A tiny, crystal carrot fell out of its paper towel wrapper, unfolding it from at least 20 years of storage. The carrot survived the cardboard box casket it had shared with a collection of miniature bronze kittens, an inch-long ceramic head of lettuce, and wooden dogs so small it was hard to tell what they were unless you looked very closely. Now destined for the garage sale table, the precious possessions had once graced a shelf in my daughter’s room.
The workmanship on the carrot revealed its value. It must have been tedious to design and create such a minuscule piece of glass into a work of art. The other miniatures in the collection were delightful, but the carrot offered a different kind of experience.
A short, stout woman offered me $2.00 for the carrot, only two bucks for a masterpiece. I countered with $5.00 and heard a clucking of her tongue. I had probably paid $55.00 for it 20 years ago. What about inflation? She moved on to the tiny cat figurine instead.
The lady in the colorful head scarf wanted the entire group of tiny figurines, at least a dozen or more. She started to pile them up along with a dusty red bucket, three books, a long rope, brown necklace, socks, and even my tape dispenser which I politely had to tell her was not for sale. She wanted to pay me $2 for everything in her shopping bag. Do people think size is an indication of value? The lady was indignant as I asked she return the entire collection of miniatures, including my precious carrot, to the display table.
No other takers had any interest in the carrot until the Frenchman wandered up to the card table filled with goods awaiting a new home. As he perused the jewelry and miniatures, his fingers wrapped around the tiny carrot. I watched to be sure he did not pocket it while another shopper made a sale. He said he would take it off my hands for fifty cents.
“No, thanks,” I said, not even attempting a counter offer.
Once Pierre was out of sight, I stole the carrot back and returned it to a safe place in the kitchen. The little orange carrot would remain in my possession. To whom can I will it?