Horton Hears a Ghost
“Would you read a Dr. Seuss story to start off our vacation bible school
“Sure. Tell me when and where.”
It started off innocently enough. Nine o’clock on a weekday would not
cost me much time and I liked reading to children.
The time came. The timing was unbelievably bad. There had to be at least
sixty of them sitting in the pews. I was glad that there were two
teachers with copies of the book, showing the pictures while I read.
I could not believe that he was dead. He deserved to be dead. Many
deserve to be dead. All will be dead in time. Should we not wait
for God’s time?
“And then Horton heard a who.” I was maintaining eye contact and articulating
clearly to help keep the children’s attention. It was also one of my favorite
childhood stories. I wished that I could concentrate better.
He had been dead for only an hour. Gone from this world. Good riddance.
It was by my hand as much as anybody's.
“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” Horton was maintaining his
defense of the tiny speck of dust containing the whole Who city. The children
were chiming in with “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
He was the smallest person I had ever had to think about. Anyone who
would kill almost two hundred people in order to protest violating peoples
rights had to small, and sick, very, sick. He wasn’t sick now.
He was dead.
Horton’s case was being heard before a court of animals that believed
that he was crazy. If they could not hear the Who’s, the dust speck would
be destroyed. They would all die if the entire Who town did not make a loud
What if I had made noise? Did I write my congressman on this one?
No I didn’t. “Out of the night that covers me, black is the pit from pole
to pole.” The arrogant little shit had recited Invictus.
“A person’s a person, no matter how small,” they all chimed in.
The mayor found one last little Who child that was not making noise and had
gotten him to help. The entire group of animals heard the Who’s. Horton
was a hero. The Who’s were saved
All I could think of was that there was no one smaller than Timothy McVeigh.
“A person’s a person no matter how small,” over and over again in my head,
“Let’s thank Mr. Bratton for reading us this story,” Cheers, applause,
smiles. I was smiling. I was also crying. I was never so glad
to leave anywhere in my life. “A person’s a person, no matter how