Monday, June 23, 2014

Three stories

People bring me stories. This surprises me a bit because I think of myself as going around constantly telling stories. But no, I guess it's not constantly, because, along with all my many blog post ideas, jokes, and scattered observations, I find bits of other peoples' stories in my pockets, or in my brain, or, let us say, in my beak. Clearly some people are managing to tell me stories, and I, magpie, bring them all back here and make my endless nest, bit by bit.

Yes, you are in a warren of nests, a maze of nests, and birds are being born all around you. Little birds. Can you hear them?

I will tell you three stories now. The reason I am telling them all in a group is not because they are too slight to support individual blog posts of their own, but rather because they came natively in their own odd little group. Each story appeared in one day, indeed in a single one hour period, and though I have not sussed out a common theme, they are mysteriously magnetized, by their shared birth, into a group. They are triplets, though by no means identical ones.

1. I have the slip of paper in my pocket now. It was a request for information that one of our librarians received. The librarian gave me the piece of paper, a memento if you will because we had discussed this person's requests in the past. The patron wanted information on, or an example of "An explosive or dangerous mechanical part". That's the whole of what my little piece of paper says "An explosive or dangerous mechanical part". This particular patron comes in and her requests are all like this. "I need an example of a common liquid that burns or poisons when you touch it." You know, that sort of thing.

When I thought about telling you about this request, and about this patron's other strange requests, all of them requested with dead emotions and passionless earnestness, I thought you might worry. I wondered how to explain this person to you in a way that would let you know that no one is likely to be in any danger.

I came up with this:

Whenever there is some horrible murder or bombing or shooting spree and the villain is identified, people who knew the villain, or were merely vaguely acquainted with the villain, never say this: "I had no idea that this person was capable of operating a gun trigger."

2. Okay, this one is my story. I was at the desk, in between collecting stories. A librarian came up and gave me a lost card that someone turned in to her. Following procedure I put a note on the patron's record and I put the card in our lost card file. I helped a few more people. A regular patron with a bushy white beard came up to me at the desk. "I found someone's card." He said, pointing back to where he found it and handing me the card.

It was the same card!

3. My co-worker, who was working the front desk with me, said she didn't have any good stories. She only had other peoples' stories. She then told me a very good story that was her own.

She was sitting on the balcony of her apartment with her husband. They live on the river! And they saw a big eagle on a branch because bald eagles love the river. It was raining and the eagle was wet and majestic. Then, as they were admiring the glorious bald eagle it shuddered as if in preparation for some momentous action. They were thinking that the eagle would maybe spread its wings to take flight and a scattered stream of crystal rain water would fly in a great spray into the air as the great bird lifted heavily into the sky.

Instead the eagle took a big poop.

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