My mother sent me this today:
This was found in an old monastery manuscript – a happy and gratifying thought for victims of book theft:
For him that stealeth, or borroweth and returneth not, this book from its owner, let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him be struck with palsy, and all his members blasted. Let him languish in pain crying aloud for mercy, and let there be no surcease to his agony until he sing in dissolution. Let bookworms gnaw his entrails in token of the Worm that dieth not, and when at last he goeth to his final punishment, let the flames of Hell consume him forever.
Think it was a warning? Does she know about all the… damn it, no way am I gonna incriminate myself here.
I will, however, allow that what goes around, comes around. Just this weekend, I found a replacement copy of Flowers for Algernon – which can currently be found on my daughter’s bookshelves – and A Clockwork Orange – which never even made it to my shelves, just went straight from my hands to my son’s. I regularly visit their rooms to retrieve all the tasty morsels they’ve thieved, only a few of which have my father’s name in the front.
The irony in all of this is that my mother and I don’t share the same taste in books. My father, on the other hand… I hope he doesn’t start writing curses in any of his books.
P.S. Do you suppose this curse has any posthumous effects? If so, I pray my grandmother didn’t have any particular attachment to the Anne Frank short stories. I’m checking my members for blasting.