[Toad, disguised as a washerwoman and hitching a ride after his prison-break, feels his old cravings for reckless driving rising once again...]
"Please, Sir," he said, "I wish you would kindly let me try and drive the car for a little. I've been watching you carefully, and it looks so easy and so interesting, and I should like to be able to tell my friends that once I had driven a motor-car!"
The driver laughed at the proposal, so heartily that the gentleman inquired what the matter was. When he heard, he said, to Toad's delight, "Bravo, ma'am! I like your spirit. Let her have a try, and look after her. She won't do any harm."
Toad eagerly scrambled into the seat vacated by the driver, took the steering-wheel in his hands, listened with affected humility to the instructions given him, and set the car in motion, but very slowly and carefully at first, for he was determined to be prudent.
The gentlemen behind clapped their hands and applauded, and Toad heard them saying, "How well she does it! Fancy a washerwoman driving a car as well as that, the first time!"
Toad went a little faster; then faster still, and faster.
He heard the gentlemen call out warningly, "Be careful, washerwoman!" And this annoyed him, and he began to lose his head.
The driver tried to interfere, but he pinned him down in his seat with one elbow, and put on full speed. The rush of air in his face, the hum of the engines, and the light jump of the car beneath him intoxicated his weak brain. "Washerwoman, indeed!" he shouted recklessly. "Ho! ho! I am the Toad, the motor-car snatcher, the prison-breaker, the Toad who always escapes! Sit still, and you shall know what driving really is, for you are in the hands of the famous, the skilful, the entirely fearless Toad!"
--The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, first published 1908
Thankfully, Edmund's new toy pedal-car at Grandma and Grandpa's house will never reach break-neck speeds. In fact, at just under 18 months, he'd rather push the car than "drive" it.
My dad can pull Edmund down the sidewalk with the help of a bungee cord attached to the hood ornament. (I told Dad he really looked the part of a Grandpa with his slippers and argyle socks.) ;-)
I'm not sure who's more thrilled with Edmund's new toy, him or his vintage-loving mommy and car-loving daddy!