by Jeff Strite

This content is part of a series.

Turtle Top Theology (4 of 5)
Series: Dr. Seuss And God
Jeff Strite
Luke 9:46-50

OPEN: One of Dr. Seuss's more famous poem is called "Yertle the Turtle"

" On a far away island of Salamasond,
Yertle the turtle was king of the pond.
A nice little pond. It was clean. It was neat.
The water was warm, there was plenty to eat.
Until - one day - the king of them all
decided the kingdom he ruled was too small.
'I'm a ruler of all that I see.
But I don't see enough and that's the trouble with me.'

'With this stone for a throne I am too low down
I cannot look down upon the places beyond.'
So Yertle the turtle king lifted his hand,
and Yertle the turtle king gave a command.
He ordered nine turtles to swim to his stone
and, using these turtles, he built a new throne.
He made each turtle stand on another's back;
and he piled them all up in a 9 turtle stack.
Then Yertle climbed up. He sat down on the pile.
What a wonderful view! He could see 'most a mile!

'All mine!' Yertle cried. 'Oh the things I now rule.
I'm king of a cow. I'm king of a mule!
I'm king of a house! And, what's more, beyond that
I'm king of a blueberry bush and a cat!
I'm Yertle the Turtle! Oh, marvelous me!
For I am the ruler of all that I see!'"

As the poem progresses, Yertle wants to be more and more powerful. He wants to rise higher so that he can have more - to see and to rule over. Then, he notices the moon rising above him as the night approaching. And looking at the moon, he says:

"'What's THAT?' snorted Yertle. 'Say, what IS that thing
That dares to be higher than Yertle the King?
I shall not allow it! I'll go higher still!
I'll build my throne higher! I can and I will!
I'll call some more turtles. I'll stack 'em to heaven!
I need 'bout 5000, 600 and 7!'"

And then as he starts to get that done - in an echo of God's statement that "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18) - the bottom turtle burps, and ...

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