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Mr. Ted was an author, or wanted to be,
But since no one would purchase his manuscript, he
Earned a living by making up ads for a fee.
His clients all liked him. His job was secure.
But Ted was an author, of that he was sure.
He’d written a tale of fantasia and truth
In a setting he’d drawn from the world of his youth.
And once it was finished, he knew it was good,
So he sent it to publishers, just as he should.
But selling a book is not easy or simple;
It’s ugly and painful, like squeezing a pimple.
Therefore, Ted steeled himself for that first big rejection,
So that, when it came, he’d not suffer dejection.
And it worked: When an editor first told him “Nix,”
He was fine. But when Ted reached rebuff number six,
He was somewhat discouraged that no one would take it.
Still he kept on submitting, convinced he would make it.
But then six became ten, and then ten became twenty –
A score of rejections! That seemed more than plenty.
But he couldn’t give up, ’cause he had to keep trying.
If he quit, his authorial dreams would be dying!
So he’d send out his text once again in a packet
In a search for a publishing house that would back it.
But then still more rejections! He passed twenty-five!
And now Ted’s perseverance was barely alive.
He’d believed in his tale and now felt like a dope.
He tried one more submission, a last glint of hope.
Just imagine poor Ted at the end of his rope:
He receives the response. He opens the letter.
And he finds that this answer is not any better.
Twenty-seven rejections; the lesson Ted’s learned
Is that his stupid story deserves to be burned!
So to cremate the text, he heads home, down the street,
And then who should Ted Geisel just happen to meet?
A friend who now works as a children’s book editor
Who devours Ted’s book like a bloodthirsty predator!
He loves it! Before their encounter’s complete,
And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street
Is what his old friend then agrees to produce,
Which becomes the first book of the good Dr. Seuss.
Dr. Seuss made the most of a useful connection
‘Cause he still had his text for his buddy’s inspection.
But what if Ted Geisel had called it a day
Just a little bit sooner? Could anyone say
That we wouldn’t all be the worse off ’cause of that?
Sam-I-Am and the Whos and the Cat in the Hat,
The Star-Bellied Sneetches, the North-Going Zax,
And the Grinch and his dutiful little dog Max –
Ted might never have introduced any of those
If he’d burned his first tale after twenty-six noes.burning-fire