'The Sneetches'

Story Time

February 28, 1999|By Dr. Seuss

Editor's note: Sylvester McMonkey McBean's machine can add stars to bare-bellied Sneetches. And it can subtract them just as easily. So how will the Sneetches be able to tell who's important and who isn't? Or does it really matter?

Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches

Had bellies with stars.

The Plain-Belly Sneetches

Had none upon thars.

Those stars weren't so big. They were really so small

You might think such a thing wouldn't matter at all.

But, because they had stars, all the Star-Belly Sneetches

Would brag, "We're the best kind of Sneetch on the beaches."

With their snoots in the air, they would sniff and they'd snort

"We'll have nothing to do with the Plain-Belly sort!"

And whenever they met some, when they were out walking,

They'd hike right on past them without even talking.

When the Star-Belly Sneetches had frankfurter roasts

Or picnics or parties or marshmallow toasts,

They never invited the Plain-Belly Sneetches.

They left them out cold, in the dark of the beaches.

They kept them away. Never let them come near.

And that's how they treated them year after year.

Then one day, it seems ... while the Plain-Belly Sneetches

Were moping and doping alone on the beaches,

Just sitting there wishing their bellies has stars ...

A stranger zipped up in the strangest of cars!

"My friends," he announced in a voice clear and keen,

"My name is Sylvester McMonkey McBean.

And I've heard of your troubles. I've heard you're unhappy.

But I can fix that. I'm the Fix-it-Up Chappie.

I've come here to help you. I have what you need.

And my prices are low. And I work at great speed.

And my work is one hundred per cent guaranteed!"

Then, quickly, Sylvester McMonkey McBean

Put together a very peculiar machine.

And he said, "You want stars like a Star-Belly Sneetch ...?

My friends, you can have them for three dollars each!"

"Just pay me your money and hop right aboard!"

So they clambered inside. Then the big machine roared.

And it klonked. And it bonked And it jerked. And it berked

And it bopped them about. But the thing really worked!

When the Plain-Belly Sneetches popped out, they had stars!

They actually did. They had stars upon thars!

Then they yelled at the ones who had stars at the start,

"We're exactly like you! You can't tell us apart.

We're all just the same, now, you snooty old smarties!

And now we can go to your frankfurter parties."

"Good grief!" groaned the ones who had stars at the first.

"We're still the best Sneetches and they are the worst.

But, now, how in the world will we know," they all frowned,

"If which kind is what, or the other way round?"

All the rest of the day, on those wild screaming beaches,

The Fix-it-Up Chappie kept fixing up Sneetches.

Off again! On again!

In again! Out again!

Through the machines they raced round and about again,

Changing their stars every minute or two.

They kept paying money. They kept running through

Until neither the Plain nor the Star-Bellies knew

Whether this one was that one ... or that one was this one

Or which one was what one ... or what one was who.

I'm quite happy to say

That the Sneetches got really quite smart on that day,

The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches

And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches.

That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars

And whether they had one, or not, upon thars.

"The Sneetches" from "The Sneetches and Other Stories" by Dr. Seuss. t & c Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. 1961. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Pub Date: 02/28/99

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