The little car was called Amica. It means friend in Italian but the little car was not very friendly.
When we last heard of it , it had refused to start (again!) and the nice mechanic was on his way to see it with a box of tools and a very determined expression.
This time after a lot of tinkering and poking and prodding and smoking and talking and gesticulating and head shaking the little car was declared fit to go but not up hills. (The little car sniggered under its bonnet when it heard this- there was nowhere to go here that wasn't up a hill.)
Anne, the nice artist lady who had brought the little car to live in the garden and to go on adventures with and to be friends with looked at the nice mechanic and repeated "It can't go up hills?? She would have said a lot more, some of it not very polite but her lack of Italian prevented her. She considered crying or hitting the mechanic or making very angry sounds like f*******st**** **useless****won't go ****up hills. But as she always thought about what bad things might happen if she said what she thought, she smiled rather pathetically and said "Grazie". The mechanic drove off and the little car stretched and thought it would go back to sleep under the olive tree. But it felt a very hard knock on its back which nearly moved it forwards. And then saw Anne hopping about clutching her foot. It couldn't quite hear what she was saying.
So the little car sat once more under the olive tree and enjoyed the passing of the seasons. The cats basked in the sun on its roof and a few olives fell off the tree and bounced off the bonnet on to the ground. It was a very pleasant life.
Now and again someone would come and look at it and open the bonnet and speak about it. Sometimes they would actually start up the engine and drive to the gate and back. The little car quite enjoyed that .
One time the mechanic came again and did something else and then the strange man with the long hair got in and made the it go up hills and to Pisticci and back. After that the little car refused to start at all.
Then it was winter. There was nobody at the house in the country. The cats had all gone to look for food elsewhere and it started to snow and snow and snow. The little car was a bit frightened as it didn't understand snow and it was all covered up and couldn't see out. It was very, very quiet. No birds sang, no one came near.
Then the wind started to blow, just a little at first and then more and more and then big gusts of wind rocked the car and blew the snow off so that it could see again. The wind made an enormous noise. It howled , it wailed , it cried and it rattled. The car cowered under the tree and tried to make itself smaller.
Then there was a massive crashing, banging ,screeching ,wailing noise and something gigantic came flying towards the little car.(Now it wished it would go!!) and the whole of the shed roof landed on top of the jeep and slid down towards the little car. It stopped just inches away from it.
I think it was melting snow that dribbled down the windscreen , but it might have been tears of fright and relief.
However after a day or two when the car realised that it was ok and only the jeep, which it didn't really like as it was a bit stuck up, had been damaged , it recovered and told itself that it had been very brave and quite enjoyed the adventure. It gloated a bit every time it looked at the big powerful jeep , which loved to go up hills, and now had a broken back window and a bashed roof.
A few weeks later Anne and the strange man returned. Anne seemed glad the little car was not hurt. The car was pleased but still wouldn't start.
Anne got in and the strange man pushed the car round to the front of the house. "I expect they want me to have a better view, after my horrific experience," the car thought. It was a very nice view. If it peered it could see the sea.
It sat there for a few days enjoying the view and then one morning a little red van drew up behind it and there was a lot of talking and measuring and looking at documents and general poking and prodding.
The car wondered what was going on. Then everyone left, but there was definitely something in the air. Anne had actually come over and patted it and sighed. "Oh dear " she said. "What a complete waste of money.
" She took the little heart off the keys and stuck them in the engine. and then shut the door.
An hour or so later a lorry drove up the track and stopped just outside the garden. There was as usual a lot of laughing and shouting and pointing and then Anne came out the house and got in the little car and the strange man, making horrible faces pushed the car out of the gate and up to the lorry.
Anne got out and watched as they turned the car all ways to load it into the lorry.At one point she thought it was going to refuse to go in. But obviously curiosity won and it deigned to go in.
As the back door of the lorry closed all the little car could see was Anne dancing around punching the air with an ecstatic expression on her face.
The little car settled on its springs and thought cheerfully how nice it was that Anne was pleased that it was now going on to have further adventures.
The men got in and the lorry trundled off down the track and the little car in the back dreamed of its next big adventure.
|just missed it.|