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The Lorax visits Calgary

A Seuss-like take on the brouhaha over trees in Brentwood

Who will speak for the trees? The Lorax will...

Mathew Silver / For Metro

Who will speak for the trees? The Lorax will...

In the northwest of Calgary where streets start with B’s

Brentwoodians got riled by 15 brand new trees.

The workers got planting, set eight in the ground,

When they were suddenly stopped by a mad yelling sound.

“Scram!” cried the locals. “We don’t want your trees.

They’re magnets for lowlifes, they’re magnets for fleas!

They’re where people go when they do something naughty

And find some relief when they can’t find a potty.

These trees may be small now, just slenders and slims,

But soon they’ll give cover to teens’ late-night whims.”

Then the Lorax sprang out from a Dr. Seuss book

To see what was wrong in this city’s odd nook.

He’d heard the commotion, felt he could appease.

“I am the Lorax,” he sneezed. “I speak for the trees!”

The Lorax looked ‘round at the plain nameless park

And said, “What this place needs is some spark!

Trees do that! They bring birds, they bring squirrels, they bring kids

With their giggledy-gigs and their sniggeldy-snids!”

The neighbours just stared at this small cartoon creature.

That wide-open space was their favourite feature.

He didn’t quite get it. Nor did Councillor Druh Farrell

Who seemed blissfully blind to arboreal peril.

“You don’t understand, sir!” they cried with a stamp.

“We like sightlines. And sky. And we don’t want a camp!

But now across Canada we’re mocked as tree-fighters

Thanks to wise-cracking smarty-pants CBC writers.”

Then the Lorax sat down. He sat and he sat.

And he got an idea, pulled out of his hat!

Beside him was one of those library boxes,

With Atwood and Boyden and Seussian foxes.

He walked right on over, threw open its door,

And out swept a bunch of kid characters more.

He thought: “Here’s one way I can convince a NIMBY:

With Potter and Pooh and Ramona age-eight Quimby!”

“Let’s go!” cried the gang, and those trees sprang up high,

With magic, those slims nearly reached to the sky.

The gang set to playing. They knew how to run,

They built forts, they played games and they made that park fun.

How they ripped, how they roared! Around and around.

They all thought, “What a fine place for walking a hound.”

The neighbours then realized this wasn’t so bad,

As the trees shrunk back down, they were now kind of glad.

The gang disappeared and went back in their books,

And residents gave treeplanters no more mean looks.

In the northwest of Calgary where streets start with B’s

The good folk of Brentwood stopped fighting their trees.

The saplings got planted and nothing got worse,

And columnists abandoned their mangly verse.

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