The world of books is a place where one can discover new interests and initiate grand adventures.
Piper was new in town. Having a dad in the Army meant moving around a lot, but her mom promised they would be in this town for a while.
Piper always headed for the library when her family moved to a new town. The familiar books were like old friends. Piper scanned the shelves and finally settled down with “Little Women”. Jo was Piper’s favorite character. Jo also loved books. She was a faithful friend and full of feisty spirit. Piper wished she could be as spirited as Jo, but Piper was quiet and shy. She knew that she could be a faithful friend, if only she could find a friend to be faithful to.
As she opened the book, something fell to the floor. It made a tinkling sound as it landed on the polished wood. Piper bent down and picked it up. It was a bracelet.
“What a beautiful charm bracelet,” Piper whispered. “I sure would want this back if it were mine.”
Piper tiptoed over to the librarian.
“I found this bracelet,” she said, nervously tucking a strand of her shiny brown hair behind one ear.
“Look at all those charms!” said the librarian. “They could be clues to help you find the owner.”
Piper studied the charms. She noticed a pair of ballet shoes.
“Whoever owns it might be a dancer,” she thought out loud.
“You could take it over to Madame Claire’s Dance Studio,” said the librarian. “If the owner of the bracelet is a dancer, Madame Claire would know her.”
Piper headed straight for the dance studio across the street. She showed the bracelet to the tall, graceful woman who introduced herself as Madame Claire. Madame Claire’s words rolled off her tongue in an elegant French accent.
“What a lovely bracelet! But I do not know who it belongs to. Perhaps the other charms will help you to locate her.”
Piper looked again at the charms. There was a horse, and a horseshoe.
“She must love horses,” she said to Madame Claire.
“There is a horse ranch out past the lake. Pete’s Ranch,” Madame Claire told her.
Piper thanked Madame Claire and ran home to show her mom the bracelet. Her mom was happy to help.her find the owner of the bracelet, so off they went to Pete’s Ranch.
The dusty cowboy at the stables didn’t recognize the bracelet.
“Whoever owns it must love dogs,” he said in his gravelly voice as he pointed to the dog charm that looked like Lassie.
Piper and her mom thanked the cowboy and headed for the vet’s office. On a bulletin board in the waiting room, Piper saw a picture of a young girl with enormous chocolate-colored eyes hugging a fluffy Sheltie. Could this girl be the owner of the bracelet? Unfortunately, the vet couldn’t recall ever seeing anyone with such a bracelet.
Once again, Piper studied the charms. A rose, a sunflower, and a watering can led her to the color infused garden in the center of town. There, she saw a freckled-face girl dancing through the fragrant rows of flowers.
“That must be her!” Piper exclaimed as she raced toward the girl.
“It’s so pretty, but it’s not mine,” said the girl as she slid the cool, silvery bracelet back into Piper’s hand.
Discouraged, Piper headed back to the library. There, under the table upon which “Little Women” still lay open, Piper noticed a girl on her hands and knees. Her straight, jet-black hair was sweeping the floor.
“Are you looking for this?” Piper asked, holding out the bracelet.
“You found it! Oh, thank you,” the girl cried as she leaped up to claim the beloved object.
“I’m Piper,” Piper said, no longer feeling shy. She felt as if she already knew this girl.
“I’m Jane,” the girl said as she slipped on the bracelet, reassured by its weight on her wrist.
“I thought the charms might be clues to lead me to you,” Piper explained. “But you don’t take ballet lessons or horseback riding lessons. Do you have a dog?”
“No, I don’t. These charms remind me of my favorite books; The Ballet Shoes, National Velvet, Lassie Come Home, and The Secret Garden,” Jane explained as she lovingly touched each charm.
“I should have figured that out! I may not be much of a detective, but I do love books.”
Piper’s family did stay in town for a very long time, and Piper and Jane became the best of friends. They took dance lessons together at Madame Claire’s and horseback riding lessons at Pete’s Ranch. They went for long walks with Jane’s new puppy, Lass, and they planted and tended their very own garden in Piper’s backyard. They learned that the world of books is not a place to hide, but a place to discover new interests and initiate grand adventures.