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The Lorax

The Lorax


by Dr. Seuss

The Lorax Lines 55-81 Summary

Back In the Day

  • (FYI: Most of the rest of the story is a flashback. The boy actually fades out of the story until the ending—guess he's not the protagonist after all.)
  • The town wasn't always gray and bare and broken-down looking. 
  • Nope. When the Once-ler first drives his covered wagon (hey, it's a flashback!) into town, it's a paradise, complete with bright, blue skies; clean, clear water; and singing Swomee-Swans. Oh, and Truffula Trees. Don't forget about those.
  • Truffula Trees have skinny black and yellow trunks and are topped with fluffy flower balls that come in many colors. Sounds like Seuss to us.
  • There are even Brown Bar-ba-loots (notice how Dr. Seuss uses hyphens to help make these crazy words easy for kids to sound out), which are skinny little bear-like creatures that look like they'd make nice pets.
  • The Bar-ba-loots romp and frolic in the Truffula shade and munch on Truffula Fruits, which look like extra-large grapes.
  • One more type of creature to add to the mix: Humming-Fish (fish who can hum), happily doing fishy things in their sparkling pond.
  • But for the Once-ler, it's all about the Truffula Trees. Their flowery tufts are "much softer than silk" (76). And oooh that smell, a smell Shmoop only smells in dreams—the tufts smell like "fresh butterfly milk" (78). 
  • (Sorry, we're going to leave it to you to explain the whole butterfly milk thing to your little ones.)
  • The Truffula Trees make the Once-ler's heart go pitter-pat and put a spring in his step.
  • Why? Well, in addition to butterfly milk, the Once-ler smells profit.

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