Tuesday, April 29, 2014

AS WHITE AS SNOW? April 28, 2014

Once upon a time there was a little library in a little town.  The little library was happy, because its patrons were happy checking out little books and little movies.  Then, one day, the little library became the site of a little crime spree . . .

The last little crime spree at the little Adrian Branch Library had a bit of a softer touch to it.  “Soft” as in “powder soft.”  This is not a riddle – it really was powder soft, with snowdrifts of powder all over the Library reading table.  There were footprints, as well as a little bottle, and a little rattle.  All covered in a little powder.

Surely the perpetrators could not be babies? infants? bambinos?  How would that be possible?  Babies cannot open doors, or strew eggs on shelves, or knit.  And most certainly a baby could not cover a table with a layer of talcum powder – could it? Is it a sign of Peter Pan’s influence?

Chief of Police Shawn Langseth was as perplexed as he was puzzled.  “Powder?” he pondered.  “What possible significance could powder have with our perpetrators?”  The powerful Police Chief paused to reflect, “possibly this powder is a mere pittance of a clue.”

From a practical perspective, should our Police Chief be proactive and produce a trap that will prove providential in apprehending the provincial perps?  Or are his suppositions merely parenthetical? And is that just pandering to the alliterative pathos of a reporter run amok?

In other words – the clues are: powder, bottles, rattles . . . run with it, people!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


I realize how lame it sounds to suggest that the Easter Bunny is a suspect in the ongoing Adrian Branch Library crime spree, but that certainly seems to be the case.  On Monday, April 21, 2014, Librarian Meredith Vaselaar found a trail of chocolate eggs scattered about the Library.  A basket filled with candy and plastic grass was found tipped over on the floor, and evidence of rabbit rowdiness was rife in the small building. But was the evidence enough to convict the happy holiday hare?

Chief of Police Shawn Langseth arrived at the Library on Monday morning, bringing along his forensic collection bag, as well as his usual keen sense of observation.  “This does look bad for Mr. Bunny,” admitted our Chief, “but we cannot bring charges until the evidence is tested.”  No bunny hair or paw prints were found at the scene.  There were no tracks, making it all but impossible to determine how anyone could have gotten into the Library without a key - which has been one of the more perplexing aspects of the crime spree.

“There are inherent difficulties in charging the Easter Bunny with the crimes,” cautions Chief Langseth.  “Mr. Bunny has heretofore had a reputation for being a benevolent creature, with no known acts of vandalism or misconduct.  Historically, the Easter Bunny has been difficult to catch.”  Should the evidence point irrefutably to the famous hopster as the culprit, it is doubtful he will be easily apprehended. 

A bigger issue in focusing too much on the Easter Bunny as a suspect is that other suspects might be overlooked.  “We have had a lot of people come forward with the identification of possible perpetrators, including mice, rats, elves, trolls, fairies, as well as someone named ‘Hank’,” says Langseth, “thus far, none of these suggestions has been discounted."  It appears that just about everyone in the area is under suspicion.  This makes Chief Langseth’s job not only enormous, but extremely tricky.  “I cannot simply accuse everyone,” the Chief asserts, “but I will admit that the pool of suspects grows bigger each day.”

The Chief is asking for the public’s assistance in bringing the perp(s) to justice.  If you think you know who could (or should) be charged with the crimes, please contact the Adrian Branch Library (507 483-2541 or mvaselaar@plumcreeklibrary.net).  No clue or suggestion is too small to investigate.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Curiosity.  That was uppermost in the Librarian’s mind this Monday when she opened the Adrian Branch Library.  What would be found next?  Would the new mess outdo last week’s travesty?  Would this week’s crime lend clues as to the identities of the perpetrators?  Curiosity outweighed apprehension for our Librarian as she stepped inside the small, one-room Library.  And in true literary fashion, our Librarian thought that things had gotten “curiouser and curiouser.”

Knitting needles.  Yes, what the Librarian found at the base of the Library castle was indeed curious – a handful of knitting needles and yarn amidst books on all things Medieval (castles and knights and jousting, etc.).  The knitting needles had not been idle, for also found was something made out of yarn.  As our diligent Chief of Police Shawn Langseth surveyed the scene, he picked up the knitted item and held it up to scrutinize.  The item baffled both the Law and the Librarian.

Our Chief then kneeled on the floor and knocked his knuckle on the castle walls, in search of more clues.  The knocking lead to naught, so he knew he must delve further.  Was the knitted item a knockoff of something? Would anyone know what the items meant?  As he knattered to himself, he wondered why the unknown nuisances would naffer about in a Library?  Nothing made sense. 

Knitting began first with knotting.  But what does knotting have to do with knaves and knights? Or is the hint in the needles, which were necessary for the knitting of the yarn?  And although knaves and knights might know about knots, were they also knowledgeable about knitting? Would not knives have been more apropos than needles?  The Chief left, his knapsack filled with evidence, but nary an idea as to the connection between the knickknacks.

This is quite the knotty dilemma, don’t you think?

(Note:  As always, the Adrian Branch Library continues to collect the names of suspects.  If you have an idea as to the identity of the perpetrators, please email the Librarian.  A list of suspects will be posted in the future.  Email:  mvaselaar@plumcreeklibrary.net )

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT . . . April 7, 2014

It was a dark and stormy night.  Chief of Police Shawn Langseth sat in his office, just off the squad room.  The evidence did not make sense – or did it?  The latest crime scene at the library had been staged; he had never been more sure of anything in his twenty-four years in law enforcement.  The books scattered at the scene had seemed to mock him . . . all had the word “Mystery” in the titles.  Coincidence? No, he did not think so. The Chief took the message for what it was: taunting, a mocking of his investigation.

Beneath the glare of the overhead light, Chief Langseth studied the latest bits of evidence:  four magnifying glasses, a pencil, a notebook with a torn page that said, “Who Done It?”  Then there was the inkpad from the circulation desk, from which miniature footprints seemed to lead away.  Was it possible those were REAL footprints, or were the perps playing with him?  Had the criminals been clumsy, or were the footprints an elaborate hoax?

As the storm raged outside, there was a storm raging inside the Chief.  Sure, there was anger, but the Chief was not going to let that get the best of him.  He looked with deadly calm at the latest bit of evidence to cross his desk.  He held in his hand the report from the BCA which had arrived earlier that day.  The report showed the DNA mapping from the evidence that was swabbed from the forks he sent to the crime lab in February.  It was not the crime lab’s process that interested him as much as their conclusion:  Creatorae IWas he surprised? No.  Frustrated? Not that he would admit – even to himself.  Resolved?

You bet.

It might seem little to go on – but adding the evidence from the past weeks, to the information he had in his hand – Chief Langseth knew what his next step would be.  As lightning flashed through the window, casting ominous shadows on the precinct walls, Langseth narrowed his eyes, until all one could see was the steely glint of determination.

Those perpetrators would rue the day they decided to rumble in HIS territory!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

S'MORES AND SMOKE March 31, 2014


“As incredible as this may sound, it appears that someone had a campout at the Library over the weekend,” said Chief of Police Shawn Langseth.  Indeed, when Adrian Branch Librarian Meredith Vaselaar entered the Library on Monday morning, the first hint of an intrusion was the faintest smell of residual smoke.  The source was quickly identified: a small tea-candle had been lit – and extinguished – at some point over the weekend.  The reason for the fire was fairly simple to ascertain: evidence of S’mores making was scattered on the floor near the candle.  Broken bits of Graham crackers, Hersey’s chocolate bars, and Marshmallows, were found littering the carpet.  (Hey, folks! Take a wild guess as to how much Librarian Vaselaar enjoyed cleaning up THAT mess!)  Four sticks with light scorch marks were found, solidifying the S’more supposition.

Last week, Chief Langseth was reticent to talk about what was found at the crime scene, other than feathers.  However, this week, Langseth has decided to talk about ALL the new clues found on Monday, as well as speculating as to the identity of the perpetrators.  “It seems to me that the perpetrators are becoming a bit more careless,” said the Chief, “and we hope that eventually they will leave behind something incriminating.”

There has been little usable evidence gathered thus far: a few cookies crumbs, defaced property left with no fingerprints, and a movie left in the laptop computer.  “We have not released the name of the movie we found, as part of our effort to keep some vital information a secret,” says Langseth. 

As for the forks that were sent to the BCA, thus far, there has been no breakthrough.  BCA officials have detected something, but further analysis is needed.  According to an inside source, who wished to remain anonymous, the BCA laboratory scientists are perplexed.  “The genetic fingerprint found in the DNA sample sent from the Adrian Branch Library, bears no resemblance to anything that has thus far been mapped.” 

So, what about the evidence found on Monday, March 31, 2014?  Chief Langseth gave this reporter a list of what was found at the scene in addition to the candle and food crumbs:  books with a camping scene, some standing on end as if to resemble tents, two very small blankets and two equally small pillows, a book on ghost stories, a very small guitar, a small backpack with a flashlight, and a cowboy hat.  “Due to the size of the pillows, guitar, the backpack and flashlight, I would be inclined to guess that we are dealing with mice,” he said.  Librarian Vaselaar was outraged, “we do NOT have mice in our Library!” she insisted.  Perhaps Vaselaar is right, as the cowboy hat was such a size as to indicate someone – or something – with a rather large head, or perhaps a large creature with a small head.

If not mice, then what?  What – or whom – can sneak in and out of the Library undetected, with no signs of forced entry, and no known source of all this food they seem to be eating, and materials they seem to conjure up out of thin air?  Is it elves, as some have speculated, or fairies? Are we dealing with trolls or minions?  Are we dealing with humans or mythical beings?  Stay tuned for next week’s crime* and see if you can help determine the identities of the perpetrators.

* (Assuming there IS another crime discovered next Monday.  I am not suggesting there is a pattern here, or that another crime WILL take place.  I am just saying, you know, just IN CASE there should be another crime, then we, of course, would want the public to continue to be informed. We take our job as news information specialists very seriously.  –Ed.)