Library workers find a jar of honey in the book return bin

To the inquisitive mind, mysteries can come in all shapes and sizes — and sometimes when you least expect them. Such was the case a few weeks ago, when an employee of the Newberg Public Library made an unusual discovery whilst engaged in the regular chore of emptying the book return bin one morning.

It was a half-empty jar of store-bought honey. Fortunately, the glass jar hadn’t broken, which would have resulted in a sticky mess and done little to sweeten that particular employee’s day. According to Library Director Leah Griffith, library staff tossed the jar in the trash and thought little more of the matter.

But the mystery remained. What earthly circumstances could have conspired to result in the depositing of such a decidedly non-booklike object into the book drop?

Could it have been a wayward honey dealer, on the run from the ruthless honey cartel and unfamiliar with the ways of book drops, who had merely sought a safe place to stash his wares while he laid low?

Or, perhaps the explanation is more innocuous. Maybe Winnie-the-Pooh, the beloved book character who would — of course — be fond of libraries, had sought to demonstrate his appreciation for Newberg’s venerable institution via an offering of his favorite sweet treat.

But Pooh Bear, never having been particular strong in the face of temptation, would have proved unable to resist sampling his gift (only in order to ensure it was of sufficient quality to present to his beloved library), and hence, the less-than-full nature of the jar that library staff eventually discovered.

Griffith said an individual — who may have been an adolescent male — did call the library the following day to inquire if his jar of honey had been retrieved. Upon being informed by the surprised staff member who answered the phone that yes, the jar was found but it had since been disposed of, the caller said, “OK,” and hung up.

“They didn’t identify themselves and they didn’t explain themselves,” Griffith said. “We are just at a loss as to how someone could end up putting honey in the book drop, and to be honest, why they would admit it and call back the next day.”

Alas, we may never know the truth.

Contract Publishing

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