Monday, January 1, 2018

Gertrude Fernbrook, Forest Librarian and Keeper of the Sacred Stories, Reads stories to the Trees

Here is an illustration I did recently of a book-loving forest person.

Gertrude Fernbrook is the forest librarian and she takes her duty with the utmost seriousness. Without her, the forest would be with out words and without stories. She collects her books from antique shops and used book stores in the city. She fills her satchel with dog-eared mysteries, periodicals splattered with coffee stains, true life adventures and biography's of great people.  She'll find old magazines about the moon. She'll bring to the woods stories about the sea. She collects young adult books about best friends.

While she is sleeping in her outdoor library, the forest creatures will come to check out the books. The books will be missing for a couple of weeks and then they return. She will sometimes wake up to see a raccoon tail disappearing into a dark and find her copy of 'The Man in the Iron Mask' missing. She will hear the clatter of deer's hoofs against the forest ground and find that now that all her Laura Ingles Wilder books are gone. But all her missing books always come back. And she knows that the forest creatures appreciate the stories. They have a craving for stories. Since some of the creatures are too shy even to come to her library in the night, she decides to start reading to them. She goes into the middle of the woods, stands on a stump, and reads aloud. She can tell they are listening. The birds in the branches, the rabbits in the warrens just beneath her, the bugs on the leaves, the owls resting in hollow tree trunks. They are listening with rapt attention. They must find out what will happen next. 

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