Nothing but a Plain Horse and Wagon on Mulberry Street – By @pzelizalde

By Patxi Elizalde


Nothing but a Plain Horse and Wagon on Mulberry Street



My Christmas break has been great. I was able to go back to my home country of the Philippines and spend the break surrounded by close friends and family I haven’t seen in a long time. I was also fortunate enough to take a quick but eventful trip to Indonesia to celebrate my parent’s 25th wedding anniversary. At the end of it all, though, I was honestly just so happy to be back in my old childhood home, sleeping in my old room with all my old stuff. As I was sifting through some old treasures – scrapbooks, elementary school notebooks, the BB gun I taped to the ceiling of my side table when I was 12 and completely forgot about – I noticed how many children’s books have been gathering dust up on my shelf, untouched for so many years. The BFG by Roald Dahl, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, stacks and stacks of the Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne. Each so crucial to my development as a child and impactful to my creativity.


As I was running through each spine, pulling down a book every now and then, taking trips down memory lane, there was one particular book that really drew me: ‘Oh The Places You’ll Go’ by Dr. Seuss. I have no doubt that you all know this book, and loved it just as much as I did. I fell back in love with Seuss’ wonderful, colorful, and creative illustrations and quirky, rhythmic style of writing. It was my favorite book as a child, and I still think about it from time to time because of its powerful message: create your own path, be yourself. The most important lesson a child could learn, and one that really stuck to me. Now, once I found this book, I immediately thought of our SCAB holiday project. I haven’t read a children’s book in a long long time – since I was a child, I guess? – so why not read this over again and write about that experience? But reading a book I have already read countless times is cheating, I thought. So I decided to go to Seuss’ roots and read the first book he ever wrote (which I did not know existed) :  ‘And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street.’


Seuss’ first book is about a child’s observations on his way to school. He starts by seeing a simple horse drawn carriage on Mulberry street, but continues to build and build on this image using his imagination, eventually leading to the carriage becoming a band stand pulling a trailer carrying the mayor, led by an elephant and two giraffes, while an airplane dumps confetti overhead. Yep. Anyway, when he, Marco, goes back to tell his father what he saw, his imagination is quickly repressed by his father’s stern and serious manner that he simply reports seeing “nothing but a plain horse and wagon on Mulberry street.” Whether or not you thought my little story summary made any sense, I think it’s obvious that Seuss is discussing the differences in the way a child sees the world versus an adult’s view.


I really enjoyed finding and reading this book, not just because the illustrations and writing were so inspiring, but also because it spoke to me about the importance of maintaining a childlike view of the world and not caring what other people think. My whole childhood, I was taught – told – that I would end up in business or finance, working a desk job, because that’s what my dad and his brothers do, that’s what my cousins do, and that’s what I had to do. I had always been drawn to art, music, and simply …creating, but felt like this could not be any more than a secret side hobby, because “drawing is for children.” However, since I received that call from Marc, since I ended up at the SCA, I finally feel like I’m going down the right path, that this whole creative world is where I’m meant to be. I finally feel like my childish view of the world – seeing everything in cartoons, having the ability to devise wild and crazy ideas out of nothing, and being able to communicate this through drawings and pictures – is finally worth something, and I’ve never been happier with my place in life. Oh, the places you’ll go. Thanks, Dr. Seuss.





Related SCABs

Go back

Student Application

  • Fill out the Application Form below to be a part of our next Award-Winning intake.

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY