What if Dr. Seuss Wrote About Poverty? - Compassion International

The Flat-Tummy Fweeps

  |   Posted: June 11, 2015   |   Updated: June 11, 2015

What if Dr. Seuss Wrote About Poverty?

Although Dr. Seuss made a point of not beginning to write stories with a moral in mind, saying that "kids can see a moral coming a mile off," several of his books do speak to a variety of social and political issues.

  • The Lorax, about environmentalism and anti-consumerism
  • The Sneetches, about racial equality
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas, about materialism and the consumerism of Christmas
  • Horton Hears a Who!, about anti-isolationism and internationalism

What might it have sounded like if Dr. Seuss had written a story about children in poverty?

An Ethiopian mother and her three children stand in the doorway of their home.

Perhaps, the Sneetches or Zax would have been in on the act. Or perhaps some new peeps he called the Fweeps.

The Flat-Tummy Fweeps
Now, the Fat-Tummy Fweeps had full tummies of food,
And the Flat-Tummy Fweeps had eyes that were glued
To the chowderly chow that could brighten their mood,
Which they had none of, and so were subdued.

Their tummies, you see, made noises at night,
which is why the Flat-Tummies knew no delight.

And, without any food, the Flat-Tummy Fweeps
Would sag, sigh and dream of ripe orange zeeps.
With their snoots on the ground, snoot-snootin’ around
They’d cope, and they'd hope for the end of parched throats.

As the Fat Tummy Fweeps ate their butter and toast
While drinking clean water and wearing warm coats,
They’d ask lots of questions, take copious notes,
Then give the poor Fweeps a boatload of totes.
“Totes would be nice. Totes would be grand,”
Said the Flat-Tummy Fweeps, “if they came with green ham.”
‘Tis the end of poverty — what a wonderful thing!

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Dr. Seuss book if it just focused on the sad.

No, indeed the Cat in the Hat turned dreary, rainy days into wonderful, happy, if not misguided, adventures. Maybe something like this:

Then all the Fweep children would wipe away frowns
To laugh with each other on Flozzle playgrounds.
They’d swing and they’d sing and they’d dance in a ring,
‘Tis the end of poverty — what a wonderful thing!
Rewrite the Story of a Child in Poverty

It is possible help rewrite the story of a real child in poverty.

A young Tanzanian girl jumping rope

It’s not that hard actually.

Sponsoring a child gives you the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty for that child. It gives the child a chance to believe in a world where poverty comes to an end.

And that is a wondrous thing indeed.

Sponsor a child today!

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