The Librarian Angel

imageOnce this was the home of the town librarian and was surrounded by tidy flower beds and filled inside with books of all kinds. Now it’s a small cottage forgotten at the end of a country road, overgrown with scuppernong and honeysuckle vines.

When the librarian lived there she loved to read out loud. Every summer evening after supper she would sit in the garden with books and read to anyone who listened. The neighborhood children gathered there ritually to eat the cookies she’d baked during the day and listen to her tales.

Because of this, the children in the town grew up intelligent, open-minded and compassionate. The narrow minds populating many other isolated towns towns were not found there. The wise children were good stewards as adults and because of it their town thrived. The librarian read to the end of her days, now to the grandchildren of her original visitors.

Eventually, she reached the last page in her own tale. That evening, like any other, she read to the group of children sitting on blankets on her lawn. At the end of the book she closed it and thanked them all for listening. She asked them to thank their parents, and their parent’s parents as well.

“By letting me give to you, you have given to me,” she said, and she closed her book. The moon had risen, a silver medal in the sky, and the light of it shone a halo in her white hair. Each child went home that night and reported that the librarian had turned into an angel and their parents laughed and agreed, not knowing the children had seen the truth.

After she was gone, her house remained untouched except the books which were all given to the library in a special, dedicated room. No one had the heart to move into her cottage so the door was closed and locked and everything left as is – a monument to a woman whose small gift shaped a community.

Now the house sits empty, but it is not still. So many words have flowed through it, like incense, that they have permeated the walls with their presence. On summer evenings, when the moon is full and shines like a silver disc in the sky, come sit on a blanket in the garden and let yourself drift to dreams under the stars… and you will hear her reading still.

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is a third generation Uchinanchu and an award-winning American poet, author, and publisher with over 20 years of experience in newspaper journalism. Publisher of Space & Time magazine (est. 1966), a Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist and HWA Mentor of the Year for 2020.
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