The discovery of a copy of Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist on the desk of serial trouble-maker, Billy Graham, was initially cause for celebration.
Unfortunately it was short-lived as the Year 10 student has been exposed as the culprit behind a cruel book-based hoax played on Everyday P-12 School librarian, Ms Patricia McLeish.
Someone started leaving me love letters, well not really letters, short messages really
Known for running the school library with an iron fist and military-like order, Ms McLeish was temporarily fooled into letting down her harsh exterior. ‘Someone started leaving me love letters, well not really letters, short messages really,’ said Ms McLeish. ‘The messages were spelt out using the labels on the spines of the books. Even though I was annoyed someone was leaving unaccounted for books on my desk, the messages made me laugh. I soon began to look forward to each message.’
To those unexperienced in the ‘joys’ of cataloguing library books, every novel and non-fiction book has the first three letters of the author’s last name written on the spine, while picture books simply have the first letter of the author’s last name. Ms McLeish continued to explain, ‘One of the first messages was really cute. On top of a copy of Old McDonald’s Farm were the spines of three books lined up to say DO-DAH-DAY. Despite a comprehensive catalogue search I was unable to find a book with LOL on its spine so I left a reply book with LAF.’
It seems the perpetrator, Billy, then decided to take the prank up a notch. ‘I started receiving messages like YOU-FOX-E, GOT-DAH-LOV and BAD-BOY,’ said Ms McLeish. ‘For some reason I thought there might be someone out there who loved me. So yesterday I put YOU-MY-MAN on my desk.’
I started receiving messages like YOU-FOX-E, GOT-DAH-LOV and BAD-BOY
Disaster struck for Ms McLeish yesterday afternoon while she investigated several Year 10 students for overdue books. ‘I noticed a copy of Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist on Billy’s desk. I thought great, after all these years I’ve finally passed on my love of great literature to him. Then I spotted another book underneath it. It was a gardening book written by Matthew Biggs. It didn’t take me long to determine what those two spines would say when put together.’
An unrepentant Billy didn’t deny his actions. ‘It worked even better than I thought it would. And I still had Phil Cummings’s books to use!’