Friday, October 19, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Little Levi’s Library Adventures
Once upon a time, in a little town by the name of Tristansumi, there lived a little boy by the name of Levi. He was a very little boy. The littlest boy to ever have lived in Tristansumi, in fact. Perhaps the littlest boy to ever have lived—no one had ever left Tristansumi, so who could know for sure?
Little Levi loved to read. Every day after getting off the school bus, instead of going to daycare he would hang out at the public library. With his books. And he would read. And read. And read just a little bit longer. By the age of seven he’d read the entire fiction, children’s, fantasy, biography, sci-fi, and historical fiction sections. By the age of ten, he’d completed all non-fiction books. But there was one section Little Levi refused to read. One section he just couldn’t bring himself to even browse.
Romance. Little Levi had never laid hands on a romance book. Now, don’t think Little Levi wasn’t interested in the subject. Oh, he most definitely was beyond intrigued by it. But he couldn’t bear to be seen with a romance book in his hands—no, especially not with Nelly Higumbothum the librarian around! Nelly Higumbothum was the meanest, ugliest, smelliest, rudest, most disgusting girl in Tristansumi. She was short, and well, more than “full-figured”—her hair was longer than half her body and her feet stuck out to the sides when she (very rarely) walked. She smelled like sweat and rotten soy beans mixed together times ten! And Little Levi would rather shovel goat droppings for the next eight years of his life than touch one of Nelly Higumbothum’s romance novels. You see, romance novels were all Nelly would read. She loved the romance section, and she told Little Levi if ever she found out he bent a page or even misplaced a book, she would give him hundreds of dollars worth of late fees on his library account, and maybe even eat his library card right in front of his face.
Today was the day Levi had nothing left to read at the library except for the romance books, and he was on his way there, sitting in the school bus and staring out the window, wondering just what-in-Tristansumi he was going to do.
“I have nothing to look forward to in life,” he said, for had already read every book he could. He laid down on his bus seat (it was the perfect size for Little Levi) and sighed.
Just then, there was a “SCRREEEEEECH!” and a “BAH-AAH-AHH” and a “THUD!” and a “Whoa-OOOOHHH!! UGH! UGH! UGH! UGH! UGH!”
“What in Tar nation is wrong with this blasted town!? A man can’t even do his darned job without some dingbat herd of lamb chops trying to stampede the doggone road!” said an outraged Danny. There had happened to be a herd of sheep that had escaped from Jip’s Barn and wandered into the road, causing poor Danny the bus driver to attack his brakes, which in turn caused poor Little Levi to fly off his bus seat, smack onto the floor and roll all the way to the front of the bus, getting whacked all the way by each pair of feet in front of him.
Little Levi groaned, opening his eyes to see many other eyes peering over the bus seats at him.
“You alright there little buddy?” Danny said.
“Just fine,” said Little Levi as he crawled up onto his new seat.
“I wonder if he’ll ever get any bigger,” he heard someone whisper. But as people started back into their normal gossip, Levi noticed who he was sitting next to. It was Rina Calvin, one of those up-and-coming most popular girls in school. She normally sat at the back of the bus with the high-schoolers, even though she was still just an eighth-grader. Levi had hardly noticed she was there—she had her head turned so all he could see was her dark fro. He stared into the blackness for a while, probably still recovering from the tumble.
“What chu lookin’ at?” Rina said, back still turned.
Little Levi bounced in his seat. “Nothing.” He looked down at his dangling feet. “What are you looking at?”
“Daaanng kid. Why don’t you just shut up?” she said, finally turning to give him a look.
“Okay.” And Levi stared straight forward. He was stunned to see her blood-shot eyes and wet cheeks. He had just witnessed the tears of Rina Calvin.
The bus pulled up at his stop—the library.
“Well, hope you have a good day,” Levi said and hopped out of his seat and off the bus. “See ya, Danny.”
As Little Levi walked towards the library, he wasn’t really sure what he was going to do. Since he couldn’t read the romance books, he thought he’d try to ask Nelly if they had, by chance, gotten any new books in recently. He entered the library with a deep breath (he hated talking to Nelly Higumbothum because her breath always smelled like plaque, and she had a tendency to unknowingly gleek on him), but as he approached the front desk, there was an entirely different figure there than the round hairy disaster that would usually describe Nelly.
“Yippee! Nelly is gone! This is the best day of my life! My first chance ever to read a romance novel,” thought Levi. If Little Levi was a book-worm, he was preparing himself for a dirt feast!
Just then Levi heard someone entering the library—and Little Levi’s heart sank like a paratrooper without a parachute.
“Nelly is back to secure my doom. Of course she would never trust her romance books to another employee,” he thought. But much to Little Levi’s surprise and relief, it wasn’t Nelly at the door but Rina! “That’s odd.” Levi thought. “I wonder why she chose to get off the bus here. From my evaluations, Rina is not a reading-type girl.” Little Levi was also a very intuitive little boy for a ten-year-old.
His attention turned back to the new librarian. The new librarian peered down at Levi. He was a lanky nerdy-looking fellow, but had a look of quirky happiness in his eyes. “Is there something I can help you with?”
“Yes, where is Ms. Higumbothum, the old librarian today?”
“Ms. Higumbothum? I’ve never met her. Someone just called me over at the library in Frockshire saying this library would need some help today. I was told there was a crisis in the family and the librarian was unable to come to work. My name’s
“Okay, thanks!” said Levi. And he took off across the room to the romance section. “Yay! I can read new books! I can read new books today! This is the best day of my life!” Little Levi thought, as he sped around a shelf of books. And of course, Little Levi was so excited, he didn’t look where he was going and smacked right into Rina.
“Boy, what chu think you’re doin! Are you crazay!?”
“Uh, sorry Rina. I just really wanted to go read.”
“You like reading? Daannng boy, you must be crazay!” she said, shaking her head. And she wandered off to a different section.
Little Levi spent the rest of the day reading. Hours passed, and he was just finishing his fifth book. “This truly is the best day of my life!” Little Levi thought as he closed the book. He looked at his watch. 8:50pm! The library was closing in ten minutes! “Oh shuckers! I don’t want to leave. The check out limit is only five books per account. Nelly will probably be back tomorrow and I won’t be able to read any new books ever again. It’s not fair. I just can’t accept this.” Then a heinous and very un-Levi thought entered Little Levi’s head. “I’ll just hide out! I can stay here all night, and no one will ever know!”
Little Levi grabbed a new book and climbed the shelf up to the very top and laid down flat on his back, grinning in his genius. A few minutes later, the lights shut off, and some doors shut and Little Levi was all alone in the library. He jumped off the book shelf and ran around in excitement. “This is going to be so much fun!” he chuckled. He went to the front desk with a stack of romance novels and found a little desk lamp he could read by. And he read. And read. And read just a little bit longer. Then his head fell to the desk and Little Levi was asleep in the library.
Little Levi awoke to a grunt and a burp and a gasp and then a growl and then the pain of being smacked over the head with a book. His fun was over. Nelly Higumbothum was back and fully prepared to torture him for his crimes.
Nelly didn’t even speak words; her rage would only come out in growls and other indiscernible language. Little Levi finally escaped after he had come to some level of awareness and fled through the library doors. He ran all the way home (his house was only a few blocks from the library). Just as he got home, his school bus arrived and Little Levi just hopped back on the bus—he didn’t feel like facing his parents anyway. The next stop was Rina Calvin’s house, and she chose to sit next to Levi on the bus.
“Have fun reading yesterday, Levi?”
“Yep! I did! What were you doing there yesterday anyway? If you don’t mind me asking.”
“Uhm. Well. My doctor said I’ve got this disease, right? I was just lookin’ at some books about it.” She looked at her hot pink Blackberry. “Yeah, I’m gonna go there again to do a little more research today.”
“Hey, maybe I can help you. I’ve read almost every book in the library.” So after school, Rina and Levi got off the bus together at the library, but Little Levi wouldn’t go inside.
“Uh, I can’t go in there anymore,” Little Levi said.
“The librarian hates me.”
“Uh, she hates everyone! C’mon!” Rina dragged Little Levi through the doors.
When Nelly Higumbothum saw Little Levi, heat rose to her face. She grabbed a box of pencils and threw them at Levi. She thundered towards him with a cart full of books and shoved it in his direction.
It was then at Rina gave her a piece of her mind.
“Woman! Why don’t you get a life? You got nothin’ better to do than bully a baby boy? You pathetic! Look atchu. You’re disgusting and fat and just rude. I don’t even know how you got this daaanng job. If you keep actin’ like this though, Imma make sure you lose it!”
As Rina continued to chew Nelly out,
“You!” Nelly stuck an ugly finger at
Nelly pounced onto
“That is just not how a person in a library should be behaving.” said
Little Levi and Rina looked at each other and smiled because
Nelly never returned to the library. In fact, she disappeared entirely from Tristansumi. Legend has it that she was too ashamed to come back to the library—not for the way she was acting of course. But that she lost a fight—with a scrawny college boy, no less! It is thought that she lives in a hut out in the forest, writing her own romance novels under a pen name, as to hide her true identity (and perhaps because no one could ever get published with a name like “Nelly Higumbothum”).
Little Levi and Rina continued with school and became almost best friends. Rina was able to raise Little Levi’s social status as much as she could, and he even got a date once for a middle school dance. Little Levi was able to educate Rina about her disease, which happened to be a rare form of late-adolescent invisible chicken pox, and she went to a good doctor who cured her.