What’s A Truax? Well I’m So Glad You Asked, Let Me Tell You!
In Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, an entrepreneur named Once-Ler sees his business grow from a one-room shop to a gigantic factory selling useless Thneeds made from tufts of chopped down Truffula Trees. The titular character, a small creature that speaks for the trees, pleads to Once-Ler to leave the trees alone, but alas and alack, the forest is destroyed and The Lorax leaves. Seuss chillingly bookends the tale in the idyllic forest-cum-wasteland with the now impoverished Once-Ler telling his story to a young man. In rare form, [Seuss, Dr|Seuss] adds a real subtlety to Once-Ler as the now remorseful enemy, and doesn’t pander—does he ever?—to kids with his message. So what’s The Truax? Why it’s the hardwood flooring industry’s delightful rebuttal.
Just how does Truax measure up? Well, I imagine this is what Dr. Seuss would be like if Dr. Seuss sucked at writing and was an idiot. Harsh? Yes. False? The book’s online, read it and you tell me. Unlike The Lorax, Truax forgoes plot for merely a discussion betwixt Lumberjack (Once-Ler, but with a face) and Guardbark (The Bizarro Lorax.) In their first interaction, Guardbark, speaking for the trees, throws a hissied fit, whereas patient Lumberjack was Cucumber Boy (as in “cool as a.”) Even the animals, appearing only on Lumberjack’s half of the illustration, think Guardbark a nut. Once-Ler, despite being only a pair of disembodied hands, seems more a person than either these blokes.
The book, though, takes a surprising turn: it makes sense. The logging industry helps prevent wildfires, sets aside preserves, and even replants trees (though plenty of people deforest and don’t replant.) As Lumberjack makes sense, Guardbark gets nervous. But GB pulls out the big guns: “What about endangered species?” LJ responds, “Would anyone mind if we lost, say, a tick / That carried a germ that made the Cuddlebears sick…. How far will we go? How much will we pay? / To keep a few [creatures] from dying away?” In other words, “What about endangered species?” And Cuddlebear? Really? You’re going with Cuddlebear? Yet, this convinces Guardbark.
Guardbark, leave tree representation to The Lorax. Parents, if you don’t agree with The Lorax or Seuss, leaf through 570-599 in the Dewey numbers to find books about nature, animals, and biodiversity for your kids. Terri Birkett, author of Truax, leave the writing (and made-up animal name creating) to Dr. Seuss. In fact, just leave writing. Leave computers, pens, pencils, typewriters, crayons, markers, watercolours, everything. Don’t even write your name; just sign all your checks from the hardwood flooring industry with an X.
Post Script: Truax really bugs me.