Tue. Jan 25th, 2022

One day, amongst the many dust-covered shelves of the Francis Harvey Green Library, emerged a small cluster of dust particles. This cluster floated so easily with the flip of a page or shift of a human’s body that it soon began gathering more and more dust, growing exponentially in size. By the time it was the size of a quarter, it had developed the ability to think, and thus became the little dust bunny of FHG.

Within the first few days of the dust bunny’s existence, it had already seen and done so much. Students constantly walked by it, causing breezes that blew it up, up, up onto higher shelves. In this new location, it found books with pictures and symbols. It would squeeze itself between the pages and find even more images and words, and they were all so colorful, the dust bunny could not hold back its curiosity. It was here the dust bunny began to learn to read. The clever little dust bunny perked its light grey ears up above the page, taking in the commentary from students in the nearby seating section. Soon enough, the little dust bunny had developed the ability to understand language, and it learned it loved to read, especially about people.

Eager to learn more, the bunny searched for more books, moving with the breezes of students and staff, and it found some a few shelves down titled “Fiction.” The bunny read dozens upon dozens of stories, never ceasing to be amazed by the excitement of worlds outside the confines of the library shelves. After finishing the last book on the third shelf over, it felt a surge of inspiration. It would explore the worlds outside these shelves, and it could even explore the world outside the library!

Thrilled by this venture, the little dust bunny caught the next breeze, but this time, the bunny accidentally latched onto a student’s shoe. The bunny was not at all prepared for the speed of its transportation, and it would have screamed if it were able. It heard a loud noise from somewhere to its left and nearly jumped off the shoe, but it remained attached. It tried and tried, but it couldn’t find a way to detach itself. Giving up, it looked around and realized this student was heading up the stairs. The dust bunny no longer wanted to scream, refilled with the joy of seeing more and more books. With each step, though, the bunny grew sick. The bunny lost track of how many floors up the student went, but not long after, the student stopped and sat in a comfy looking chair. Here, the dust bunny was able to leave the shoe and its student behind, following the drafts of the large room in search for more knowledge.

Hours later, the little bunny had explored almost half the shelves on this floor, accumulating more and more dust particles as it did. Before long, the bunny became the size of a human fist. Better able to control its movements due to its heavier weight, it watched the students as they walked through and prepared itself to leap off the shelves to catch the breeze. The bigger dust bunny did not mind its constant change in location, eventually getting used to the constant motion, for it loved to browse the various sections and floors by latching onto a passerby’s shoe or even floating through the ventilation system, which it had found completely by chance. It also began using words that it had learned by squeezing between the pages of hundreds of books and even dictionaries to describe the students it saw throughout the library. It often saw tired students take naps in various chairs throughout the building, and today was no different. A female student a few feet away settled into a chair and soon dozed off. The dust bunny pondered for a minute what it must be like to sleep, for it had no need. It looked back to the books lining the surrounding shelves and shrugged, going back to its quest for knowledge.

Two dozen or so books later, the bigger dust bunny noticed something odd. In all its days in the library, it had never seen students walking so quickly and in such larger groups. It was like everyone was in a rush to get out. Sensing something was wrong, the bunny moved to the back of a shelf and leapt with all its might onto the backpack of a fleeing student, sending a large cloud of dust with it. The dust immediately joined with the bunny’s form, and it grew even more than before. The bunny could barely take this in, though, for it focused all its might on holding onto the backpack. In the corner of its vision, the bunny noticed a grey cloud spreading across the library’s ceiling. The bunny would cry if it could, for it knew that smoke probably meant something bad for all the books it had and had not read. The bunny barely had time to register this sadness, though, before it found itself nearing the exit doors. Its ears perked up once more as it remembered its goal from the first floor, the goal it would finally realize. It was about to explore the outside world.

Rebecca Kelley is a second-year English major with a minor in creative writing. RK905058@wcupa.edu

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