Sue was shocked at how many supermarket trolleys she found wandering in a distressed state far from where they had once lived and worked. These unfortunates, exhausted by the ferrying of goods from shelves to checkouts, to the boots of cars, were often seen trying to make themselves inconspicuous, to blend in with their surroundings, no doubt fearing further abuse. Some became so depressed by the monotony of their daily grind that they threw themselves into a local stream. Only that morning she’d seen one of these fugitives being forcibly recovered from a side street by a member of staff wearing thick work gloves. He handled the trolley with unnecessary roughness, Sue thought, and she was considering writing a letter of complaint to the local authority’s welfare department.