by Dr. Seuss
How about that mystery boy? We don't know his name or how he got out of the house so late at night, but we like him. And if he's a friend of Shmoop's, he's a friend of yours—we hope.
Why is this boy so mysterious? For one thing, Dr. Seuss never uses any words to describe him. That's right, we only see him in illustrations. We dig a bit deeper in our section on "Illustrations," but this is Dr. Seuss's way of having his cake and eating it too. He uses the second person "you" to address readers, making it seem like this story is especially for, well, you. But by including the boy in the illustrations, Seuss is able to show us how he pictures it—from a kid's perspective.
Still, this little guy could be any curious kid, willing to shell out "fifteen cents/ and a nail/ and the shell of a great-great-great/ grandfather snail" (30-33) to hear a good story.
One last insanely important thing. Boy can this kid listen. He clearly has major respect for what this older, wiser man might be able to teach him. His reward? Learning an important secret that could change his life and the lives of everybody around him. Not bad. And we're pretty sure the look on his face when he catches the last Truffula Seed suggests that he might do just what the Once-ler suggests.