I am often the first one into the library on Monday mornings. The lights are off and I have to walk through the darkened Children’s Room to get to the light switches. Normally, not a big deal, but lately… Well, there is a tiger in the library.
It is quite startling to see him sitting there in the dark. He is often perched on one of the sofas, watching me as I enter the room. The first time I encountered him, I jumped because I had not expected to see him there. He did not even blink.
He wanders all over the room. Sometimes he can be seen lounging in front of the picture book shelves. Other times, he will be sharing one of the two sofas in the room with the alligator. And once, I saw him hiding beneath the Lego table, as if waiting for prey, or, perhaps, getting out of the bright overhead lights.
He is well-loved. He endures hugs and wrestling with equanimity. He hides inside the block forts that eager children build around him and he listens with attention as those same kids read him books. Often, I will see him at the back of a group of children, listening, as Mom or Dad reads a story. The kids snuggle in close during the exciting parts of the story and then pat him affectionately when it all turns out okay. For his part, he seems to enjoy both the stories and the pats.
If you would like to see our tiger, he hangs out in the preschool area of our Children’s Room. Stop by and read him a story. He likes all kinds but is especially fond of books about tigers.