The Good, the Bad and the Library


It has been a quiet morning in our local library. Eager for my lunch I watch the hands of the clock move slowly around to twelve. Only three minutes before I can dive into that large piece of coffee cake. Salivating at the prospect, with one eye still on the clock, I wait for Sally to return and relieve me. She is always late. I sigh. I hate my job sometimes. Excitement, I crave excitement.

At last, the door opens, but it is not Sally. It’s a Mechanical Cowboy, a CowBot. Human size. Hat, chaps and boots. Wonder where his horse is, I think. As he nears the counter, I see that one arm is broken and I hear the faint aftermath of music with every stuttering step he takes.

Excuse me ma’am do you have a book on Robot Repairs??

I’ll… um… just look…. I say, not nearly as cool as I’d like to be.

What is wrong with me, I berate myself as I type in the request. Only a moment ago I had been yearning for excitement! Now, with a CowBot needing my help, I’m wavering.

I type mechanical repairs + robot into the search engine. One entry pops up. In the stacks. At the very bottom. In books waiting for repair.

Downstairs, I say to the CowBot. I’ll have to go down into the basement and see what condition it’s in. It’s down there for repair.

As I speak, he turns to the front door as if listening for something. I look over but can’t see a thing besides the door.

Can you hear it?? He says cocking his head to one side like an adorable German Shepherd pup.

No, I say, but that’s not quite the truth. As the words leave my lips, I can hear a faint sound of shooting. Pop. Pop. In the distance.

Is that…. Gunfire?? I say.

Yes, the CowBot answers, they are getting closer.

He gestures with his good arm. We’d better go find this book. I need my arm repaired, pronto.

He follows me down the stairs. With each step I hear the faint sound of a famous tune, but can’t quite place it.

The book sits in the middle of the repair table.  The air hums with the same tune as the CowBot emits. I find myself humming along as he thumbs through the repair book.

Aha!!!! He rips out the page. Asks if we have a back door.

I show him the fire exit.

As he leaves, he says, I’m in your debt ma’am and doffs his hat.

Behind us, I hear the library door blown off its frame.

Take me with you!

He doesn’t say no. He doesn’t say yes either. He merely looks me in the eye.

Please. I say.

He turns and walks off.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

I hear the tune.

Follow me, he says.

And I do.









Copyright october 2019



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