Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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The Lorax
The Lorax
by Dr. Seuss

The Lorax Lines 17-54 Summary

Finding the Once-ler and Buying his Secrets

  • The Once-ler is a recluse who lives on top of his clothing store, making his own clothes out of "miff-muffered moof" (21). 
  • (Fun with the letter M! You could use this moment to practice some alliteration with your youngster, using real or made-up words that start with M. Mmm…)
  • The Once-ler does occasionally talk to people, but only on "special dank midnights in August." (Setting clue: we're guessing it's midnight in August. Uh oh. The boy seems to have evaded parental supervision, or his parents don't mind him traipsing around at all hours of the dark night.)
  • The boy finds the Once-ler, but he'll have to do more than ask if he wants to pry the secrets from this mystery man.
  • Yep, to spill the story of the Lorax, the Once-ler requires cold hard cash (fifteen cents) and a cold hard nail, and a cold hard snail shell.
  • Once the currency's all counted, the Once-ler drops his super-secure "Whisper-ma-Phone" down to the boy.
  • The reception is pretty bad since the Once-ler has yet to upgrade his service. He still relies on the standard "snergelly hose" service, where the sound is delivered via—you guessed it—snergelly hose.
  • The boy strains to make out the Once-ler's story.
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