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A Double Dose of Driving Dogs

He jiggled the gear stick. “What a great start! Into second gear, third, fourth – and
we’re already doing fifty. What a driver!”
Horace growled, imitating the engine’s roar. “Rrrrowl! Into top gear! We’re doing
eighty- five, and now we’re overtaking the Jag! Up to ninety. We’re going like a
rocket. Nothing can keep up! We’re going for the ton! We’ve done it! Neeeyow!
In real life, he’d never done a ton. Joshua’s father, Mr Hay, refused to drive any
faster than forty-eight miles an hour. But Horace could imagine the thrill.
Rowll, rowwwll!” he howled. “Go, boy, go! We must be doing at least three
thousand revs!”
He peered at the dashboard. It was too dark to see, so he switched on the overhead
light that Mrs Hay used for reading maps.
“Bend coming up,” he growled. “Change down, check mirrors and… YOW!”
It was the loudest howl so far.
Horace leapt into the air and landed on all fours on the passenger seat, quivering.
He stared at the back seat, unable to believe his eyes.
Had he really seen that in the mirror? Impossible!
But there it sat on the back seat, a neat, striped coil with a rearing head and a
flickering, forked tongue.
“SNAKE!” yelped Horace. “Help! Help! Snake! Snake in the car!”
“Ssssshut up,” hissed the snake. “You want to wake everybody?”
“This is my car! How did you get in?”
“I can ssslip through the smallest holes – and this old car is full of them,” said the
“Well, you can just slip right out again! I’ll bark! I will! I will! I’ll bark!”
“You won’t,” said the snake calmly, “because think what a fool you’d look.
You’ll get told off for being here, and I’ll be long gone.”
As it spoke it began to flow along the back seat, as sinuous as a stream of oil, and
disappeared into a corner.
Horace stood panting and shivering. He couldn’t see the snake at all until it
suddenly reappeared outside his door.
“Ow!” howled Horace. “How did you do that?”
“Eassssy. I told you. Tiny gaps. I’m going now.”
As it slithered across the garage floor, Horace scrambled out of the car and
blocked its way.