100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

I Asked Shel Silverstein About the Meaning of Life . . .

*Knock* *Knock* *Knock*

Hello? Shel?

(Door swings open)

Shel Brood

Hey, Shel. Sorry to bother you. I know you’re brooding right now, but I was hoping you could answer a question for me.

Shel Brood

Shel? If you come on the deck and listen to my question, I promise I won’t make you sit in a chair. Manspread to you heart’s delight! What do you say?

Shel Deck

Thanks, Shel. Okay, the question is pretty deep, but I know you are a deep thinker.

Shel Skeptical

What? Oh, you’re going to pretend like you aren’t? Don’t pull this false modesty stuff on me. I’ve read The Missing Piece.

So here’s my question . . . what is the meaning of life?

Shel Skeptical 2

What?! Shel! I’m serious. I thought you might know. Do you know?

Shel Skeptical 2

Do you?

Shel Skeptical 2

Silent treatment, eh? How about I shout out a few possibilities and you put on a ridiculous fur coat if I’m right?

Love!

Shel Skeptical

Freedom!

Shel Skeptical

Happiness!

Shel Skeptical

Creativity!

Shel Smile

Creativity? That’s it?

Look at me in a way that makes me feel special if that’s it.

Shel Listen

Huh. I would have guessed “love”. You sure it isn’t that?

Shel Brood

Okay, I get the message. Thank you, Shel.

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About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.

Comments

  1. THE only photo above that has any resemblance to Shel is the one holding his hands as if praying.
    He was a kind, gentle, giving soul.

  2. 25 years ago this weekend we lost two young boys, their fathers, and the family dog in a boating accident during our annual fishing derby. Shel, a fellow islander, responded to the tragedy by quietly and without any fanfare presenting our school with a 10′ hand carved tree, the boys’ names making up the two main branches.
    The tree still holds a place of honor in our school; as do the boys and, of course, Shel Silverstein.