The Paper Trail ~ An Original Tale

The little girl’s eyes widened. Those trees should not have existed, not within the confines of this tiny little wardrobe, yet they grew so high that her small, yet clever mind had not yet learned to conceive of an adequate measurement. The forest spread so far as to defy the limitations of her considerable imagination.

The little girl found a path that was covered in snow. Cold moisture touched her ankles, assuring her that this was no dream.

At the end of the trail, a swarm of termites devoured one of the enormous trees. She watched, curiously, as the tree seemed to become dust before her eyes. The termites proceeded to file into a large mound with a human sized door through which the little girl felt compelled to enter.

Inside, the termites took their turn, squatting over a conveyor belt and excreting the now pulpy substance, which was then taken to a press at the end of the assembly line. Individual sheets of paper were sorted into reams of 500 and wrapped in the silk from a fairy’s wings. When a pallet of these boxes were loaded, a dwarf wrapped it in plastic and stamped a delivery invoice on the outside: The Beverly Free Library.

“And that,” the librarian said, bringing the little girl back to reality. “Is why we charge 75 cents per page to print.”

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