Elefant was spotted beside the till in the Britannia Panopticon charity shop one driech October afternoon. It was sitting on top of a small bookcase that contained a diverse selection of books labelled as ‘esoterica’.
No-one knew how Elefant had got there, it had simply appeared one day. At first they thought it had fallen out of a small child’s clutches and then been put on the shelf to avoid being trampled on in a dark corner, or had been left behind by the harassed young mother who was in the habit of leaving assorted possessions on the shelves as she tended to her infants whims. However as time went on the staff realised that no-one was going to claim Elefant so he acquired a name (Elephant), sex (male) and a price tag (£2.50).
Although he was simply made from some stuffed stripey fabric with white suede-like tusks and his bottom half filled with beans, he was much admired by the regulars. The staff became quite fond of his black thread eyes and floppy ears. He was very life-like and could seemingly pull a multitude of expressions depending on his pose. He could appear to be silly and happy to cheer a crying toddler, sad and patient when listening to the grumpy old man’s woes and wise and ready for an adventure when patted by the French student. He seemed contented and didn’t mind being handled by his many admirers.
It was a Saturday lunchtime the following week that Elephant was purchased along with a reprint of an old Ordanance Survey map of Pollokshields 1894, a 1940’s edition of Modern home needlecraft and a postcard that said “This would be really funny if it wasn’t happening to me”. It all happened very quickly so no-one got a chance to glimpse his purchaser or say goodbye. (to be continued ...)