Tiny and Penny-dog gazed up at the little red house. It was an elegant three-storey, perched atop a tall wooden pole.
“Who do you think lives here?” Tiny asked.
“Perhaps the Worry Dolls moved closer to town? Or maybe it’s full of snacks for all the good boys and girls!” said Penny-dog hopefully.
A slim staircase wrapped around the house exterior, and led straight to the entrance. Tiny raced up the stairs. The glass-fronted door was etched with the words, “Welcome to the Little Laughter Library: take a smile, leave a smile.”
“Penny-dog, it’s a library!” cried Tiny. She unhooked the latch and hopped into the cheery yellow room. Four shelves were labeled, “Smiles, Giggles, Belly-Laughs, and Unexplained Joy”. The shelves were stacked with clear rainbow-bubbles, each containing a hand-written slip of paper. On the bottom shelf, a curious looking bingo-machine waited patiently for its patrons to “Insert Joy Here”.
Tiny plucked a bubble off the giggle shelf. She turned it over and read the text. “What do you call a Bear with no ears?”
Penny-dog gave her a confused stare.
“A ‘B!’ Haha! I bet Dana-Bear would love that one.”
Her friend smiled politely, pretending to get the joke.
The bubble popped in Tiny’s hand. She frowned. “Oops! I’d better replace it. Do you know any jokes?”
Penny-dog looked to the clouds, her brow furrowed. After an age, her eyes lit up. “How do dog catchers get paid?”
Tiny shook her head.
“By the pound!”
“Good one!” Tiny chuckled as Penny-dog gave a proud twirl.
She followed the instructions on the machine, wrote the joke on a piece of paper, and fed it into the slot. After some whirring, clacking and a long shrill toot!, a clear rainbow-bubble rolled out. She popped it on the giggle shelf. The stack was full again.
Tiny wondered if she would need a library card, as she closed the door, skipped down the stairs, and started her day with a smile.

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