Ode to the Librarian’s Cousin by Jo Robinson

This tiny tale is dedicated to Chris, the Librarian’s cousin, to thank him for his friendship, and also by way of snivelling apology for almost calling him a man, and getting myself into a pickle.

Jo Robinson

Washgale cowered under the gooseberry bush. He’d been innocently sipping a quarter of ale in the Dodgy Guitar, when a huge ma-, monk-, er, ape, had crashed through the window, clutching a terrified scribe under his arm. The patrons scattered, as you do when confronted with such pointy fangs.

The ape found who he was looking for at the piano, mellowly humming along to the tune of A Crone Is Not a Crone Unless You Have Your Spectacles On.


Washgale had watched from the safety of the chandelier, as the cousins agreed that humans in general had been given enough chances to figure out the names. Then the battery began.

The scribe was summarily inserted, upside-down, into a barrel of pickled turnips, her whining about deadlines and Twitter instantly silenced. Within minutes, every human started running for their lives. The gnomes looked on, picking their noses as always, and the fairies pranced in and out, poking an eyeball here, and pinching a bum there. It wasn’t often that they got to unleash their darker desires with impunity.


Finally Washgale took pity on the scribe. She had surfaced from the barrel, and was trying to remove the small turnip from her left nostril, while yelling, “Oi! I’ve got emails!” He looked at his only companion on the chandelier, who was laughing heartily at the spectacle below, and trying to hit the scribe on the forehead with beautifully aimed gobs of hot candle-wax.
“What are you?” asked Washgale, pinching his nose so as not to breathe in the ripe smell emanating from what looked like a cross between a really huge hairy rat and Satan.

It looked at him.


“I am Nyami,” the thing replied, “I am the Tokoloshi. My mother was a really huge hairy rat, and my father was the devil.


“Oh,” said Washgale, before suddenly finding himself under a gooseberry bush. He peered at the cottage it was growing beside, and realised that he was in Gummy Vamps back garden.


“Oh crap,” he said.
“Not under my gooseberry bush please,” said a reddish voice behind him.


Washgale ran as fast as his hairy legs could carry him, knowing that his chance of finding enough bananas to rescue the scribe was zero, when he ran headlong into a banana tree. He picked a hand, peeled one of the yellowly yellow fruit, and ate it.
“Hmmm,” he said, settling down under the tree to eat, ignoring the faint screams in the distance before the gurgle signifying a reinsertion into the pickle barrel.


“Facebook! I’ve got to get to Facebook!”


“Bloody scribes,” he muttered, “They’re all over the place these days

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