Sunday, September 2, 2018
Read to the animals
While it's not a particularly original program, our "Read to the Animals" sessions in the children's room have been very successful with our patrons, especially the children, who, of course, they are intended for. We've had a big Mastiff called Otis that I was very fond of, but he died. We went through a lot of replacements, many of them small dogs, and a few odd short termers like a pygmy rabbit and, absurdly, a pygmy pony, which seems like a joke but isn't. Currently we have a wonderful dog called Fluff or Fuzz or something, and he is very mellow and very soft, and ever so fluffy. Not a notable dog person I nevertheless take the time to pet him once a week if I can, usually when he's on his way out on Tuesday night. Did I mention that he is soft and ever so fluffy?
We also have a higher profile "event" version of "Read to the Animals" where a specific book is read with a thematically related animal in attendance. These are super popular and have to take place in the big Community Program Room. We had a basket of bunnies for a reading from Watership Down. A piglet named Babe was brought in for a reading from, yes, Babe, by Dick King-Smith. The Raptor Center brought in an actual live owl for a reading from a picture book called Owl Moon. That one was packed. The only one so far that wasn't so successful was Charlotte's Web for which we had brought in a boxful of spiders and a rat.
It might have gone better to just have asked the pig back.
Actually I made up all that stuff about the "event" version of "Read to the Animals", though it's not a bad idea. The pygmy pony visits mentioned further above was totally real though, and it delights me to say that we have had a horse in our library. Of course the idea that kids would read to a horse was ridiculous. Horses like movies.