Time-Machine Car
written & illustrated by Grandad


Little Peter missed his friend Jo, so much, she was so far away. Since his dad passed away last year, he often sat in his dad's old car in the garage, it had no engine, but his mum did not want to part with it. Peter closed his eyes and said " I wish I was with Jo right now. " The car made a noise of an engine and then a voice said "Peter how did you get here?" He opened his eyes and he was in Jo's kitchen.



"Jo, you are not going to believe this, but I was sitting in my dad's old car in our garage back in England and I said, I wish I was with Jo right now and here I am." Jo looked at little Peter for a moment, laughed and said "Peter, okay where is your mum, outside?" Peter looked at Jo and said "No, really, that's what really happened." Jo looked out the window and on the lawn and there was the car.



"Peter do you think it would work for me?" asked Jo. Little Peter looked at Jo and said "I don't know, but let's give it a try." So, they went outside and sat in the car. "I have always wanted to go to Africa to see elephants in real life." Said Jo to Little Peter. "Then wish," he replied. So, Jo said "I wish we were in Africa and we could see elephants." With that they closed their eyes and the engine roared into life.



When they both opened their eyes, they both laughed out loud. There they were in Africa, with some natives and right in front of them were two elephants playing. "What are you doing?" asked little Peter, giggling. The big elephant replied "my sister was sad this morning, so I am hugging the sadness out of her." The little elephant started to giggle and said "stop it I am not sad anymore."



Suddenly a voice said, "hello you two, welcome to Africa." They spun around and they could not believe what they were seeing, sitting on a bench was a baby elephant. Two big elephants started to run over and the baby elephant said "it's okay mum and dad, they are friends" and the elephants stopped running. Jo was so excited to finally be with elephants and wondered where else they would go with the car.



Little Peter looked at the elephant and asked, "why are you sitting on a bench?" The baby elephant giggled and replied "Have you seen the size of Africa, we walk and walk, I did ask my mum and dad for trainers but they said no, so I have to go bare foot." Everyone burst out laughing and little Peter noticed the baby elephant was eying up his trainers and was happy that they were far too small.



Suddenly the baby elephant jumped off the bench and said "won't be long, but some tourists are coming and I have to pretend to be a normal baby elephant and my feet are killing me already." They laughed so loud as they watched the baby elephant and his parents go up to the tourist's jeep and all they could hear from the baby elephant, was "ouch, ouch, why did we have to live in Africa, mum why can't I have trainers?"



The baby elephant returned and told them, he was glad it was 5 p.m. now and the tourist have stopped coming. That now they can relax and had fun, but they always have one elephant on lookout duties, just in case the tourists tried to sneak in. They also have a deal with the lions, who patrol even further, who let them know if anyone was coming, as they love their free time as much as the elephants.



"It's getting late, we should be getting back." Said Jo. Peter agreed and told the elephants they needed to go. All the elephants walked over to where the car was and made them promise they would come back soon. When they got to the car everyone giggled, as sitting on the bonnet was the baby elephant. He didn't want them to leave, little Peter and Jo promised they would return soon.



They said their goodbyes and sat in the car. Little Peter looked at Jo and said "I wish we were back on Jo's lawn." They closed their eyes and held hands, the engine roared into life and when it stopped they opened their eyes and they were back on Jo's lawn. "That's strange, when I arrived here, I looked at my watch and it was 2 in the afternoon and look it's still 2 in the afternoon." said little Peter.




"Jo, I need to go home too, I will come back very soon for our next adventure." Jo was really excited, because little Peter had already told her, when they were with the elephants, that they could do this very often. Little Peter got back in the car and said "I wish I was back in my garage." The engine once again roared into life, little Peter closed his eyes and when he opened his eyes he was back in the garage.



The following week went very quickly and they were going to meet up on Saturday, she had said it was little Peter's turn to pick where they went. Finally, it was Saturday, little Peter did all his chores and off he went to the garage. Five minutes later, he was with Jo and as she sat with him, she wondered where they were going. Little Peter then said, "I wish we were back in London in the 1950's where my dad grew up"



They found themselves in the year 1952 and in Convent Garden, where his dad used to work in the 70's. It was very busy, full of sounds and full of lovely smells. Little Peter's dad used to sell fruit and vegetables in the market to greengrocers, restaurants and hotels. Suddenly a voice said "wow, you are not from around here, where you from?" They looked around and saw a boy of their own age smiling at them.



"My name is Billy, would you like to come and meet the gang, they are just around the corner?" Said the boy. "Hello, I am Peter and this is Jo and we would love to meet the gang." Replied little Peter. They followed Billy around the corner and there were the gang and the boys were playing conkers. Little Peter loved how simple the game was and how excited everyone was.



Both little Peter and Jo noticed that compared to their lives, these children did not have much, but they were really happy. Simple things made them laugh and life seemed easy, even though it was only 7 years after the end of the war. The gang took them to the high street, for little Peter to see a trolley bus, as he had told the gang he loved old vehicles.



While little Peter was watching the trolley buses in the high street, Jo went with the girls to the sweet shop. Suddenly one of the girls started to cry, as she had lost her doll. This made Jo really sad and told the little girl to wait 5 minutes. She rushed back to where the car was and said "I wish I had a doll for that little girl," she closed her eyes the engine roared into life and when she opened her eyes there was the doll. She rushed back to the girl and gave her the doll and the little girl thanked Jo and smiled and smiled.



Little Peter knew he had to get Jo back, but had one thing he had to do and that was ride on a bus. It was getting very foggy and Billy told him if he wanted to ride on a bus, he had to do it now, before they stopped running. He asked Jo if it was okay, she just giggled and said "go, go, I will wait here for you." Little Peter jumped on the bus, Jo had never seen such a big smile on his face, it was lovely to see.



After the bus, it was time to say goodbye to Billy and the gang. Billy asked how they were going to drive in the fog. Little Peter giggled and replied "It is okay it is a special car and can go anywhere." As they got in the car, Billy stood and waved. The little car had given little Peter another wish, to spend more time with his dad, as Billy was his dad. Which had been little Peter's biggest wish in life, since his dad had passed away.



"Peter, before you take me home, can we go and see the elephants again, I have missed them." Said Jo. Little Peter giggled and replied "I was hoping you were going to say that, yes let's go and see baby and the rest of the elephants." So, they closed their eyes, little Peter made the wish, the engine roared into life once again. Then they heard baby shouting "it's Peter and Jo, they are back, like they promised."



The elephants told them that sometimes they loved to play games on the tourists and hide. The baby elephant giggled and said "oh mum, tell them what we do." His mum laughed and said "the tourists are so busy looking in the bush for us, that sometimes when we get tired, we sit on the roof of their jeeps and they never look up."



"Sometimes the tourists do spot us, but they spot us in places they never expected to see us. So, they think they have had far too much sun and just seeing things. Baby is always on his bike, riding all over the place." Said the mother giggling. "Mum loves sitting in a tree and waving at them, we watch them rub their eyes and shake their heads." Said baby rolling on the floor with laughter.



Baby's mum went on to tell them what baby had done recently. He had been out with his friends and as usual was complaining about how his feet hurt. He was on his way home and saw a tour was about to start, put on a hat and sat in the back. He was okay until a tourist started to hand out buns and he forgot he was an elephant and let a trumpet go, the driver stopped the jeep and said "come on baby, off the jeep."



The mother also told them every Friday, her and baby run a shower club, where the animals come for a shower. That she washes the animals and that baby dries them off. The animals paid by giving the elephants, fruit, plants, vines and roots. Baby said they always enjoy their evening meal on Friday nights. They promised the next time little Peter and Jo visit, they will run a shower club just for them.



Little Peter and Jo were very excited about the thought of having their own shower club. They spent the rest of the afternoon with the elephants, but soon it was time to go home. They said their goodbyes, but baby was nowhere to be seen. Once they were back on Jo's lawn, Jo said to little Peter "you might want to get out of the car and look on the roof." Sitting on the roof was baby, everyone giggled and little Peter said "mmm, seems we need to go back." So, the adventure continued....