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Strings on their fingers

September 5, 2009

Scene: Elementary School Library. Harriet is working the checkout desk. AJ’s friend M walks up to the counter.

Harriet: Hi, M. What can I do for you?

M: Do you have any books that show you how to do things like this? [M twists his hands into alarming finger yoga positions] And then you can make pictures with them?

Harriet: [comprehension slowly dawning]. Oh! You mean like making shadow pictures?

M: Yeah!

Harriet: I bet we do. Why don’t you try looking up “shadow play” in the computer and see what you find.

[M disappears and Harriet continues working; A few minutes later, M comes back.]

M: I can’t find this book. [shows Harriet a piece of paper on which he’s written a call number]

Harriet: Let’s see if we can find it together.

[A quick trip to the stacks reveals a book that has pictures of people making shadow pictures, but not much in the way of instructions.]

Harriet: This isn’t really what you’re looking for, is it?

[M shakes his head sadly.]

Harriet: I’m just sure we can find something. You know what has good instructions about shadow puppets? The Dangerous Book for Boys.

M: I have that book at home!

Harriet: You do? Good.

M: Yeah. I made a bow and arrow out of it.

Harriet: You did? Did it work?

M: Well, not really.

Harriet: What happened?

M: It just kind of fell on the ground.

Harriet: Yeah, it’s not really supposed to do that, is it.

M: No.

[Harriet and M return to the computer and find a couple of more call numbers in a different section. Harriet hands M two books and he sits down on a stool in the stacks to check them out. Harriet returns to the desk. A few minutes later, M is back with his two books on shadow play and a long piece of thin ribbon tied in a loop.]

M: Do you have any books that can show you how to do this? [He takes the ribbon and tries to imitate string games.]

Harriet: You mean cat’s cradle?

M: That’s cat’s cradle? [voice gets quiet]. But that’s for girls!

Harriet: It’s for everyone. It’s really fun and I know just where to find a book on that. It was right next to the books you were just looking at.

[M pulls the book off the shelf and leafs through it.]

M: Wow! You can really do that with this? That’s so cool!

Harriet: It is cool. You come back and show me after you practice, okay?

M: Okay. Are you sure it’s not just for girls?

Harriet. Definitely not.

M: Good.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. September 5, 2009 11:33 am

    Harriet, I think you have the makings of a librarian . . .

  2. September 5, 2009 2:33 pm

    me too.

  3. Eleanor permalink
    September 5, 2009 2:51 pm

    Well done.

  4. crankygirl permalink
    September 5, 2009 4:23 pm

    that’s awfully cute!

  5. September 5, 2009 6:55 pm

    or a diplomat

  6. freshhell permalink
    September 6, 2009 7:50 am

    Ha. Yeah, you don’t want any of those girl cooties on your fun. Hee.

  7. Peppypilotgirl permalink
    September 6, 2009 8:49 pm

    Or both a librarian and a diplomat…

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