It started as an ordinary day. Couldn't have been more ordinary, really. When I woke up that morning- the morning of the fifteenth of May- I had no idea that my life would change that very day, for the worse, but eventually for the better. Actually, first, it changed to confusing. Then hopeful. Then for the worse… and worse… and worse until it finally became wonderful. But that's beside the point. I'll get to all that later. So let's go back to that May 15th.

Sometime around noon, I was sitting in my living room- I think I was reading a book or something. My house wasn't much- just a little four-room tree house, with two of the rooms in the trunk, resting on top of each other, and the other two spreading out onto the branches, forming a sort of T shape. The tree itself was actually quite tall, though- one of the tallest in this area of the Jungle of Nool, actually. Whoever built the house must not have needed much space, but that was okay, because neither did I. From the outside, the tree's enormity compared to the small size of the house it contained made the whole thing look a bit awkward. I didn't mind, though. The decor was plain and simple with some slight touches of country-style, blue picnic-blanket-patterned throw pillows and all.

Anyway, I looked up from my book when I heard a loud "Humph!" I knew it must be the kangaroo who lived nearby. She'd always been rather disapproving and less than friendly. Wondering what was going on, I closed my book- oh, I remember now, I WAS reading- set it down, and opened my door to go outside and see. I couldn't get a single step out of my house, though, without being swept away by a huge crowd that had gathered. They were all shouting- all I could make out in the confusion was the word "fool." As the crowd moved forward, I was pushed to the back, and finally out of the sea of jungle residents. After I'd gotten my bearings- I hadn't expected this craziness when I walked out my door- I tried to peek through the crowd to see what the fuss was about. Having no luck, I took to the air. Now above the crowd, I saw that everyone was gathered around my next-door neighbor, an elephant named Horton. He seemed to be holding- was that a clover flower? Yes, yes it was. Everyone's voices were distinguishable now. "He's the biggest blame fool in the Jungle of Nool!" they chanted. I was suddenly angry. What had Horton done to make them talk about him that way? He'd never seemed the least bit foolish to me.

"Excuse me- what in the world is going on?" I asked the nearest crowd member. He kept taunting Horton, ignoring me completely. It wasn't the first time I'd been treated like I didn't exist, though, and it probably wouldn't be the last. Suddenly, I was pulled aside by a reporter in a strangely tall red-and-white-striped hat.

"What's your opinion on this elephant, miss? People on a speck of dust- could it be true, or is he simply a lunatic?" He shoved a microphone in front of my face.

"Um- I'm-" I stammered, caught off guard. "-I'm Gertrude McFuzz and I live right next door. He's never done anything crazy before… He's always been friendly, and loyal and kind- I just don't believe Horton's out of his mind."

The reporter rushed away and asked Mayzie, another bird who lived nearby, her opinion. "I'm Mayzie LaBird and I live in that tree," she said. "Enough about Horton- let's talk about me!"

"Yes, let's talk about her!" agreed three of Mayzie's friends, who referred to themselves as the Bird Girls.

The reporter did not, in fact, ask Mayzie any questions about herself. Instead he seemed to disappear as the rest of the jungle chanted, "Talking to a speck, talking to a speck, to a speck of dust!"

"I just have to save them, because, after all, a person's a person, no matter how small," I heard Horton say. That moved me so much that I joined in with him. "A person's a person, no matter how-"

"Biggest blame fool in the jungle of Nool!" everyone interrupted, shoving me roughly aside before I could finish. I stumbled, nearly falling face-first on the ground, but I barely noticed. I was in complete awe. Even with the scorn and ridicule of everyone else, Horton stuck by his beliefs, continuing to do what was right, to help people, even when no one would stand by him. It was truly noble. Amazing. Well, if Horton thought there were people on that speck of dust, then I wholeheartedly believed him. I watched him, feeling as if I were in a dream. My heart beat faster and faster. As the crowd finally dispersed, I decided I had to tell him how admirable I thought he was.

But then I stopped. I couldn't. I just couldn't.

I was much too plain to ever be able to impress someone as wonderful as that. He'd never notice me. I wasn't pretty, wasn't special. I was just an awkward little bird with a one-feather tail.


A/N: Thanks for reading! One thing- I know the time that would pass between Gertrude hearing the "Humph!" and her leaving her house would not be enough time for the whole crowd to gather. I just wanted her to be swept away by the crowd, not knowing what was happening. Sorry it doesn't make sense; I'll find a better way later.