Posted by: Kathryn Hulick | April 25, 2008

The Little Blue Car

Waterville, ME. February 29, 2004.

Once upon a time there was a little blue car who needed a name.

She was old. Seventy-seven in car years, which is twenty-two human years times 3.5. Dog years pass twice as quickly, but dogs never learn to count them. The little blue car started counting the second her odometer started clicking out the miles.

At 1,000 miles and exactly 2 car years old she decided to call herself Honda, as this beautiful word was etched on the tip of her nose.

But at 1,009, 1,023, and 1,086 miles she met a black Honda, a red Honda, and a Honda truck.

The truck rumbled through his grill, “your name means nothing. It’s stamped on thousands of cars, hundreds of trucks. I’m called MASTR, see my plates?” Indeed, the little blue car saw the plates. But hers only had numbers, no letters

At 25,000 miles the little blue car found herself sitting in her people’s yard with a sign on her windshield. Is “For Sale” my name? she wondered. She was 50 car years old.

People came to look under her hood and touch her seats. They poked her tires and asked questions. The little blue car had never had so much attention. But her odometer stayed still. Why aren’t I driving? She asked.

“Your people don’t want you anymore. You’re old, and you’re for sale.” said a brand new blue convertible parked in the driveway. Indeed, the little blue car saw her people sitting in the convertible, patting the steering wheel. “Let’s go, Blues Machine!” They shouted.

“That’s a beautiful name,” the little blue car said. “Can I use it, too?”

“No.” Said the convertible, and spat out a plume of black smoke into the little blue car’s windshield.

Little blue car sat and sat. She tried new names every day. Bird and Grass and Buzz and Mud, but none of them fit.

Her tires went flat and her seats sagged, and she began to think she would never move from the driveway. Over five human years passed. To the car, that was twenty-seven long, wasted years.

Then came the bearded man and his daughter. “Sally is learning to drive,” explained the man. “And I want her to get to know her car before we start.”

No one had ever talked directly to the little blue car before! She aimed her headlights straight in the man’s eyes and sparked her spark plugs and cleared her air filter as best she could to shout out “Yes! Please! Get to know me!”

The man handed some money to the people in the convertible and the little blue car was towed away. “I’m sorry,” the bearded man explained. “You need some work before you can drive on your own.”

The man showed Sally how to take off the little blue car’s wheels, replace her filters, and fill up her belly with clean oil. Together, they scraped her sides raw, then taped all her edges and sprayed on a coat of fresh blue paint.

The little blue car felt like she could fly to the moon. “I’m beautiful enough to be a rocket ship!” She told Sally in the pleased purr of her engine. “Will you name me Rocket Ship?”

Sally didn’t hear.

“Your car needs a name,” said the bearded man. He always seemed to know what the little blue car was thinking.

Sally drove the car everywhere. She stopped to walk by the ocean, she stopped to buy notebooks and groceries, she stopped to fill up her car with gas. Sometimes, she would try out names. “Star?” “Blue girl?” “Ranger?” “Lace?”

The little blue car loved all of them, but Sally wouldn’t choose.

Then one day Sally drove very very fast, faster than she’d ever driven before, to a large brick building in the center of a city. White trucks with flashing red lights dashed all around the little blue car. “Watch out! Watch out!” They called.

Sally came out hours later with tears drying on her cheeks.

“Grandma’s ok,” she told the little blue car. “She told me… well, it’s silly, but she told me I should call you Maude. It was her mother’s name.”

“Maude!” The little blue car blinked and hummed with joy.

It was a perfect name.



  1. nice story for the name of your car!!

  2. yay! I love Maude. such a cute story. 🙂

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