Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories Gertrude McFuzz, Lines 26 – 37 Summary
The Magic Pill
This is what we here in Shmoopville call The Great Transformation part of the story.
Gertrude swallows down that gnarly berry and voila, and here comes a beautiful blue feather, bringing the tail count—in case you missed it—to two.
As we build towards this Moment of Great Transformation, you'll notice more commas, periods and exclamation points to separate rhythmic units. More denotation actually helps speed up that rhythm so that it feels like feet racing up stairs. One step, two steps, three-steps-four. TRANSFORMATION! This is a tried and true technique in any kind of action scene, whether in an adventure book or in an action movie. Words become smaller, breaks for breath happen more frequently, and shots flash from one thing to the next.
This, friends, is how tension is built.
And, you know, through exclamation points.
But what does Gertrude do once she reaches what appears to be the very peak of her action? She says, "Oh you poor, naïve readers. Did you think this was going to satisfy my vain ambitions? Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night."
Yes, ambition is written all over this section. No longer does Gertrude want to be just like Lolla-Lee-Lou anymore. She wants to be better.
Lolla-Lee-Lou is small potatoes—farm league, we tell ya.
So Gertrude nibbles away on the second batch of pills, blinded entirely by vanity and ambition like the most compelling Shakespearian characters. And hey, if it worked out for Macbeth, why shouldn't it work out for an oddly shaped bird that looks like a plucked chicken?