One of the things we did on holiday was take a little ride on a steam train. I read D a ‘Thomas’ story every night at bedtime so we are familiar with words like fender, funnel, tunnel, buffers and trucks. I love the romance of steam and this trip had some particularly beautiful little details on the old train.
My favourite ‘Thomas’ story is about an old Welsh engine called Skarloey. I love reading this at bedtime:
“The coaches ran nicely, but he soon began to feel tired again. His springs were weak, and the rail joints jarred his wheels.
Then with a crack, a front spring broke, and he stopped.
“I feel all crooked,” he complained.
“That’s torn it,” said his Driver, “we’ll need a bus now for our passengers.”
“No!” pleaded Skarloey, “I’d be ashamed to have a bus take my passengers. I’ll get home or burst,” he promised bravely.
The Thin Controller looked at his watch, and paced the platform. James and his train waited impatiently too.
They heard a hoarse “Peep Peep”, then groaning, clanging and clanking, Skarloey crept into sight. He was tilted to one side, and making fearful noises, but he plodded bravely on.
“I’ll do it, I’ll do it,” he gasped between the cranks and groans, “I’ll… I’ve done it!”
(Four little engines, The Rev. W. Awdry)