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Horton Hatches the Egg

Horton Hatches the Egg


by Dr. Seuss

Horton Hatches the Egg Meaning

What is this book really about?

The Agony of Influence

Before we let you get back to changing diapers and/or dreaming of Palm Beach, we want to talk Horton influence. This is a kids' book that is frequently cited in—wait for it—legal opinions.

In re Emily (2000) and In re Jerry P (2002) are just a couple of the cases that cite Horton in support of arguments that parental rights are earned through love and support, not through biological connection. Horton would definitely approve.

But wait, it gets better. Family law cases—makes sense, right? How about cases involving the intent of particular laws or regulations? Check it out. In Burlington Electric v. Department of Taxes (1990), a case involving woodchips and taxes (yum!), we get this quote:

Where the Legislature "meant what [it] said and said what [it] meant," we must be true to the statute's intent. See Dr. Seuss, Horton Hatches the Egg passim (1940). We think it is apparent that the Legislature intended the fuel and electricity exclusion to apply to both the ingredients and the consumables clauses. (Source.)

Yowza. It tickles Shmoop's funny bone and makes us shed a tear—all at once—to see Seuss's words mingled with all that fancy legal talk. What do you think? What would Seuss think?

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