Pre-school Bookworm

Back when I was younger my mind was a sponge absorbing all the words that I read at the library down the street from my church's pre-school. Every Thursday morning, because I was a morning preschool kid, no matter what weather, we walked down to the library. It was only a few blocks away from where the pre-school was, none the less for us little ones at the time, it was a huge walk, almost as if we were walking a marathon. This particular morning was cold and crisp. The mid October breeze was nipping my nose turning it pink. I was bundled up in the dark purple polka dot Columbia jacket my mom packed me. She knew that Thursdays were the day we took our walk down to the library, so she always packed extra warm attire. I was feeling electrified as I was standing in the classroom waiting for my teacher to bring the walking rope from the closet. I couldn't wait to begin our adventure to the place I loved going the most. There was a dainty blue rope, attached was smaller ropes with colorful handles, the rope was torn up and very rugged but the rainbowed colored handles were soft to the touch. We were assigned a color based on last name and for my luck I received green, which happened to be my favorite color. We were required to hold onto this rope all the way to the library. Our main teacher would stand in the front leading the rope, while our secondary teacher would stand at the tail end. The teacher would always give me the stop-fooling-around-look because I would tend to let go of the handle just to play around, and seek attention. I really enjoyed going to the library on Thursday mornings, the very big librarian man, as I used to call him, always picked the best books to read for us. He was short and a plump man, he would always wear plain colored button down shirts but with matching ties and socks to go with it. That particular day, he read us The Very Hungry Caterpillar. To add to the effect of the book, he wore a green swirled printed tie with matching green socks. For some odd reason as a little girl, I was into insects, so this book was right up my alley, and I was instantly intrigued. The very big librarian man seated the class on the colorful carpet. The carpet wasn't soft, it was clearly years old, with threads loose and dark stains. Nevertheless, I sat down ready for the book on the designated color and shape that we got from the rope. Finally the book began. The words this librarian was reading to me were mesmerizing to my adolescent brain. Pages were being flipped and I was so intrigued by every word flying at me. I was on edge, I never wanted this caterpillar book to end. The librarian man was most likely unsettled when the book finished and put it down just to find a very pale and petite girl staring at him, eyes wided so large you could see her bright blue eyes from across the carpet. The book blew my mind, I distinctly remember being in awe about this caterpillar book. After that day “Hungry Yummy Caterpillar” as I tended to call it, became my favorite book as a child. After the story time, we typically had time picking one book to bring home. I walked up to the very kind library man and asked if I was able to take “Hungry Yummy Caterpillar” home because I wanted to show my mom how “cool” it was. He chuckled, a very deep belly chuckle and nodded in agreement. Joy was flowing through my veins, to say I was thrilled was an understatement. I couldn't believe I was actually able to take this sensational book home with me. My teacher would carry a bag on our voyage to the library every week. On the way there she would carry our old books back to the library. On the venture back to our very small pre-school she would carry the new set of books. I skipped vigorously up to my teacher holding the bag and handed her my book. I was grinning from ear to ear like the Cheshire cat. She probably thought I picked a book quickly just to leave for our school faster, but the truth was, I was beyond excited to bring this book home to share with my parents and sister. My younger sister was always waiting for me on Thursday to come home with a new book to read, and I knew this one would soon be her favorite too. Nowadays, I read “Hungry Yummy Caterpillar” to my younger siblings. You can tell by the look on their pure smiles that they enjoy this book the way I did at their age. The laughter that fills the room before going to sleep at night after reading this book, makes the child in me fulfilled. Thankfully, to my enjoyment and theirs, we all bond over a book I loved long ago.

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Krister Axel

Music Blogger and Memoirist at CHILLFILTR.com

Ogdensburg, United States