It was a dreary day in the middle of March. The sun was just peeking up over the clouds as it announced the beginning of a new day.
A woman was in a room all by herself. The lights were on in one room of an otherwise dark building. A sign on the outside read “Public Library.” She hummed, that woman, in her soft shoes, her colorful leggings, and her long sweater. Her gray hair was messy but pinned up on the top of her head. She held a quiet smile. In her hand she held a pair of scissors and was cutting open the tape on a brand-new box.
Upon slicing open the box, a barrage of whispers emerged. Whispers heard only to those who speak the language called “book.”
“I’m a mystery, can they solve me?”
They all sounded in one excited chorus of hopes of who would be checked out first.
“I know I will,” announced a rather large book of dinosaurs. “All the kids love dinosaurs, and I have so many great pictures!”
“No way,” cried a book that told the story of a far-off land where the princess was being chased by dragons. “It will be me! They will want to see how the story ends! My pictures are so bright, and I have glitter!”
They went on and on about who would be taken off the shelf first and who was more colorful and interesting. The woman smiled as she put each book on a cart and nodded in agreement on some story of adventure or the magic of poems and verses.
As she grabbed the last one, all she heard was a soft, helpless sigh. “What is wrong little one?” Her eyes scanned a book with a picture of soft sleeping bunnies on the front with fur of white and gray.
The little voice almost wept. “No one is going to notice me. I am so small and quiet and not full of colorful pictures and huge adventures.”
“Oh,” the woman smiled and stroked her finger over a small fluffy-looking tale. “There is always room for a quiet, soft book about sleepy bunnies. Why, you are best to go to sleep with.” She gently patted the spine and took the small book over to her desk. “Now let’s see.” She put in a number from the back of the bunny book. “Oh! There you are!” She exclaimed and pointed to her computer screen. “There are so many of you out in library land, and that means you are loved!”
The little voice asked, “Are you sure?”
“Of course I am,” the woman gave a knowing look. “I have been doing this for a long time, and I can tell. Now let’s see where you are in our own little corner of library land.” She hit some keys and sang a soft song. A few clicks here, a few clicks there. Typing the label, she nodded, “We all need a name and a number so you can be found.”
The woman brought the book upstairs to add it to a shelf of new books, ready for the perfect match with a happy boy or girl.
The book got quiet, “Are you leaving me?” The small voice whispered. “I don’t know if I can be brave by myself. Can you stay?”
“Oh little one, you are in the best of company.” She nodded to the shelf of books who were all grinning in anticipation. “They will take care of you, and I know someone will pick you up soon. A little boy or girl will need a soft bunny story to help them go to sleep.” The book was not so sure, but nodded and wiggled into its place on the shelf.
As the woman slipped out of the room, she glanced back at the small bunny book, knowing it would not take long.
“Mommy, look!” A small girl tugged her mother’s hand to the shelf and laid her tiny fingers on the book. “A book of bunnies! Can I check it out? Can I please?”
With a nod of her head, the mom lightly lifted the book with the sleeping bunnies of soft white and gray fur.
The woman could not stop the grin growing across her face. She knew the bunny book would find love, and with that, she made her way back down to her office and began to find a home for the other voices that whispered to her from the cart.
“Patience, dears,” she smirked and got to work.
Bobbi Wood is a Montana native who moved to Grand Forks with her family in 2004 and quickly applied for a job at the library. She is married with four children, eight grandchildren, and a ginger cat named Puck. She always has a story in her head begging to be written. She loves to cook, sew, spend time with family, and read mysteries.