Skip to navigationSkip to content
ONCE-LER UPON A TIME

The US logging industry once released a parody response to “The Lorax” called “Truax”

By Thu-Huong Ha

Once upon a time in a forest, a well-meaning hardwood-floor professional was under attack, from a misinformed environmentalist.

The Lorax is a beloved 1971 children’s book by Dr. Seuss that’s a thinly veiled moral lesson on corporate greed. A sage and bossy creature called the Lorax defends trees against the Once-ler, who relentlessly chops them down to make clothes. Truax, published in the 1990s, is a parody of the story (pdf), in which a Once-ler-like character is not the villain but the hero. The book was written by Terri Birkett and illustrated by Orrin Lundgren, and published by the National Wood Flooring Association (NFWA), a US not-for profit group.

The book was written “to encourage children to protect natural resources through responsible forest management,” says NFWA by email. It used to be available in print from the NFWA, but today, you can find an electronic version for free on the company’s site, or try to nab a used paper copy.

In the book, Truax is a logger whose job it is to “harvest these trees for ballbats and houses and things such as these.” He’s accosted by Guardbark, a frightening-looking environmental activist-creature who acts on emotions and love of trees rather than truth (…ax). “Sir! … You are grisly with greed. Cutting Hagbarks is MEAN – a horribus deed,” says the gnarled troll to the gentle, overall-wearing human.

Truax politely corrects his reactionary interlocutor, telling him that he plants five new trees for every one he cuts down and defends the biodiversity of the new forests. Guardbark humbly concedes he was completely wrong, and the two part merrily.