Have you seen this star of page and screen? Short, talkative, beloved. Great stump speaker. Answers to “The Lorax.” This statue has reportedly been stolen — in Wickersham fashion — from the La Jolla, Calif., home of Theodor Geisel's 90-year-old widow, reports the U-T San Diego. (AP /U-T San Diego)


IT IS NOW THE TREES who must speak for the Lorax.

The mustachioed, mono-logged monologuist has gone up and missing — lifted not by the seat of his own pants, but apparently by more nefarious hands.

The Lorax — the pro-environment star of Dr. Seuss’ beloved book and this year’s hit animated film — has been hoisted and heisted from his natural habitat at the La Jolla estate of Theodor Geisel’s 90-year-old widow, Audrey, who last saw the two-foot, 300-pound bronze statue Monday. So said the San Diego police on Tuesday.

And so reports the U-T San Diego as dead-tree journalists help spread word about the apparent theft of arguably the greatest stump speaker in eco-politics.

“We don’t know if it’s just a prank because of the recent release of the movie or if someone thinks it’s going to be worth a buck or two because it’s a lot of (metal) ... ,” said San Diego police Lt. Andra Brown, according to Reuters. “The Geisel family is just asking that it be returned and they don’t want to pursue the matter any further. Which is not to say the police won’t.”

Based on evidence, the lifters of the Lorax may have rolled the statue from the Geisel garden and down the hillside property to an access road, police said. The Lorax statue is one of two made by the stepdaughter of Theodor Seuss Geisel, who died in 1991.

Here’s hoping the Lorax soon speaks for the thieves — from the safely returned spot of his “Unless”-inscribed stump. And safe to say that these Lorax lifters — if they actually ever read the book — completely missed the moral of the story.

Either that or their thievin’ hearts are three sizes too small.