Clare scanned the stalls. The multi-coloured, multi-layered tables stacked with china, bric-a-brac, jewellery, electrical stuff bunched up into the distance; it looked endless. And that was just waist-high! There was even more stuff piled next to, between, leaning or spread out on sheets on the grass as well. Boxes of books, tapes, tools, shoes and fast food give-away plastic figures clamoured for attention - and where should she begin? How awful to miss one stall, it could be the one stall that had the one thing she was looking for! Logically, the place to start the car boot fair was keeping her back to the sun which was blindingly bright this Sunday. It was a gorgeous day, the type of day to find something you really wanted (if not actually needed) at a car boot. Clare ran her hand over a glass jelly mould.
'Pound, love!' The woman looked cheerful and genuine - not a hardened booter. 'Never use it, the kids liked jelly when they were younger but now... ' She trailed off and her eyes looked backwards to another lifetime of raising children. 'Just me and him' and she smiled at the man dozing on the front seat of the car.
Clare looked at the mould again. It was in the shape of a rabbit and she knew she couldn't resist it. 'Yes please! Have you any paper to wrap her? I've got a bag.' She smiled, the sun on her sun-flushed cheeks burnishing her freckles.
The stall holder smiled back. The joy glittering in Clares eyes and shimmering from her body reminded her of a labrador she had raised along with her children. The old glass rabbit with her sleeked back ears had morphed with the pleasure radiating from this red-headed girl into a bright catalysing memory of an afternoon by the river, the dog, Bess, wriggling with excitement and delight as Louise and Sarah had played in the water under the bridge. Bess had jumped in the river and run under the bridge into the deeper water forcing her to swim. She had been so surprised and jumped out and shook and rippled her body, flinging diamond chips of water into the air, re-soaking the already damp girls. It had been so funny, a jewel of an afternoon, all together twenty years ago... Eve shook her head, feeling such happiness and loss at the same moment.
'Here you are dear'. Eve passed over a bright memory with gladness in her heart. It felt great to know that bunny would bring enjoyment to someone else too.
The rabbit was duly wrapped and nestled safely into the hessian bag, burrowed in newspaper away from the day. 'Thanks', said Clare. 'I'm thrilled!' And she realised she was!
'I'm glad she has a new use', replied the woman to Clare. 'We always thought she was such a pretty rabbit and yet the children did enjoy chopping up the jelly - bloodthirsty little devils! '
Clare waved and laughed, thanked the woman again and set off down the aisle. Isn't it interesting that she referred to the rabbit as a she , she mused. It's just a glass mould, no gender, no 'bits' showing. Why did we both assign a gender. Perhaps 'things', inanimate things do have sentient being. Perhaps all those tiny atoms and electrons and stuff are all alive even if they are all bunged together to make a jelly mould. Glass comes from sand, sand has crystals - do crystals resonate..?
And Clare meandered her way along the tables slowly perusing the wares thinking about pantheism and the universe on the beautiful day, searching for the thing she hoped to find amongst all the stuff, the detritus of households gone, split asunder by divorce, dead peoples clearance, old making way for new fashion, children saving for a Wii by selling old loved action men or Barbies.