Blob Thing didn't know quite how it had happened.
One moment he had been sitting at a table, drinking his cup of tea at the Literary and Philosophical Library. And then he must have fallen asleep. It was the middle of the day and Blob doesn't usually sleep in the day. It can't have been just any average kind of sleep either. This must have been the kind of deep and contented sleep that only occurs when surrounded by books.
Ah yes, the soporific effect of the printed page. It works in many ways. Some people fall asleep in front of any open book, bored into sleep by the words in front of them. Others just embrace the relaxation which comes from the songs sung by the pages themselves:
We are the dreamers and the keepers of the night.
We are the stories of sunsets and storms.
We tell of the fight between darkness and light.
We are the plays curiosity performs.
We are the lives of the writers in paper and ink.
We are the holders of all truths and of lies.
We balance the scales of thoughtless and doublethink.
We grant you peace and bring sleep to your eyes.
We evangelise, catechise, surprise and terrorise,
Talk of french fries, custard pies, exercise.
We propagandise, scandalise, hypnotise.
But we never would think to televise. Never, not ever.
Blob Thing slept. He doesn't know how long he slept for. The books washing over him in song, in word, in the beautiful colours of the imagination. Sleep Blob, sleep.
Then he woke with a start to see a giraffe standing facing him from the other end of the table. The giraffe was just standing there, motionless. He was smiling at Blob. It didn't look like a friendly smile. Blob yawned and rubbed his eyes. [No, don't ask how he rubbed his eyes when he hasn't got anything to rub them with. That's not relevant right now.] He looked at the giraffe. The giraffe looked back and smiled wider to reveal a gold tooth on one side and a large piece of leaf stuff on the other side of his mouth. This was not a giraffe who practised good oral hygiene.
Blob yawned again. The sleep had been wonderful and he had dreamed of cruising down a beautiful river with his creator. Winefride had been there too and they had all been eating a fabulous liquorice ice cream and watching the sun setting over a spectacular view of a mountain plateau. The dream would have been perfect had it not been for the inclusion of a seagull which kept pecking at Blob Thing's chest for some reason. Perhaps it had been the final squawk of the bird which had woken Blob.
He looked again at the giraffe who, apart from the change in smile, had not moved at all. And that's when Blob noticed it. The giraffe was holding Blob Thing's badge. His "Autistic" badge. His unique badge, made for him by his creator. The giraffe had stolen it. Blob shouted out "Thief!" The giraffe continued to stand there as if he were completely unworried, as if he knew that the staff of the library wouldn't even notice him there let alone apprehend him. The staff didn't even seem to hear Blob. He shouted again, "Thief! Thief!" but nobody moved. Nobody came to his assistance.
Not even Blob's person who had fallen asleep too. Blob nudged his person several times.
"Wake up. Wake up. Help me!"
Blob's person didn't move. The books had taken her into a deep dream world and no amount of nudging and shoving by a small, pink soft toy was going to rouse her from the depths of a book induced sleep.
There was only one thing for it. Blob Thing would have to catch the thief himself.
Blob stared at the giraffe. Blob didn't blink once but kept staring as he slowly inched his way round the table towards it. The two kept their eyes locked even though the food stuck in the giraffe's mouth was quite distracting and more than a little disgusting. Slowly, slowly, Blob drew closer and still the giraffe stood. Motionless apart from moving its eyes to keep holding the gaze of Blob.
Blob was almost close enough to touch the fiend and then ...
The giraffe suddenly turned and ran.
And the chase was on.
[Note: These photographs were not taken during the chase. You will be able to surmise that it's the case because Blob is wearing his badge in all of them and is looking quite happy. You will also be able to work out that it's the case because throughout the chase Blob's person remained fast asleep and unable to take pictures.]
[Note: The events in this post are in no way to be taken as indicative of a condemnation of all giraffes. This giraffe was just one particularly mean example of a giraffe and one mean giraffe does not imply a view that all giraffes are mean. It does not imply that all giraffes have bad oral hygiene either. As this tale is being written, Blob and his person are sitting with a giraffe called Gerry. Gerry is a particularly friendly giraffe and his oral hygiene is wonderful. There's no food stuck in his mouth and his breath never smells in the slightest bid bad.]
[Note: Later you will see another reason why these events could never in your wildest imagination be taken as a condemnation of giraffes.]
[Note: You will also spot that in the photos Blob Thing is wearing his "Autistic" badge. He wants to let you know at this point that it's the original badge and that he managed to get it back from the giraffe in the library. Blob didn't want to leave you in suspense for any longer than he needs to. You may already have guessed that this story has a happy ending from the title of the post. You clever person!]
[Note: The photos follow the exact route of the chase. Once Blob's person finally woke up - and that didn't happen until a librarian hit her on the head with a particularly large volume and said words along the lines of "Hey! You can't sleep in here." - Blob told her about everything that had happened and once Blob had relaxed about it and had a massive hug he took her round the chase route and posed for the photos. Blob was quite proud of getting his badge back and immensely proud of pinning it back on his dress. [Again, please don't ask how he managed it. It's not relevant right now.]]
The giraffe turned and ran from the table and into the corner of the library between the bookshelves. Blob followed, sprinting hard up to the shelves. He waited for a while by the end of the shelf to see whether the giraffe would come out. Blob would then be able to pounce on it, rugby tackling it to the ground and holding it down until it gave in. But the giraffe did not appear.
Blob had not choice but to choose and end of the shelves and run round to try to catch the giraffe. He chose the direction that the giraffe had run in from - assuming that the giraffe would guess that Blob would try to catch him on the way out and would thus run out the way it had run in. Blob shouted out, "Right, I'm coming in to get you now and you had better give my badge back or you'll be in big trouble." He then crept up to the corner of the shelving unit and ran into the space.
The giraffe was nowhere to be seen. Blob looked back round the shelves into the library. The giraffe wasn't there either. For a moment it appeared that the giraffe had vanished. Blob looked back round the shelf, puzzled. It was then that he saw the giraffe's tail dangling down from the shelves above. The giraffe was climbing and had nearly reached the top of the book case. Blob had no choice but to climb too which is quite a struggle for such a toy as him. He has to jump up one shelf at a time and grab hold with his mouth or squeeze himself into the gaps between the tops of the books and the bottoms of the shelves. It's hard work. You try it sometime, climbing a book case with no arms or legs. Just try it.
Blob reached the top of the shelves just after the giraffe, whose climb was a little slower because somehow its neck kept getting in the way. Blob was just about to jump on the giraffe when it made a massive leap onto the top floor of the library.
Whatever was Blob to do now?
He's good at jumping and often gets bouncy when he's happy flapping. But he knew there was no way he could jump all the way to the top floor. It was impossible. And for just a moment he wished that he had proper jumping legs like a giraffe.
Poor Blob. He sat there for a while and felt like crying. The giraffe watched him from the top floor. Then it blew a raspberry at him and shouted at him that he was useless and just a stupid little blob who shouldn't even be allowed in a library.
Blob felt very angry. Who did the giraffe think it was to say such things to him? Didn't the giraffe know that Blob wasn't stupid? He might be small, but he wasn't stupid. He even had his own blog and sometimes said quite clever things - more clever than his person says.
Then Blob noticed a spiral staircase leading up to the top floor. He quickly climbed down the shelves and bounced his way up the stairs. In other circumstances bouncing up a spiral staircase would have been particularly fun, but Blob wasn't in any mood to enjoy the sensations. Blob Thing chased the giraffe round and round the balcony on the top floor. They even ran and bounced round the balcony in the other big room of the library. No matter how hard he tried Blob wasn't quite able to catch the giraffe. And then the giraffe jumped back down onto a shelf. It was a downhill leap so Blob risked doing it himself. Success! And then they were back to ground level.
The chase continued in and out of the shelves. They passed fiction books, religious books, history books and politics books. They even passed some big books about art and some music too.
Blob would have liked to have explored the library at a much slower pace. He would have liked to have seen everything while not chasing a giraffe thief. And then things took a turn for the worse.
Just as Blob rounded a corner near the comfy chairs - on one of which his person still sat, sleeping and snoring - a puffin stepped out and tripped him over. The giraffe was getting away. The puffin just laughed.
Blob was determined not to be beaten. He picked himself up and gave chase. But the time he reached the children's library the giraffe was right at the other end of the library. And the puffin was flying across the library to meet it. They were a team. That wasn't fair at all. Blob didn't have a helper. He would have to do this alone.
And then something surprising happened. The puffin grabbed hold of the giraffe's neck and pulled. The neck had a zipper on it.
It was a costume! Fancy dress!
The puffin continued to pull the zipper and pulled it all the way down the giraffe's neck and down its back. It wasn't a giraffe after all. It was a dragon. Now Blob had two flying fiends to deal with. This was almost intolerable.
Blob noticed that he was standing by someone named Matilda. She was stuck on a piece of paper trapped in plastic so couldn't help with chasing but he asked her for some ideas. Matilda was a very clever girl indeed. She was written that way so it's nothing to be proud about! She had a very good idea and taught Blob Thing exactly how he could set up a trap in which to catch both the dragon and the puffin. The puffin wouldn't be able to peck its way out. And the dragon wouldn't be able to use fire. Matilda gave Blob exact instructions and showed him where in the library the materials were kept.
Blob quickly gathered the materials and prepared the trap. All this time the giraffe that was really a dragon - or the dragon that wasn't a giraffe - and the puffin stood and chatted and laughed lots and sometimes made rude wing symbols at Blob or taunted him with names. They kept saying things too like "Whatcha doing rubbish pink thing? Whatcha playing at with all those things?" And they blew lots of raspberries and played a catch game with Blob's badge.
Blob tried to ignore them as he worked and pretty soon the trap was constructed. [Don't ask the exact nature of the trap please. It's not relevant. Just accept that it was a trap and that a library has sufficient trap materials. And that a picture of Matilda can give clear verbal instructions about trap construction. Just accept it. It's easier that way.]
Blob looked at the trap and nodded and smiled. Yes. It would work. He just had to chase the two criminals and the trap would work its magic.
Blob set off again at a sprint. He was glad of all the walking he had been doing with his person. Without all that exercise he might not have been fit enough for this. He was just reaching the dragon and the puffin when they took off and shouted at Blob that he was inferior because he couldn't fly. Blob disagrees with that assessment. They flew at speed down the library laughing because Blob couldn't catch them.
But that was Blob's plan. Matilda watched and grinned because it was working out so well.
The dragon and the puffin reached the trap. It was sprung. And they were caught.
Oh how they struggled but the more they struggled the tighter the trap became until they had to stop moving and give up. Blob walked up to them and told them they were very bad creatures indeed. He said they would never be allowed out of the trap unless they gave him back his badge and promised never to behave in such a way again. So they had no choice and gave Blob back his badge.
At that point - finally - a librarian appeared to find out what all the fuss was about. She looked down at the dragon and the puffin and said, "Oh dear, it's you two again. What mischief have you got up to this time? Thievery? Hmm. That's the last straw."
The librarian grabbed hold of the pair and opened the trap. They were very glad to be released because it had been very uncomfortable in there. The librarian asked them whether they had learned their lesson. They nodded sadly and said sorry to Blob. The librarian then told them to go back onto the covers of the books they had come from - a pair of children's books. She then put a big plastic library cover over the book so they couldn't get out again.
"Just in case," she said.
Blob put his badge on. He was tired. He was still quite scared and full of soft toy adrenalin. The librarian took him back to his person and woke her up.
Blob's person was very surprised to hear about all the goings on while she had been fast asleep. Blob was shaking by now and she gave him a massive hug and rocked with him in the comfy chair until he felt better. And then the librarian gave them both a free cup of tea and some extra special biscuits.
The moral of all this, Blob thinks, is that you should never fall asleep in a library. Next time, he's going to stay wide awake and if he feels drowsy he's going to get up and run down the aisles shouting "Wheeeeeeee!" until he is wide awake again and everyone else in the library is wide awake too.