“The front entrance doors slide open,” said Stan, “and they’re operated by pressure pads in the ground, so that when the humans place their feet on those pads, the doors slide open. No offence Freddie, but you won’t weigh enough to make those pressure pads work, so either you’ll have to jump up and down a lot to make them work, or jump from a height on to the pads. Now on the inside, there’s two tall sensors which detect when someone is trying to steal a book from the library. What you could do is climb to the top of one of those sensors and take a leap onto the ground. That should operate the pressure pads.”
“Thanks for the tip, Stan, it’s very kind of you to mention that. It’s the sort of thing Gemma wouldn’t tell me. Anyway, I should be going.”
“I will tell Sid to arrange a lookout for you at the front of the library. Either he or Seb will hang around at the front to make sure you’re OK and to help if they can.”
“How will I recognise Seb?”
“He’s got beautiful dark-blue feathers, Freddie, just look at them for a minute and you’ll see what I mean. He’s really good at making a noise, creating a diversion, which will be useful if you’re making a quick getaway.”
“Thank you, Stan,” I said, “I will see you soon.”
Stan turned and made a loud cawing sound. There were two replies from crows I couldn’t see, presumably Sid and Seb. It was good to know I had friends in high places.
I scampered around to the back of the library and found the start of the vine path. I made measured progress up to the window. I jumped on to the ledge and placed my ear to the glass. There were two people talking, one of whom was Angela. I took a risk and looked into the room. She was sitting at her desk whilst a man with a large bag of tools was examining the birthing mechanism of the photocopier.
“The thing is, Ron,” Angela was saying, “I don’t see how the machine could spontaneously emit a piece of paper with this image on it. Is that possible?”
Ron scratched his head with his right hand and then his bottom with his left hand before replying: “My professional opinion is that this photocopier could not do that without some outside assistance, namely a creature of some kind operating the machine by pressing the red button. However, the problem there is, looking at the log of commands, it would seem that the creature was able to operate the photocopier straightaway, without any false starts. In other words, whoever or whatever used this photocopier yesterday…knew how to operate it. And that is a bit scary from my point of view, because animals don’t use photocopiers in nature…” he used his left hand again…”and so how did the creature know what to do, which button to press?”