Anansi sets off. Out the gate, down the path.
Onto the road, to the left then quickly to the right. Past the tailor and the internet café, left at the pile of garbage where the fat hog lies. Right at the big puddle and that’s the road that leads Anansi to Isabella.
The tall white gate wears a silver chain for security. Early in the morning, the chain slid off and the gate loosened its hold on all those books. The children gain access. Girls in green skirts, boys in blue jumpers. All in black shoes. The children carry books and bags. They clutch pencils and each other’s hands.
Anansi sniffs among the knees and socks. Anansi knows Isabella’s knees. There she is. Ah, Isabella. All smiles, all eyes, all hands. Oh, Isabella. Anansi sighs, as if to gather strength. Anansi must prepare for Isabella.
Isabella is not an enemy of Anansi. But she is a challenge. Isabella starts straight away. Isabella seems to have more than two hands, and all those hands busy themselves on Anansi.
Isabella investigates under and behind Anansi’s floppy ears. Isabella probes the small spaces between Anansi’s tiny toes. Isabella seems to wonder if Anansi is the same color all over.
Isabella follows as Anansi leads her home. Isabella seems to have more than two eyes. Each object that Anansi sniffs, Isabella wants to see. Each dog that greets Anansi, Isabella inquires about.
Isabella examines each of Anansi’s pauses at the big and the small spots. Isabella seeks what Anansi seeks, and searches what Anansi searches. Anansi needs a nap after Isabella time.
Honest and direct, Isabella is the challenge that Anansi enjoys every day. No clock need bother to alert Anansi to Isabella time. Anansi always knows. Today, like every day, Anansi escorts Isabella home from the library. The boys walk behind, talking excitedly about what they have learned.
Today they finally found that book about blankets. The book discusses details of blankets from all over Africa, and all over the world.