The Little Shopping Cart

Once upon a time, there was a little Walmart shopping cart. He felt weary and dissatisfied with his daily job, which was filling him full, but not fulfilling him. He dreamed of seeing the world, experiencing freedom, getting away from the dreaded parking lot where he sat, day after day, waiting for yet another shopper to push him into the depths of the Walmart Supercenter. One night, he got his chance. A few young men with too much energy and too much beer in their bellies abducted him from the parking lot and threw him on the back of their truck. And off they went, racing down the dark streets, where the night wind whirling about his wheels made him feel alive as never before. He wished the night would never end, but finally, the boys dropped him off in a field by the highway. They pushed him down a slope, and the shopping cart barely managed to stay upright, until he finally rolled to a stop. Behind him, he heard the car doors slam and the truck speeding away. "Free!" thought the little shopping cart, "I'm finally free!!!" He felt his chest swell with anticipation of all the adventures he would be experiencing, and tried to move. But as much as he strained himself, he didn't move an inch. After an hour and what seemed like endless efforts, he had to admit to himself that he was stuck. His adventures were over before they had begun. He felt a slug slide up his stainless steel frame, and eventually a crow settled on his handlebar. The talons hurt his sensitive handle bar wrappers. "Is this what freedom feels like?", wondered the little shopping cart. "I don't like freedom that much... freedom feels lonely." He missed his fellow shopping carts, the shoppers, and the parking lot. He began to cry. As night fell once again, and he had run out of tears, he finally sunk into a deep, dreamless slumber.

The next morning, he woke up in the Walmart parking lot, next to all the other shopping carts, jammed into a row, waiting for the shoppers, just like every other day. He drew a breath of relief, and almost couldn't wait for the first set of soft hands to pry him out of the line-up to begin another fulfilling day of shopping. And while he was pushed here and there, he wondered.. had he dreamed it all? Had his adventures only happened in his imagination? Maybe he could have convinced himself, if it wasn't for that bit of slug slime stuck on his steel frame...