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Literature / Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories

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Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories is a collection of short works by Dr. Seuss. The works were previously published in the magazine Redbook and republished in 2014 after Seuss's death. The book contains four stories:

  1. "Horton and the Kwuggerbug": Horton the elephant makes a deal with a Kwuggerbug to get him to a Beezlenut tree in exchange for some of the beezlenuts, only to find that the trip is far harder than he had anticipated.
  2. "Marco Came Late": Marco comes into school with a wild story about why he arrived late.
  3. "How Officer Pat Saved the Whole Town": Officer Pat takes action to prevent a gnat's bite from spiraling out of control.
  4. "The Grinch and the Hoobub": A Grinch tries to sell a Hoobub a piece of string, saying it's better than the sun.
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This book contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Beware the Nice Ones: Horton at the end.
  • Brains Evil, Brawn Good: Horton vs the Kwuggerbug.
  • Continuity Drift: In the last story, "The Grinch and the Hoobub", the Grinch in question is not the same Grinch from How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, but a different character of the same species, referred to in the story as "a Grinch". Dr. Seuss never published this story since by the time he finalized the famous Christmas story, the Grinch was clearly a one-of-a-kind creature rather than belonging to a whole species of Grinches.
  • Disaster Dominoes: Officer Pat sees a gnat about to bite a drowsing cat, and thinks about the increasingly nasty consequences from this, which ends with the town being blown up. To prevent this, he swats the gnat.
  • Egg MacGuffin: Marco's story starts out with a mother bird laying an egg on his book while he's walking to school. He ends up standing still pondering what to do while an increasing number of creatures weigh in on whether he should continue to school or make sure the egg is safe at all costs. Eventually the egg hatches and the bird inside tells Marco to tell his teacher he was the reason for Marco being late.
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  • Exact Words: The Kwuggerbug promises Horton half the beezlenuts in return for Horton carrying him to the tree. When they get there, the Kwuggerbug gives Horton the shells, which are half of the nut.
  • Honorable Elephant: Even though the trek to the beezlenut tree quickly becomes harder and more hazardous than anticipated, Horton keeps going because he said he would take the Kwuggerbug there.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The Kwuggerbug gets sneezed over the hills and far away as a direct result of him taking advantage of Horton's generosity and being a big jerk about it.
  • Recurring Character: Horton and Marco also appear in other Seuss stories.
  • Sneeze of Doom: Horton sneezes after the Kwuggerbug shoves the beezlenut shells into his trunk, blowing said Kwuggerbug so far away he never manages to get back to the Beezlenut tree.
  • Taking Advantage of Generosity: The Kwuggerbug gets Horton to agree to the deal and won't let him back out, even though the path to the beezlenut tree includes a nasty climb and a river full of crocodiles. Then, when they finally get there, he uses exact words to get out of having to give Horton any of the beezlenuts.
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