The zealous soldiers came at last
with kerosene at dusk,
in search of the forbidden books,
in search of manuscripts and dreams.
Dressed in black,
they didn’t even ring the bell before
they broke the door
They bound him,
gagged and mocked him.
made the aged librarian
a hostage for his books.
“Burn them, burn them all”,
the light-haired captain screamed,
and his soldiers laughed
while the old man cried,
watching how they burned
the phone directories, he had shelved,
replacing all treasures
he kept hidden down below.
“I knew that captain”,
he later said
“he never learned to read”.
Many of you have come a across my aged library and when I saw the fire I saw the burning of books, and wanted to make the old man a little bit victorious for once, as usual I will visit and comment throughout the weekend (at least)
Friday fictioneers is a community of bloggers trying to write stories to the same image in hundred words. Rochelle is our gracious high priestess and we try our best to follow the grand example she always sets.
February 6, 2018
We saw similar stories in the flames
I will come over and read… book burning is terrifying to authors.
I like this aged librarian.
Thank you… a book in making some time.
Farenheit 451…. I loved that story (and yours!)
Terrifying story… love that there are rebels in the end.
Definitely enough here for a book. And truth be told, I do not think we have progressed all that much.. Excellent write Bjorn.
My librarian is a returning character… so many aspects I want to capture…
Book burning is terrifying. Sometimes I wonder if Fahrenheit 451 isn’t on the horizon. On the other hand Hitler burned any books that didn’t agree with his politics. Well done.
Book burning has been a favorite thing for all authoritarian leader… Soviet, China, Iran… books can always be forbidden
I sense Fahrenheit 451
Books are our friends, no one should ever burn knowledge.
Wow… I never saw this old version!
Books should be our friends… but our leaders are not always our friends
100% true. We must always protect out friends.
this reminds me of fahrenheit 451. you did it justice.
Fahrenheit 451… or any authoritarian society
I get sad when I think about how many books fade into obscurity. But then again if they have been read and enjoyed perhaps they have done their duty. Just like your clever librarian
They did their job… for this time the books are safe
Such a tragedy to burn books
Well done, sir!
We need those willing to save them
Clever stuff, replacing all the books with phone directories, who uses them now?
In the old library there are many…
I love this, Bjorn … books are my passion. Too many books burned because someone was afraid that the readers of those books might learn the truths about life more than the book burners ever could. Bjorn, may I post this poem on my blog, accredited to you of course?
Of course Anne
Thank you, Bjorn
Cheering on the librarian. A good lesson in making sure you learn to read!
If you learn to read you are never a good soldier… if I remember right that was what happened to the fireman in Fahrenheit 451
Well done and good for him for putting them boring phone books in place of the treasures. May the willfully ignorant be tricked.
This was excellent! 🙂
Easy thing to trick the fools
Love the twist that the librarian has taken advantage of his foe’s weakness to trick him into burning useless phone books! What delicious irony!
Some are easier to fool than others
A happy ending! Never mess with the librarian!
Happy for now… they might be back
I read a fantasy book called Inkheart many years ago. It had a sequence in which an ancient library gets burned down by the villain’s henchmen. It shook me up so badly that I kept thinking about it for days.
It is a scary thing… and I think it happens when Daesh comes to town
Deep and dark, Bjorn, with a glimpse of light at the end.
We need darkness to see the light
Love your take.
They say that books preserve culture, which is why they destroy them first
Exactly.. burning the books is breaking the cultural backbone
Ha, you have to know the books to burn the books. Well done to the librarian!
He’s a tricky one
No dearth of fanatics!
I respect the wisdom of the old librarian for he hid the treasure trove of books! May there be more such librarian and custodians of culture.
There are always those who watch out for books
I’m grinning with delight. This so perfectly mocks the hateful ignorants who have to use violence instead of wits.
Good thing to have the fools fooled
I love this old man – what courage he had!
There are always those with courage…
It has been a very long while since I have written for FF and here I’ve come to read your excellent work only to find that we both have a library in our work today.
I hope your librarian has no end of phone books with which to line the shelves.
When he’s out of phone books he will go to old catalogs
A powerfully told story – so imaginable. Reminds me of the Cultural Revolution in Chairman Mao’s day – when ignorance and mindless destruction of culture and learning ran amok.
Indeed… that’s another example… Hitler, Mao and Stalin… in later time you had ISIS and Boko Haram
That is a great twist!
I’m sure they gave the poor old librarian a fright. He’s far smarter than they imagine. Wonderful tale!
Of course he is… he has read the books.
Björn, this is a wonderful poetry tale. You have me seeing a very different story so the twist at the end is beautiful.
” I knew that captain”,
he later said
“he never learned to read”.
Thank you… I like storytelling poetry
Book burning is guaranteed to stop me dead in my tracks. This was powerful.
That was a great finale – “he never learned to read”. I’d spent the story worrying that the poor librarian was going to accompany his books, so I was relieved as well as amused by the reveal.
No! The age of ignorance comes and it is quite sad.
Yep, book some people fear the knowledge and the pleasure of reading.
I loved it. Great ending.
Cheers for the librarian and his courage and cleverness.
clever of him, great writing
I found it humourous that the captian didn’t know a phone book from an encylopedia. People who are short on knowledge usually have a fear of learning.
We do tend to fear what we don’t understand. That librarian clearly understood what was coming, and prepared wisely. And got the last laugh 🙂
One up for the little guy and showing ignorance will never win in the end, nice one Bjorn
LOL! That’ll show him. I love it.
So glad this horror story turned to one of (secret) triumph.
A dedicated keeper of the books 📚
The thought of burning books 📚 frightening.
For once illiteracy was a good thing! A smart librarian!
Smart librarian…for illiterate all written word is the same!
Clever librarian, wonderful poem.
There’s a certain logical consistency in an illiterate’s burning books.
What a clever librarian. For now, the books are safe!
Wonderful twist here, Bjorn. Another Super Librarian!