“The Pale Green Pants” by Dr. Seuss

baxterclare Baxter's Blog & News 12 Comments

As a kid this was my favorite Seuss story. As an adult, I appreciate it even more.

Happy Halloween. And remember, don’t be afraid to shake hands with the things that scare you! 

“The Pale Green Pants”  by Dr. Seuss









I was walking in the night

And I saw nothing scary.

For I have never been afraid

Of anything. Not very.

Then I was deep within the woods

When, suddenly, I spied them.

I saw a pair of pale green pants

With nobody inside them!

I wasn’t scared. But, yet, I stopped

What could those pants be there for?

What could a pair of pants at night

Be standing in the air for?

And then they moved? Those empty pants!

They kind of started jumping.

And then my heart, I must admit,

It kind of started thumping.

So I got out. I got out fast

As fast as I could go, sir.

I wasn’t scared. But pants like that

I did not care for. No, sir.

After that a week went by.

Then one dark night in Grin-itch

(I had to do an errand there

And fetch some Grin-itch spinach)……

Well, I had fetched the spinach.

I was starting back through town

When those pants raced around a corner

And they almost knocked me down!

I lost my Grin-itch spinach

But I didn’t even care.

I ran for home! Believe me,

I had really had a scare!

Now, bicycles were never made

For pale green pants to ride ‘em,

Especially spooky pale green pants

With nobody inside ‘em!

And the NEXT night, I was fishing

For Doubt-trout on Roover River

When those pants came rowing toward me!

Well, I started in to shiver.

And by now I was SO frightened

That, I’ll tell you, but I hate to….

I screamed and rowed away and lost

my hook and line and bait, too!

I ran and found a Brickle bush

I hid myself away.

I got brickles in my britches

But I stayed there anyway.

I stayed all night. The next night, too

I’d be there still, no doubt,

But I had to do an errand

So, the next night, I went out.

I had to do an errand,

Had to pick a peck of Snide

In a dark and gloomy Snide-field

That was almost nine miles wide.

I said, “I do not fear those pants

With nobody inside them.”

I said, and said, and said those words.

I said them. But I lied them.

Then I reached inside a Snide bush

And the next thing that I knew,

I felt my hand touch someone!

And I’ll bet that you know who.

And there I was! Caught in the Snide!

And in that dreadful place

Those spooky, empty pants and I

were standing face to face!

I yelled for help. I screamed. I shrieked.

I howled. I yowled. I cried,



But then a strange thing happened.

Why, those pants began to cry!

Those pants began to tremble.

They were just as scared as I!

I never heard such whimpering

And I began to see

That I was just as strange to them

As they were strange to me!


I put my arm around their waist

And sat right down beside them.

I calmed them down.

Poor empty pants

With nobody inside them.

And now, we meet quite often,

Those empty pants and I,

And we never shake or tremble,

We both smile and we say…”Hi!”

Comments 12

  1. Thank you for posting! I have been telling my husband and kids about this book, one of my favorites as a kid myself. I was thrilled to read it again here. Thanks again. :o)

  2. Amazing!!! My 8 yr old daughter randomly asked me tonight what my favorite Dr Seuss book was as a kid and I replied that I did not know but I knew it had a pair of Pale Green Pants in them. So I Googled it and it led me here! What a nice surprise. I got to reread something that was a fond third grade or so memory (and im pushing 40 now 🙁 ) Anyway, thanks for posting. Not only did I get a kick out of reading it again but my daughter really enjoyed my story and the book as well. But of course she had read it recently in school she said. Miss Smarty Pants!!!

  3. I was sooo glad to find this online! I couldn’t find my copy & had to read it to my daughters kindergarten class because it’s her favorite story & has been since the first time I read it to her when she was 2. I found that a tear came to my eye just to see her face light up when I found it here & read it to her again for the 100th time at least. Thanks so much!

  4. I was really pleased to find this when my friends and I were chatting about our memories of Dr Seuss books. The poster who highlights the importance of buying the original text/ creative copyright and infringement etc is right though- I have also bought the original book. I would highly recommend paying for the books because the illustrations are wonderful and these words deserve to be bought. However- I also think that these pages can be useful because they encourage people to go out and buy the books! 🙂

  5. Just this past weekend I took my almost-4 yr old granddaughter to a stage play at a local children’s theater; the play was a series of vignettes from the many stories of Dr. Seuss. We were able to identify all of the selections except the “green pants”. I had not, nor had she, read this story before!
    Thank you for posting – I have thoroughly enjoyed, and having read it myself will look at library or book store to add this to her collection of most-loved stories.

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  7. Thank you for publishing this. I needed the words but did not want to type them. There are exactly 22 stanzas and I have 22 students. Each one will read one stanza to complete the book for read-aloud to second grade. We have a pair of green pants that stand up by theirself. We can use this to talk about tolerence of someone (or something) that looks different.

  8. “What was I Scared Of” from Dr. Suesses The Sneetches and Other Stories is my favorite! My copy has glow in the dark pages! So much fun. Thanx for posting the text here, I needed it for my speech class. Yes, we get to give Dr. Suess excerpts for my College Speech Class. Be jealous.

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  10. Like everyone else here, often recall those “said those words—but I lied ’em.” Had forgotten the subsequent part about how the pants were just as scared. Thanks!!!!

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