60: Three Scotch Eggs, Inalienable Rights and A Great Wrong

Each Borrower carries a book back to the barricade. They carry Whitaker’s Almanack and The Family Health Encyclopaedia and the Oxford English Dictionary and Roget’s Thesaurus and Blackwell’s Medical Dictionary and Who’s Who. They carry the Encyclopaedia Britannica volume by volume, and they stack each of these hefty tomes behind the barricade, only now The Borrowers are on the other side of it, and it no longer serves the purpose of protecting the library. It has become an offensive outpost, turned against the library staff. The Borrowers will launch their main attack from there, and it is to there they will retreat to replenish ammunition and energy.

Energy should be particularly low - none of The Borrowers have eaten all day - but they all seem to be existing on a different frequency. Borrower Who Eats Scotch Eggs At The Computer is the only one who’s eaten anything, but he’s kept quiet about his secret Scotch egg stash. There’s one left, from a pack of four, and he isn’t about to share it with anyone, hive mind or not. But The Borrowers are not powered by adrenaline. It is something much more powerful than that. They are driven by the undaunted belief that this library is a service paid for entirely by them, individually and collectively, and as such, they have the right to do as they want, whenever they want, and to be treated with the utmost respect and GRATITUDE at all times. This is much stronger and much more dangerous than any kind of food (or even drug) fuelled energy could ever be.

A Great Wrong has been visited upon them, in the guise of Complaining Borrower’s demise. No Petition Will Right This Wrong. They chant this mantra as they work, stacking bigger and heavier books. It begins quietly, but as the last book is placed behind the barricade - the Guinness Book Of Records - the chanting becomes a battle cry that rings out across the whole of the library, and with it, The Borrowers charge towards the Staff Only area.

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