Months, years passed. I still didn’t have my books and the trail was getting cold. There are times when the path ahead is not clear. Do I “let it go” or do I push ahead? If I take the latter course of action, on what principle do I base my pursuit? If the former course of action is taken, isn’t the question essentially the same? On what principle do I base my inaction, my passivity? It’s not as if librarians are not brave – we are. But we’re generally on the shy side of grandstanding. Librarians can, if provoked, become downright fierce when their books disappear or their patron’s privacy rights are threatened. We can also become obsessed, which isn’t altogether a good or healthy thing; it’s just the way it is and those of you who love your libraries have obsessive librarians to thank for defending the institution. And, for some doggie and librarian comic relief, here is a limerick my sister wrote, not knowing that more than 30 years later I would ask her permission to include it in a blog posting about the law, the FBI, missing books, and of course, shaggy dogs:
In fact, the town’s octogenarian
She lived with a dog,
In a house made of logs
And they both seemed to be vegetarian.This lady was still very spry
When books were lost she was wont to decry
Doggone it to hell!
You know very well,
Losing a book is like letting it die.Oh no, the patrons would say very sadly
We didn’t on purpose act badly,
We too suffer loss
Please don’t get so cross
Then they’d look hangdog and want to leave madly.The truth of the matter was plain
The patrons tried doggedly to explain
The books would disappear
Right into thin air
As if spirited to some higher plane!
By this time the librarian had had it,
Books didn’t disappear just by magic.
Yes reading, she admitted,
Can transport those fitted,
But this dogmatic mystery is tragic!
I mean to track down all those books
Be they dog eared or lacking in looks
I know words are lasting
And my pooch has been fasting
Perhaps he can sniff out the crooks.
She knocked at the dog house quite firmly
Expecting to be greeted warmly
She first heard a growl
Followed by a mean howl
And there stood her pooch glaring stormily.
Her dog looked as fierce as a brontosaurus
And out of his mouth trailed a thesaurus!
Behind him lay spines
Of Shakespeare and G. Stein
The librarian had never seen damage like this!
She shrieked and ran for the dog-catcher
Forgetting to lock the door after her
But the mutt was too busy
Making short work of Two Cities
That he didn’t look up or run after her.
In the end, the vet shook his head
It wasn’t maliciousness, he said
Your dog wanted to be
A librarian, you see,
So he devoured books and was well-fed.
To be continued ….