Who wouldn’t want me? With my fine green skin and the elegant flick of my tail. The Crossbys made the journey to Dartmouth especially, picking me up as they returned to London from a week’s holiday down south. I listened as they summarised the details: day-trip to Dartmoor; although Mr Crossby had worn the wrong shoes, which had cut an ambitious walk short. Fish and chips with half shandies at the Bell and Crown overlooking the harbour; lovely view but a ‘somewhat irksome’ family at the neighbouring table. Walks along the beach, Mrs Crossby’s timid attempt at a plunge.
We broke the journey in West Sussex. Tea and cake with old friends. I was wrenched from the boot, and delivered with gusto to the couple.
We’ve brought you the gluggle jug! Proclaimed Mr and Mrs Crossby.
My receivers cooed in admiration of my craftsmanship, generous thank yous exchanged for such a thoughtful gift. The Crossbys roared off. I puffed out my chest, my glaze catching in the sun. The Thompsons, still clutching at my elegant scales, exchanged bemused looks.
The guggle jug?! What on earth do they mean? They mused, before sweeping inside and laying me on a dusty dismal shelf. It was many decades before I was brought to light again. Mrs Thompson hunted ornaments her granddaughter might sell at the car boot. I was discovered amidst a lifetime’s collected crockery, triumphantly dug up from my earthenware grave.
Here’s another for the car boot, she said, and handed me over to the girl. Light tickled my scales, exhaling deeply I felt dust escape my pores. What an injustice, a great misuse.
He’s much too beautiful, the girl replied, gazing down at my sea-green skin and fingering me gently. The story of my provenance was recounted to her as if it were a great unsolved comedy; I failed to see the funny side. The guggle jug, sighed the girl, packing me carefully on top of the cardboard box of forgotten treasures.
Thrilled with her acquisition, the girl filled me to my utmost potential. Life was a whirlwind of parties; I took pride of place on every dinner table, my journey told with humour and admiration. I was always novel, delivering my signature ‘gluggle’ upon request. No meal was complete without me, I was cherished and admired, relished and desired. I sat happy on my shelf overlooking the kitchen, anticipating the next moment I would be brought into the limelight.
So revered was I that the girl decided I should be admired by all, my story recounted. So here I stand, for your pleasure. But the truth is, I sit here silenced. The gluggle that once brought so much joy is stifled, my voice forgotten.