Who knew Dr. Seuss wrote my biography?!

As part of my #55 on my 101 list , we read Thidwick, the Big-Hearted Moose for the first time in any of our lives.  (That sounds very dramatic, doesn't it?)  It's always an adventure to read new Seuss, for me at least.  As you may have noticed, I'm mildly obsessed with his stuff.

To sum up, for those of you who haven't read the book (from http://wapedia.mobi/en/Thidwick_the_Big-Hearted_Moose):

Thidwick, a moose who lives in a herd "about sixty or more" , accepts a bug living on his antlers for free, who tells a spider of the free housing, and both accept a "Zinn-a-zu" bird. The herd rejects Thidwick after the Zinnazu bird's wife, a woodpecker, and four squirrels move in. Since food is scarce he needs to travel to the south side of the lake to find more.  After a bobcat and turtle settle, they refuse to let him travel to the other side of the lake. Thidwick realizes that he has lost his autonomy and that the collective in his antlers has forced him to support them. Pressure hits the poor moose after three mice, a fox, a bear, and 362 bees move in on his antlers, but trouble switches thoughts fast after seeing hunters who "must get his head for the Harvard Club wall". When Thidwick is trapped after an attempt to escape, he suddenly remembers that antler-shedding season has arrived. He bucks the antlers off, leaves the freeloaders at the mercy of the hunters and swims to the other side of the lake to rejoin his herd. His antlers, and the former squatters, are stuffed and mounted.

Before I continue, I feel the need to clarify the title of this post, lest you think I'm just *that* egotistical.  While I do think I have a big heart, I don't claim to be the most big-hearted human ever.  I'm sure there are lots of people who think that I'm completely heartless (and please, try not to sing Kanye, it would ruin the ambience.  I know I had to suppress the urge myself.).  The part of the story I do think is biographical for me, is Thidwick's inability to say no, to speak his mind, to defend himself.

This is a trait that I've witnessed in my father since a very young age.  (Because no blog of mine would be complete without a disclaimer, let me just say that I look up to my dad more than anyone I know. He's a wonderful role model, and he's got about a million and one great traits.  I don't want this to sound like blatant criticism.  I'm trying to be fair and balanced.)  He does have a big heart, but he has a less than strong backbone.  And I guess that's genetic.  On one hand, it is absolutely admirable to be so unconcerned with yourself that you sacrifice for others.  But it doesn't take long before it reaches the point that you are being completely and totally taken advantage of.  Apparently, there is a thin line between selflessness and simply being a doormat.

And so the story goes that the big-hearted moose gets completely abused as a result of his own generosity.  He thought that his herd would take pity on him, instead they said "the heck with him" and left him to deal with his own mess.  At the end of the story, Thidwick takes the bull by the horns (bucks the antlers off his head, as is actually the case), and is taken advantage of no longer!  He did it!  He stood up for himself, and as is so infrequently the case, the freeloaders got what they deserved, which is to say they were stuffed and mounted on the Harvard Club wall...a fate that is apparently controversial to some, but not me. 

In the end, I know that there is hope for me.  I am not ashamed to admit that I was inspired by a Dr. Seuss book.  Thidwick is my hero.  He shed his doormat ways and stood up for himself.  Maybe one day I'll do that too.  Here's hoping it's sooner than later.

On a semi-related note, maybe I'll buy this book for my dad for Christmas. (Nah.  He's retiring soon.  He can tolerate being a doormat at work for a mere five more months.)


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