Hats Happiness


Scott McGrewI was going through some old boxes in the garage the other day and came across some of my childhood books. I had hundreds of books – I really liked to read as a kid – including the entire Hardy Boys series and a set of Bible stories called Arch Books. One reviewer called them “the greatest story ever told”; I thought they were pretty good.

I also had nearly every Little Golden Book, which were short stories like The Poky Little Puppy and The Little Red Caboose. Poky Puppy has sold more than 15 million copies, according to the publisher.

Looking at the company’s web site, it would appear most of the books I read are now out of print. Many just did not hold up to the test of time. Freight trains no longer have cabooses, red or otherwise; the Little Taxi That Could was a story of a taxi delayed by a coal truck – what’s a coal truck? Meanwhile, the cigar chomping (smoking? In a children’s book?) taxi driver struggles to get to the train station (what’s a passenger train?) while the little boy in back has great fun bouncing around because, of course, there are no seat belts.

Anyway, I came across this Golden Book, called The Happy Little Whale, which is most certainly out of print. In the book the main character is a little
whale, “nine feet long from nose to tail.” In the book, the whale is captured by a passing boat. As we can see in the illustration, she is sad. Sad, sad, sad as she is ripped away from her family by a net.

But then the whale is placed in a pool and fed squid. And then – and this is very exciting – someone gives her a hat and puts her in some sort of show. Now she and a fellow whale “roll and blow spray when they wish, and they do all their tricks for treats of fish.. And squeak for joy, those two happy little whales!”

So, children, we learned that you can make captive animals happy – just give ’em a hat.

Scott McGrew
NBC11 Business & Tech Reporter


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