Allistair’s travelling library was looking neglected.
For those who frequented the library on a regular basis, the problem was a disagreement among the many volumes.
Allistair had done a brilliant job over the years transporting his library from one location to another, and the planting of a tree in the centre gave the library a bit of charm.
Ahead of time posters would appear around the town announcing the library’s return and with hours of business displayed everyone knew where and when it would be.
This time the library and Allistair had stayed a little longer than expected. This was because Allistair had suffered a toothache and had taken himself to the dentist in a nearby town.
The library, therefore, was unattended for a time and Allistair knew with trepidation that was not a good idea.
The library had a history. It was not a good history, as history was not something most of the volumes embraced. Their self-centred nature led them to believe they deserved to be read before any other text.
The romantics, a stuck up lot looked down on anything, not to a standard they approved of, which in reality was most modern literature apart from a few authors like Peter Carey whom they thought intellectually their equal.
The modernists, they referred to as cheap toilet paper as they argued modern novels were not a patch on their academic and stylised selves.
The modernists would in turn yawn and say the Romantics were proficient at two things, producing unenviable volumes of verbal guff and generating the desire to sleep half way through any chosen sentence.
The Jane Austen’s, for example, took exception to the JK Rowlings’. They had been exchanging snide comments ever since Allistair placed the entire Harry Potter series on the shelves opposite them. To exacerbate matters the Rowling’s books were in demand, their borrowing stats going through the roof while the Romantics sat silent gathering more and more dust.
The Austen’s, believe it or not, had always been a feisty lot. In a fit of anger, they propelled a Keats Anthology across the library into Volume Two of the Potter series, The Chamber of Secrets, causing the said volume to retreat into its bookshelf and call upon its siblings to defend it. They ignored the Chamber, believing it junior to the series and faced off to the Austen’s. Another blow this time a copy of Dante’s Inferno, signalling their intent, struck a serious blow to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This was a mistake as from the Harry Potter in question a bolt of lightning was launched across the space striking a dozing copy of Sense and Sensibility, already a super sensitive introverted text in itself, and leaving a very untoward scar across its spine. In all righteousness, the Austen’s were deeply affronted by this, the entire library descended into a free for all.
Insults and accusations rained down from all levels of the library as random volumes fell upon each other. The entire “Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune” crashed into the furniture sending it flying in many directions.
Through it, all the tree stood stoically as various texts bounced off it. It saw red though when a copy of CM Bark’s, The Bark Maketh the Tree, collided with him. That the tree thought was sacrilege.
While chaos reigned within the library, the tree reflected on its purpose in life. In the beginning, it was a quaint novelty, a point of reference, a convenient spot to sit by and pour over a selected tome.
As the tree had grown, it became more and more self-conscious. It had grown to proportions no one anticipated, and there had been suggestions of late as to what Allistair might do with it. The tree feared being removed permanently and its days of trying to look inconspicuous were well over.
His only friend, within the library, was the globe who during the ruckus sought shelter beneath the Memoirs, ever hopeful of being selected oozed an air neediness to anyone passing by.
When Allistair returned, his state of feel-good was shattered. He was saddened to see the mess the Library was in. He admonished the Romantics reminding them that their days were numbered and suggesting their survival may depend upon their getting along with everyone else as they were not as high and mighty as they perceived themselves to be.
Taking his green wand from inside his coat pocket and looking to see no one was watching he waved it around the library and immediately order was restored.
Wandering over to his friend the tree he tapped its truck with his wand and watched as the tree shrunk to a more manageable size.
‘There,’ he thought, ‘all is as it should be.’
And smiling at the Harry Potter’s said, “And you thought Dumbledore was a great wizard?”