean, who cares?”
“Stockholders, you say,” said the Hoobub. “That sounds high-tech…”
“This long piece of wire,” yelled the grinch, “why it’s from Quebec!
In fact, this piece of wire, sir, it’s highly conductive.
But sitting in the woods—that’s counterproductive!
This wire is collossal! Immense!
And to you…well, I”ll sell it for ninety-eight cents.”
And the Hoobub…he’s thinking about buying
(And I’m sorry to say
That grinches sell Hoobubs such things every day.)
Jack Savage is the executive editor of Forest Notes, the quarterly magazine of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. He can be reached at email@example.com.