We would put her in a soft basket with Blue Rabbit and take her to the beach. At first she slept, or lay listening to the sea, waving to the sky. Just the waves for music, and the big sky.
As she learned to walk, we would pack the basket and lug it together to the beach, with all the paraphernalia she needed for seaside fun. Blue Rabbit.
We bought a smaller basket she could carry and pack herself: towel, bathing suit, apples, warm fleece, books. Blue Rabbit. A favourite stick, a ball perhaps. Bucket and spade.
Rock pools, seaweed and seaweed. Crabs, darting shrimps, shells, castles, holes, digging, hiding, covering; paddling, swimming, diving, French cricket, running, endless running along the beach beneath the passing clouds; and lying warm and tired beneath the passing dreams.
Just the waves for music, and the big skies.
And off she went. All grown up.
She married and we packed the big basket full of smaller baskets for her, and she bought more: for home-made bread, for logs, for the washing, for flannels, soap and socks.
She was happy. Her husband twitched an eyebrow.
When their child was born, she brought out the soft basket to put her in, and the smaller one for her toys, including Blue Rabbit.
Her husband twitched an eyebrow.
She bought baskets for baby clothes, for nappies, for bibs. Her husband snorted.
He bought plastic boxes with too tight lids, and electronic toys. He bought plastic bread and a plastic spoons and a shiny plastic pram.
They took their daughter to the sea but the wheels got stuck in the sand so the eyebrow twitched and they went to the Plastic Softplay Centre where he bought her a plastic balloon and it blew away.
At bedtime, the child clasps Blue Rabbit and in the morning lays him tenderly in the soft basket beside her bed.