“Aghhhhh, no you don’t!! What do you think you’re doing? Don’t even think about taking that book out! You’ll have to go through me if want to try that!” Piney screamed like an excited chimpanzee as he saw the human hand reach for a book in his care. He arched his eyebrows high and drew in a deep breath to hold as he squeezed himself flat and tight against his coveted copy of “The Innocents Abroad ”. “Why don’t they ever listen to me?”
“Because you’re a bookend and you’re trying to talk to humans.” Spiney answered.
“You just watch it. Are you trying to call me a blockhead again? Because I’m not going to take it.” Piney would have shaken a finger at his partner, but he didn’t have a finger to shake, so he just stood motionlessly holding his guard instead.
“No, I’ve never called you a blockhead, we’re both made of the same material. (The part used to make me is just a little more flexible). Relax. What’s the harm? The human just wants to read. Now look what you’ve caused,” Spiney answered.
The fingers and thumb of the human hand tried to squeeze between the books to pull its choice free. No luck. The hand yanked Piney backward good and hard. He fell over; so did most of the books on the shelf.
“Hey, that was uncalled for!” Piney whined.
“I tried to warn you,” Spiney said.
“Yeah, well what makes you so smart?” Piney asked.
The hand picked up Piney, accidently knocking him against the shelf as it tried to put him back, then slid him into position and gave him a quick whack to insure proper placement.
“Well, I don’t know about that,” Spiney answered. “I think I’ve heard a saying somewhere about if you have to hold something so tight, maybe it’s not really yours. ”
“Give me a second, will ya, I’m seeing a few stars here.” Piney used his books for support - just for a moment.
Another hand descended on the shelf.
“No, get away, get away, get away! Haven’t we been vandalized enough?” Piney jumped to full alert. He dug himself in and braced hard against the books that remained.
The hand yanked him out. He tumbled to the floor and made a loud crash. The books thudded against each other as they fell domino-fashion on the shelf.
The human’s hand groped around on the floor absently feeling for Piney as its eyes scanned the fallen books for the one it wanted. The human pulled the book out and plunged Piney back into place.
“I don’t know how much more I can take, but I’ll fight to the end!” Piney exclaimed. Then he slumped, exhausted, against his books.
“Sure you will,” Spiney encouraged. “But think about it. Is it really your job to keep all the books here in perfect order and in perfect condition? Isn’t that kind of sad?”
“How could that be sad? I’m taking care of them.”
“Are you?” Spiney asked. “They’re aging either way. Is your way making them better?”
“Oh yeah! I’ve got you there!” Piney cried loudly as he was pulled from the books again. “My way,” he screamed, “definitely does more to preserve the books!”
“Ah, my friend,” Spiney answered calmly. “My way does more to preserve the humans."
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