The good folks at Washington County Library in Minnesota recently received one of the most amazing surprises.

Typically, when a book has gone missing from the library for this long, the staffers cut their losses and move on with their lives. Can you believe that this book finally made its way back to the library after having spent 47 years on the lam?

Photo: Facebook/Washington County Library

It’s a hilarious story that has a touching twist. According to Fox News, Karen Rodricks has been working as the library services supervisor at the Lake Elmo branch of Washington County Library for some time now. When she got a package at her desk recently, she had no idea what to expect. She opened it up and found a book that the library used to rent out all the way back in the 1970s.

The library shared about the unusual package on Facebook, explaining that person who returned it clearly knew that the library needed it back and they even provided a handwritten letter.

Photo: Facebook/Washington County Library

The letter read:

“In the mid 1970s, I was living in Lake Elmo and working on an old Mercedes Benz. I took out this book for reference. A few months later, I moved and apparently the book got packed up in the move. 47 years later, I found it in a trunk with other interesting things from the 1970s. It’s a little overdue, but I thought you might want it back. My apologies to anyone in Lake Elmo who was working on an old Benz in the last 47 years. I probably can’t afford the overdue charge, but I will send you enough for another book.”

How thoughtful of them! There was no name or return address included but the person did provide the library with $200.

Photo: Facebook/Washington County Library

The cash inside was not that important to Karen, though. She was happier to receive the note and learn more about the journey that the book had taken. We wonder if this book sets the record for the longest time spent away from the library before being returned.

It’s a good reminder that it’s never too late to take time out of your busy schedule to make something right. This story should serve as an inspiration to us all.