So, as promised, Neeva came around to my house to take a look at my car, with the possibility of taking the Felty Folk on an outing to see Oosie’s friend, Diggly, who lives further South in the Scottish Borders. The Felty Folk are quite curious about human machines and technology, but don’t always like them, and they are a little scared of cars.
Neeva followed me to my car, and I got in the driving seat, and invited her in:
She was a bit wary, but I assured her that the engine was switched off, and there would be no loud noises and the car would not move. She was reassured, and hopped about the car space exploring:
“What are those things for?” she asked.
“They wipe away the rain and snow from the window, so I can see to drive in bad weather,” I explained.
“Ooo, that’s a good idea! And what’s this stick thing?”
“Well, that’s a bit complicated, Neeva.” I didn’t really want to try to explain how an internal combustion engine worked. “I move the stick in combination with one of the pedals in the floor, to make the engine go faster or slower as I drive along.”
“You’ll be able to hear and see what happens if we go for a drive sometime.”
She seemed satisfied with that and explored the back on the car:
“I like how you can see out all around”, said Neeva.
“Yes, and there are mirrors so I can see out the back window when I’m driving, the more you can see the other cars around you the safer you are, and it’s easier to park too.”
“What are those black straps for?”
“They are to keep the people safe in their seats in case we have an accident,” I said.
“An accident!” she looked worried.
“Don’t worry, they don’t happen very often, and there are lots of safety measures to try to stop that happening, and stop people getting hurt. I’ve only had one bad accident, and I wasn’t hurt.” She looked happier. “Why don’t you come over here and look at the controls, I’ll switch the lights on for you.”
“Ooo, that’s pretty,” she said.
“The lights let me know what’s going on with the car, and remind me to put my safety belt on, which is just what I’m going to do for you.”
I had brought a little bag with me, I thought would make a good Felty Folk carrier, I put the strap around the passenger seat, and ran the safety belt across it, and through the bag strap.
“You should be safe in there Neeva, if we go on a trip, and your friends will fit in there with you.”
“Why don’t you try it out?” She zipped up there and jumped in.
“How does that feel?”
“It’s good,” she said. “I can see out the window, from the top, but I can have a rest down below if I want, and there’s enough room.”
“OK, since you are safe there, how about I turn the engine on, so you know what it’s like?” She agreed and put her hands at the sides of her head, which must be where her ears are. I turned the engine on, and she slowly put her hands down.
“That’s not too bad,” she squeaked as loudly as she could. “Cars sound much louder when you’re outside them.” I agreed. “It’s kind of buzzy, and you can feel it too,” she squeaked
“Shall I just drive the car a little bit, so you can feel it move? I won’t go far, just a bit closer to the car in front of me.” Her eyes widened.
“OK,” she said. I drove forward a couple of feet.
“Yes, that’s alright,” she said, “I’m used to the movement of the trees in the wind, I think it’s just the noise that’s a bit scary, and it’s not so bad inside the car, and you are here with me anyway, which makes me feel safer.”
“Good. That’s probably enough excitement for you today, Neeva?”
“Yes, I think so, I’m looking forward to telling the others about it, I think they will be alright with it too.” She climbed out of her Felty Folk carrier.
“I think it would be fun to take a trip to see Diggly. I’ll ask the others, and I’ll come and see you about it.”
“That’s fine, Neeva. Whenever you’re ready…”
I let her out of the car, and she headed off home. I’m glad the car didn’t scare her.