The Library’s Tale

Once upon a time, there was a library. The library had three floors, each with its own distinct personality, although the decor was very similar in all. There were wooden tables, wooden chairs, some beanbags and many shelves of books upon books.

The library liked its function and enjoyed being useful to people. It knew that it was even a comfort to many, and that felt good. But there were two periods of time, three weeks each, that came every year, and which the library dreaded.

These were the weeks when its doors remained open twenty-four hours a day. Most of the time, it got at least seven hours of peace and quiet every night, and while its doors were shut it could breathe in peace and maybe even nap, allowing the books to whisper among themselves and the wooden tables and chairs to stretch their legs and take strolls up and down the aisles before becoming stationary again in the morning.

None of that could happen during those three week periods, though. Instead, the tables and chairs cramped up from the need to stay in the same place for days; the books got bored and sometimes allowed the humans to hear them whispering (which was dangerous); and the library itself, poor thing, began to smell a little bit, to become shabby around the edges, and to feel pale and sickly. Worst of all, though, it had to hear the way the people inside it criticized it, talked about how much they were sick of it and hated it. The library always felt deeply hurt and wounded by this, even though it knew, rationally, that the people didn’t actually mean it; they were only taking their frustration out on the library because they didn’t know it was sentient.

So the library took it, year after year, but it always dreamed of one day allowing itself to expel – with a violent shove out the door – all those spiteful people who decided to curse it for their own need for all-nighters.

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