On Tuesdays, around 4 p.m., Lynne Perrigo rolls her little red chest out to her favorite tree on Jesup Green outside of the Westport Library and waits. It doesn't take long before the audience is gathered and the show can begin.
"A string can be a story," she said after spending several minutes weaving through the crowd near the end of her show. The children, three and four years old, watch her with riveted attention. Perrigo has twisted the loop of green string in her hands into a pair of triangles held taut by her fingers. The story, "The Mosquito" is one of the Westport librarian's regular bits during the outdoor story time.
After completing her interactive story, Perrigo gathers the mats and wishes the children and their parents well. Many will be back next week. Several of this group were from the YMCA. "This is one of the reasons I don't want the Y to move," Perrigo tells a friend. She loves it when the kids come over, full of energy to participate in her story time presentations.
She also casts a quick look at a low hanging branch that nearly sweeps the ground. Many of the children were advised by parents to avoid it as they ran in gleeful chaos around the tree damaged in the recent storms. As Perrigo packed items into the red trunk she said, "That branch makes me a little nervous."
As she rolls the chest toward the library entrance, to store it for the next session, she notes it was something found abandoned on the side of the road. She found the wheels and cord for it, painted and affixed new handles. Now it contains puppets and other story telling implements, including a loop of green string that is also a story.
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