You remember the tale of the Grinch and the Whos,
The story that was penned by the great Dr. Seuss?
But what happened next is also a tale,
You see, that old Grinch, well, he wound up in jail.
It seems that the Whoville prosecuting attorney
Was just not amused by the Grinch Christmas journey.
He brought an indictment, with charges and counts,
Which, if proved, would result in fines in amounts
Which would bankrupt the Grinch, and he’d go straight to jail
Which the DA swore he would do, without fail.
“He broke and he entered,” said Falstaff McBurney
(He was the Whoville senior District Attorney)
“He sped through our town and he stole lots of stuff
I’m taking a bite out of crime, like McGruff.”
“He attempted to litter when he went to Mt. Crumpet
He’d have made a big mess, if he’d managed to dump it.”
“I’ll send him to jail and I’ll toss out the key.
That Grinch won’t be tough when he loses to me!”
But the Grinch, he had changed, as we know, one and all.
He stood at the Courthouse, and he stood up quite tall.
“I know I did wrong when I took every present.
I was a bad dude, but I’m now much more pleasant.
And if that’s not enough to keep me out of the slammer,
I’ll go and I’ll just break up rocks with a hammer,
For the rest of my days,” the Grinch sighed with contrition.
He could see that McBurney was on quite the mission
To clean up the town, to avenge every wrong,
McBurney did not heed the Who Christmas song
Which brimmed over with joy and forgiveness and hope.
(You see, that McBurney’s a bit of a dope.)
So the trial came on – for burgling and more --
Charges numbered three thousand and seventy-four.
With attempts and conspiracies, even civil RICO
Some of the charges were really unique, oh,
McBurney had pleaded a true legal fog;
Even animal cruelty toward the Grinch’s good dog.
And the media circus was something to see
Radio, newspapers, cable TV
Judge Judy consulted. So did Nancy Grace.
Geraldo Rivera talked over the case.
“Looks bad for the Grinch,” every lawyer opined.
“McBurney’s no slouch – he is just the right kind
Of an ace litigator who’ll put Grinch away.”
There was just no defense, every shark seemed to say.
But the Grinch hired a lawyer, one fresh out of school.
The pundits, predictably, said, “What a fool!”
“To take on McBurney, who is such a smart cookie,
The Grinch must be mad to pick up such a rookie.”
The attorney he picked was Ms. Bessie O’Toole
And contrary to rumor, she was really quite cool.
To hire such a newbie seemed a juridical no-no,
But Bessie said just, “I’ll represent him pro bono.”
She requested a jury and seated some Whos.
McBurney was confident. He couldn’t lose.
For the Judge in the case was a really tough bird
Who sent folks to the calaboose for just a wrong word.
McBurney called witnesses, they stood in the halls
And they all testified that Grinch undecked their walls.
He filched from their fridges, their cupboards, their drawers
They recounted a Christmas-Eve Carol of horrors.
When McBurney’s case rested, he smiled a sly smile,
“You’re far too green, Ms. O’Toole, for this kind of a trial.”
But Ms. Bess was prepared, and she soon showed her fitness
“Your Honor,” she said, “we don’t have any witness.”
“But first,” she arose and she showed some real spittle,
“The defense moves for a verdict of acquittal.”
“For in Whoville enactments, regulations and laws
We have an important, if unwritten, clause.”
“It’s a rule of true fairness, that there is no crime
When the defendant can make restitution in time.”
“And that’s what the Grinch did, and he’s even done more –
He’s given community service hours by the score.”
“You see, your Honor, Whoville is a place,
Where we don’t lock folks up because they have a green face.”
“We look in their hearts, we look at their actions,
We just don’t give in to the passions of factions.”
“We’re not about punishment, we’re a merciful lot.
And our crime rate is low, though you might have forgot,”
“That’s because we are eager to help, not condemn,
It’s about our community, not us-versus-them.”
“It’s about making things right, and here, all can see,
That the Grinch made a change which cries out for mercy.”
“He now sets an example. He like Ebeneezer –
You remember that crusty Dickensian geezer –“
“He shows we can change, we can all make amends
And that,” said O’Toole, “is what makes people friends.”
“If we now lock him up, why, we’d send the wrong sign.
We should show that forgiveness can help people shine.”
And the Grinch’s eyes misted. He knew it was true.
And the judge even sniffled, ‘cause he knew it, too.
There is nothing like kindness to set hearts alight,
Forgiveness is better than vengeance, all right.
And the Whos on the jury, they most all applauded,
And even McBurney smiled wryly and nodded.
For in Whoville they know, that no matter what season
Forgiveness’s in fashion, it’s the very best reason,
To give others the benefit of every doubt,
And to let anger go, do not cry, do not pout.
For the mercy you show in the depths of your heart
Will return many-fold, it is state of the art.
Let compassion reign, and let’s let joy abound
And not just at Christmas, but all the year-‘round.