My son and I just finished listening to a wonderful recorded version of E. B. White’s The Trumpet of the Swan.
This story of the trumpeter swan, Louis (as in Louis Armstrong), born without a voice and who learns to play a stolen trumpet and must earn money to pay off his debt and win his love is one of the sweetest in the catalog. The recorded version is special as it is read by the author. Mr. White reads with a certain New England ambience that adds real character to the story. I commend this edition to anyone.
The author introduces a character who makes an appearance on the streets of Billings, Montana, with a name that is strangely familiar: Alfred Gore. Though it is not quite right, even Google can’t tell the difference. Search for Alfred Gore and the top hit is former VP Al Gore’s Wikipedia page.
What’s funny is that poor Alfred Gore, created by Mr. White when the future Vice President was a mere 20 year old still hitting the bars with Harvard roommate Tommy Lee Jones, is presented as a character with little environmental knowledge or concern. I smile.
I introduce you here to Mr. Alfred Gore:
[A storekeeper who has just decided to donate money to the Audubon Society is speaking.]
“The Audubon Society is kind to birds. I want this money to be used to help birds. Some birds are in real trouble. They face extinction.”
“What’s extinction?” asked Alfred Gore. “Does is mean they stink?”