I needed rather a lot of driving lessons. My lack of a sense of direction didn’t help. Nor, did my occasional confusion between right and left. But, coming up to my test, my new instructor was sympathetic. We could go for a Sunday drive, he said. I could have a free lesson and maybe a drink after. Well, why not? He told me a story over the drink. He’d been in the war in Singapore. Such horror. And conscripts all. In the chaos an enemy soldier had shot his dog. Shot her. Killed her, dead. Such horror. And conscripts all. But, it was alright in the end, he’d ‘got’ the one who did it. ‘Got him.’ Shot him! Killed him, dead. Such horror. And conscripts all. The life of a man for the life of a dog. Both shot. Both killed. Both dead. It was the life of the man I valued most. And I said so using a lot of words. Yes, rather a lot of words loudly spoken. So no more free lessons, but I passed my test.
First published in Silver Birch Press, Learning To Drive Series, May 2016