by Nancy Whetstone
(Puppets: Librarian, Bookworm, Booker the Book. Props: a telephone)
(Bookworm is onstage crying. Librarian enters.)
Librarian: Why are you crying, Bookworm?
Librarian: What in the world is the matter?
Librarian: Please tell me what’s wrong.
(Bookworm cries louder.)
Librarian: Do you have a problem?
Librarian: Tell me about it. Maybe I can help.
(Bookworm continues crying.)
Librarian: Did you lose your favorite bookmark?
Bookworm: (Still crying.) No.
Librarian: Did you put a book back in the wrong place on the shelf?
Bookworm: (Still crying.) No.
Librarian: Do you have an overdue fine?
Bookworm: (Stops crying and sounds indignant.) Absolutely not!! (Starts crying again.)
Librarian: Well, then what in the world is wrong? Tell me, I can’t guess all day! I have books in the bookdrop to check in!
Bookworm: That’s it! My best friend Booker was checked out, and he has been gone forever!
Bookworm: FOR—EV—ER!! (Starts bawling again.)
Librarian: O.K., Bookworm, calm down now, you’re making a scene in the library, and that isn’t nice for everyone else in here! Now get ahold of yourself!
Bookworm: Sniff, sniff. I’m sorry. I just miss him terribly.
Librarian: Well, I understand that, but there is something we can do about it.
Bookworm: There is?
Librarian: Yes. To start with, I will go to my computer and see who has Booker.
Bookworm: Oh, thank you so much, Librarian.
Librarian: Be right back! (Leaves stage.)
Bookworm: Oh, I miss Booker so much. (Librarian returns.)
Librarian: Well, I found out who checked out Booker.
Librarian: Bobby No-Return.
Bookworm: Bobby No-Return!! Oh, no!! (Sobs.)
Librarian: Now, Bookworm, pull yourself together!
Bookworm: But, Bobby has lost so many books! Booker’s a goner for sure!
Librarian: I know, I know. About all we can do is call Bobby and ask him to bring Booker back.
Bookworm: Ask him? No, yell at him! Tell him if he doesn’t, we’ll, we’ll call the police!
Librarian: Well, we can’t do that. That’s not the way we do things at the library. About all we could do is ask nicely and if he doesn’t, we’ll have to make Bobby’s mom pay for Booker.
Bookworm: Pay for him? You can’t sell my friend!
Librarian: I know. Maybe if I have you talk to him and explain what a good friend Booker is to you, he’ll feel bad and bring him back.
Bookworm: Well, O.K. Anything’s worth a try. Do you know his number?
Librarian: I’m sorry to say that I’ve called Bobby so many times I have it memorized. I’ll go dial it and bring the phone to you. (Leaves stage. Comes back with phone receiver.) Here you go.
Bookworm: Hello. Bobby? This is Bookworm at the library. (Pause) Yes, well, I was wondering if you could bring my friend Booker back. (Pause) He’s the red book with a face. (Pause) Yes. I’ll hold. (whispering to Librarian) He’s looking for Booker.
Librarian: Well, that’s good.
Bookworm: (Sounding disappointed) Oh. Are you sure? (Pauses.) Well, did you look in your room? (Pauses) Under your bed? (Pauses) In your closet? (Pauses) Look, Mister! Do you realize you’ve lost MY BEST FRIEND EVER?? I haven’t been able to eat or sleep since he’s been gone!! I can’t even READ!!! DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME????
Librarian: Now, Bookworm, don’t lose your temper…
Bookworm: (To Librarian) Enough of your being nice! I’m doing this my way! (To Bobby) What, Bobby? (Pause) Oh. I see. In your bookbag, huh? (Pauses) O.K. Well, see you soon. Thanks. ‘Bye. (Hands phone back to Librarian.) He’s found Booker and he’s bringing him right back.
Librarian: Oh, my goodness! How did you do that?
Bookworm: Well, when I lost my temper and told Bobby he lost my best friend, he said he understood.
Librarian: He did?
Bookworm: Yeah, he said he lost his best friend last year when she moved away.
Bookworm: Yeah, he said he had been reading all the books over and over that they used to read together, and that’s why he never brought them back. Now he feels bad, and he’s bringing them all back! Even Booker!!
Librarian: Wow! That’s awesome! Thanks, Bookworm!
Booker: Hey, guys, long time no see!
Librarian and Bookworm: Booker! We’re so glad to see you!
Booker: Glad to see you too.
Bookworm: (Starts crying) Booker, I missed you so much!
Librarian: Oh, no, not again! Haven’t you cried enough today?
Bookworm: Sniff, sniff. But these are tears of happiness.
Booker: Well, dry up, pal. Hey, how about we go to storytime, that always cheers you up!
Librarian: That’s a great idea! (All leave stage.)