Into a grocer’s shop walked an ancient lady with a slow and halting tread, and carrying on her arm a large earthenware pot with a lid placing the basket on the counter, she made various purchases, which she put carefully in the pot and had her bill made out.
By the way,” she said, before paying this, “do you mind keeping this pot with the purchases in it until I come back and pay for them, as I have to buy other things some distance off, and it will be more convenient for me to leave the things here till later ?”
This request was willingly acceded to, and, lifting the pot carefully out of the basket, the old dame placed it with an effort, in a corner; then putting her basket on her arm, left the shop.
Hours went by, day ripened into evening, and evening gave way to night, but the old woman did not return.
At last the proprietor thought of examining the earthenware pot to see if by any chance it had its owner’s address upon it, and, great was his astonishment, not untinged, with dismay, to find that it possessed no bottom!
Nowadays that shopkeeper is very suspicious of pots in baskets.
Via the Maldon News. 30th January 1917.