Once upon a time there was a little engine called Edward. Well,
he wasn't that little. I mean, he was bigger than most tank engines, to be fair. But in comparison to the other engines,
he was little indeed.
Oh yeah, there were five other engines in the shed where Edward lived. Three blue ones, a green one
and a red one. Two of them were of course Gordon and Henry, not yet named as such in the story, but come on. You all know
who they are (and if you don't, then you are in serious trouble). Three of them will never be seen again after this book,
so make the most of them now. Let's see...according to Sodor Island, two of them were called 98462 and 87546. And 'Hunter
the Prairie Tank Engine' has the other one as Eagle, so I'll go with that.
"The driver won't choose you again," they said.
Now that's odd. since that would imply there was only one driver in the whole Region (as Sodor was then known as), which must
have been pretty confusing. And Delaying, come to think of it.
"He wants big strong engines like us," the engines
"Especially me," said 98462, who was incredibly vain. See? Even though I'm making fun of it, I'm also adding
characterisation. So I win. Something.
Edward hadn't been out in a long time; he began to feel sad. Yes, even though it
had been ages since he'd last come out, only now was Edward feeling sad. Delayed reactions, folks. That's what too much alcohol
will do to you. Not that Edward drinks alcohol, of course. Unless he does, I don't know. Next page!
Just then the driver
and fireman came along to start work. They were already ten minutes late, but they didn't care.
"Aww, why are you sad?"
asked the driver upon seeing Edward. "You want some ice cream? You want a Harry Ramsden's? You wanna come out today?"
please!" cried Edward, but it was a cry of joy rather than of tears. Oh, for those not in the know, Harry Ramsden's is a fish-and-chip
shop franchise. 'Cos nothing beats fish and chips for cheering someone up.
So the fireman lit the fire and made a nice
lot of steam. Then the driver pulled the lever, and Edward puffed away. Huh, not much technical detail there, huh? If Christopher
Awdry was writing this, it'd be all 'Then he turned the reverser to 65, pushed up on the brake valve...' and so on. Then again,
is anyone truly bothered? I know I'm not.
"Peep peep!" whistled Edward. "Look at me now." The other engines were very
cross at not being let out, especially 87546, who had acceptance issues. See? Character!
Away went Edward to get some coaches,
that just happened to be lying around on the track. "Be careful Edward!" they said. "Don't bump and bang us about like those
beastly other engines."
Edward, never being one to refuse a sexy coach, was very careful whilst handling the coaches.
you Edward," said the coaches. "Cheers love, " said one of them, not as well educated as
Once they got to the station, everyone on the platform got into the train
as quickly as possible. This story;s longer than I remember, so I'm trying to wrap things
up as quickly as possible. Edward waited for the guard to wave his green flag and blow his whistle. But (surprise
surprise) nothing happened.
"Peep peep! Where's the guard?" Edward was getting anxious, and
impatient. And older by the second, but that happens all the time.
"Have you seen the
guard?" the driver and fireman asked the station master.
"I wish," said the station
master. "He owes me half a crown."
"Have you seen the guard?" the asked the porter.
night," answered the porter. Isn't he hilarious?!
Edward began to get cross, in fact he was full blown mad.
"Are we ever gonna get out of here?" he cried. "What a way to start my first day back."
then a little boy shouted, "Here he comes!" Everyone looked to see the guard running down
the hill, his flags in one hand and his sandwich in the other. He ran onto the platform,
blew his whistle, and jumped into his van. Later on in the day he was sacked.
Edward had a lovely day. Everyone
waved at him, and he met all his old friends. Like Gerty, the tea lady, and Hans, the German man
from across the road. e was especially happy to see Sadie, the Station Master's sexy daughter,
but we'll go no more into that because this is a family parody.
The driver was so pleased
with Edward that he promised he could come out again tomorrow. Assuming of course that
he didn't feel ill, or die or anything. Then he wouldn't be able to take Edward anywhere.
"I'm going out again tomorrow,"
he said (Edward, not the driver) to the engines in the shed that night. "What do you think
of that, eh?"
But fortunately he didn't hear the words the other engines used (for he
would have been quite offended by them) and instead went to sleep. 'Cos he's old, and needs
One of the engines in Edward's shed was called Gordon, and still is. He was very
big and very proud, and still is. Some things never change.
"You watch me this afternoon,
little Edward," he boasted, "as I rush through with the express; that will be a splendid
sight for you."
"I'm 98462!" said 98462 angrily. "Edward's on your left!"
said Gordon. "Bloomin' painters, making us all the same colour."
"We're not the same
colour," said Henry and Eagle, smugly.
"Shut it!" said Gordon firmly. "Now, which one's Edward again? Ah yes, there
you are. Did you hear what I said earlier?"
"Yes Gordon," answered Edward.
Saves me having to repeat it then."
Just then Gordon's driver pulled the lever. "Goodbye,
little Edward!" said Gordon as he left. "Look out for me this afternoon."
say goodbye to us then," grumbled 87546.
Edward went off too, to do some shunting. Yee-haw! Sorry, I don't know why
I said that. It just seemed appropriate somehow.
Edward liked shunting. It was fun
playing with trucks, even if the trucks didn't think so. He would come up quietly and give
them a pull.
"Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!" screamed the trucks. Actually it was probably more
like "Ohohohohoh!" rather than five separate "Oh!"s, but far be it from me to question the Rev. W. Awdry's
"Whatever is happening?" the trucks would cry. Now, I know I said I wouldn't mention the TV
series, but I just love the way Ringo Starr says this line. It's hilarious.
would stop and the silly trucks would bump into each other. "Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!" the would
cry again. Oh Edward, you sadistic engine you!
He pushed them until they were running
nicely, and when they weren't expecting it he would stop; one of them would be sure to run onto another line. And if they
didn't, then a little bump would soon make sure they did. Edward played till there were
no more trucks; then he stopped to rest.
Presently he heard a whistle. He also heard
a bird and a car, but the whistle was what interested him the most. For it belonged to
Gordon, who came puffing along very slowly and very crossly. Instead of nice, shining coaches, he was carrying
a load of very dirty coal trucks.
"A goods train! a goods train! a goods train!" he grumbled, ignoring
some basic punctuation laws. "The shame of it, the shame of it, the shame of it!"
know, trucks get no respect. It's no wonder they always try to trick the engines and stuff.
I mean, think about it. It's only them getting back at an uncaring 'upper class'. Aren't
we supposed to reject aristocracy? Not on Sodor, apparently.
Edward laughed at Gordon's dilemma, cruel sadist that he
is, and went off to find some more trucks. So he could hurt some more innocent beings,
no doubt. Ok, are the 'sadistic Edward' jokes getting old? I'll stop before they do.
afterwards a porter came to see his driver. "Gordon can't get up the hill. Will you give
him a push, please?"
Edward, having no say in the matter, was forced to go help out. They found
Gordon halfway up the hill (which would soon become the infamous Gordon's Hill. Ooh, origin stories are so
exciting!) looking very cross. Very cross indeed. His driver and fireman (who were even
crosser than Gordon) were talking to him severely. "You're not trying!" they told him,
in so many words.
"Of course I'm not!" replied Gordon. "You think I'd pull these...unspeakable
abominations you call trucks? Now if the were coaches-clean sensible things that come quietly-that would be different.
But these things? You can get lost if you think I'm pulling these any further."
driver came up. "We've come to push," he said.
"No use at all," huffed Gordon. "Whoever's
behind me will never be able to get me and these trucks up a hill. Not even 98462!"
driving Edward," explained Edward's driver.
"Huh! Then we definately won't be going anywhere!"
wait and see, you big ugly engine you."
They brought the train back to the bottom of the hill, and Edward
came up to the brake van, ready to push.
"Peep, peep, I'm ready!" said Edward eagerly.
poop, get stuffed!" grumbled Gordon.
The guard blew his whistle and dived into his van
for cover, just in case. The two engines pulled and pushed as hard as they could. Well,
Edward did anyway.
"I'm not doing it, I'm not doing it, I'm not doing it," puffed Gordon.
"I figured that, I figured
that, I figured that," puffed Edward.
"I'm not doing it, I figured that, I'm not doing
it, I figured that, I'm not doing it, I figured that," the two puffed together (and in
any other series that line could be misconstrued). Edward's driver briefly considered producing
a record of the two, but decided against it.
Edward pushed and puffed and puffed and took a rest and
got his wind back and pushed again, as hard as he could, and before he realised it, Gordon found he was at
the top of the hill. It surprised him greatly.
"I've done it! I am the greatest! I am
the champion! Everyone sing of my success!" shouted Gordon, taking all the credit and forgetten
that the only reason he had stopped before was to not have to carry the trucks. Oh well,
this was obviously one of Gordon's less brighter moments. He didn't wait to thank Edward, he just ran on so fast
that he passed two stations before his driver could make him stop. Fortunately he wasn't expected
to have stopped in either station, so it wasn't too bad.
Poor Edward had been left
behind when Gordon had made it over the hill. Try as he might, he had ran out of breath
and couldn't catch up with Gordon. Everybody saw 'Awww'.
Done that? Great.
on to the next station, and there his driver and fireman said they were very pleased with him. The fireman gave
him a nice long drink, but stopped when he found out he was pouring chicken soup instead
of water into the tank. The driver said "I'll get out my paint tomorrow, and give you a
beautiful coat of blue with red stripes. While you'll look no different than you do now,
you'll be the smartest engine in the shed."
And since getting a new coat of paint is the equivalent of a king's
ransom to an engine, Edward was very happy indeed. So happy in fact, that he forgave the fireman
for pouring chicken soup into his tank.
Once an engine of great reputation,
Was afraid of some
It got stuck in a tunnel,
caused a very big muddle,
no one any consideration.
The engine's name was Johnny. No it wasn't, it was
Henry. I always get them mixed up. His driver and fireman argued with him, but he would not move.
"The rain will spoil my lovely green pai red stripes," he said.
"No it won't," said his driver. "It's waterproof."
no proof of that," Henry countered.
"Look, if it wasn't waterproof, don't you
think the rain would have already ruined it by now?" asked his fireman.
"I admit we've
been lucky so far, but there's no point in taking any more risks," said Henry firmly.
guard blew his whistle till he keeled over from exhaling too much. Once he regained his strength,
he waved his flags until he thought his arms would come off. Henry, not at all impressed by this tomfoolery, blew
steam at the silly man.
"If you think I'm going to risk spoiling my lovelly green paint
and red stripes for you, you've got another thing coming mate!" said Henry, who would have
shook his fist at the guard, if he had any.
The passengers came and argued too,
but Henry wasn't going to have any of that. It wasn't as if any of them were important, after all.
For on that train was a fat director, who would eventually become known as the
Fat Director, who would then become Sir Topham Hatt, the Fat Controller, esq. I think you'll
agree, he's very important indeed.
Still not gonna get Henry to move though.
will pull you out!" said the fat director, in a dignified and respectable manner.
can try mate," said Henry, and blew steam at him, making him very wet.
Just then Edward passed by. I mention this
because he already passed Henry earlier. And I remind you that he was going the same way both
times. He is obviously some sort of magician. And yes ladies, he's single.
hooked a rope around Henry (presumably around his coupling or something, rather than around
his boiler. Just pointing that out), and all the passengers put their weight on it. All except
one-the fat director.
"Well, I erm, you see, my doctor, yes that's it, my doctor has forbidden me from pulling
you know. As much as I'd like to help of course, doctor's orders and all that. Good luck
But try as they might, they couldn't get Henry out. So they went to
the other end and started to push. All except-you guessed it-the fat director.
you see, as well as much as I want to help you, my doctor has said, and my medical expert of a wife has agreed with him,
that I am not to overly strain myself pushing large or heavy objects. However, I shall
do my bit despite the pain...by supervising this operation. Right, all together now....one,
two three, push!"
They pushed and pushed and one of them fell over but soon got up again
and continued pushing, but because none of them had superhuman strength, Henry stayed stock still. Still
At last another train came. Ah. Right. Well, erm...I've just seen the illustration, and
the engine pulling the train is undoubtedly James. Curse you, C. Reginald Dalby! Why must
you have made such mistakes? At least the TV series had Thomas do it, which is less of
a stretch as Thomas would have at least been on the Island at the time. Hmm...how do I
get out of this? Right...from now on, this story takes place after 'Thomas and the Breakdown Train'. Alright? No arguements!
said everyone to Henry (they must have been speaking in unison), "It has stopped raining."
don't care," replied Henry. "I'm comfortable now."
So James pushed and puffed and such,
but try as he might, Henry was just too heavy. Incidentally, James' train somehow vanished.
I offer no reasons why, except perhaps the subspace theory, but that's too complicated to go
into at the moment.
So they gave it up. James took the passengers away back to the station where they would get a
full refund, which was only fair as they were now half an hour late.
The fat director
spoke to Henry. "Even though it would be an immense waste of a line, I'm going to punish
you by locking you in this tunnel."
"Sir," said a railwayman (It doesn't matter who
it was. It could have been Henry's driver, or the guard. Make up your own minds)., "I hate to contradict you, but
you can't really lock someone in a tunnel."
"What's that? Oh, I guess you're right. Very well
then. We shall construct a brick wall, to be built in front of this very engine, that shall
keep him locked up here...for all eternity! Muwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!"
took up the old rails and built a wall in front of Henry. It was a rather odd construction, as sometimes the wall would
be large in one place one minute and then small in the same place the next. Bizarre.
look. It says here they cut a new tunnel. Well, that's surprised me, I can tell you. Isn't
it amazing what you can miss? I might as well point out in this little interlude from the
action, that Henry looks as shocked as anything. I think it's pretty funny. He's like "Ohh! What's happened?
Where's this wall come from? Ohhh!" Hee hee!
Now Henry can't get out (obviously), and he watches
the trains as they go by into the new tunnel. The new tunnel is the place to be, you know.
It's got lights and everything. Very snazzy. Henry is very sad, because now no one will
ever see his green paint and red stripes again. Ponce.
But I think (Well, I don't
think this, but the Rev. Awdry does) he deserved it, don't you?
ALTERNATIVE AMERICAN ENDING:
don't worry, boys and girls! Henry will be out of there soon! Nothing bad's gonna happen!
Ha ha ha!
Edward and Gordon often went through the tunnel where Henry was shut
up. Well, not through the exact same tunnel that Henry was in, because...well, I think the
reasons are obvious. And if they aren't, then I suggest you seek professional
Edward would say, "Peep peep--Howdily-doodily!" (Because he's like that)
and Gordon would laugh cruelly and make jokes. Tunnel-related jokes. I don't know any myself, so I cannot give you an
Poor Henry had no steam to answer. His fire had gone out...which
might have been why he was stuck in the first place! Perhaps that act of prissiness
was a cover to disguise his weakness!
On second thoughts, maybe not.
of his prissiness, Henry was upset that the tunnel's soot had spoiled his green paint with red stripes. He was
cold and unhappy, and wanted to come out to pull trains too. Like a kid looking
out of their window when they;ve been grounded, except kids probably wouldn't
want to pull trains. Drive trains, maybe. Pull, probably not.
Oh, by the way, another Dalby error.
No new tunnel has been cut, according to the illustrations. Join me in showing disproval by
booing and hissing in disgust.
Gordon always pulled the express. He was
proud of being the only engine strong enough to do so. Well, at the moment anyway, since
Henry was shut up. 'Cos Henry could totally pull the express.
There were many heavy coaches in the express,
full of important people like the fat director who had punished Henry (which might
explain why the coaches were heavy).
Gordon was seeing how fast he could go,
a task made harder by the absence of a stopclock or reference point. "Hurry! hurry! hurry!"
he panted, again forgetting the laws of punctuation. Get this engine to a school!
trickerty-trock," said the coaches. Well, they porbably didn't say it as such.
That was more likely the sound they made going down the track. But I digress.
could see Henry's Tunnel in front. Barely been in a week and the tunnel's already named after
him. Now that's a quick christening.
"In a minute," Gordon thought out loud, "I'll poop,
poop, poop at Henry, and rush through and out into the open again."
If I were
a lesser man, I would make some sort of joke about Gordon going 'poop, poop, poop."
But fortunately I still have some dignity.
Closer and closer he came-he was almost there, when crack: "Wheee------------------eeshshsh,"
(Don't ask me how you pronounce that) Gordon was in a cloud of steam, and going
slower and slower.
His driver stopped the train. Sensible man.
Dickens has happened to me?" asked Gordon. "I feel so weak."
"You've burst your safety
valve. You can't pull the train anymore" said the driver, using his keen Holmesian senses to make that deduction.
bloody hell," said Gordon (I don't know why I have Gordon talk like some sort
of Victorian Land-owner, but I am, so get used to it!), "And after such a jolly
run as well....Look at Henry, having a good wheeze on my behalf."
Gordon made a face and blew smoke
at Henry. Henry was too far away to care.
Everybody got out to see Gordon. They hadn't had a good
enough look at him earlier, and decided now was as good a time as any.
said the fat director. "I never liked these big engines-always going wrong. Give
me a good old tank engine any day. Or a narrow gauge engine, but no one will discover that line for a few good
years yet. Send for another engine at once!" he cried to no one in particular.
guard ran back to fetch one (like the dog he is), they uncoupled Gordon and ran
him on a siding out of the way. A siding that sprung up overnight apparently,
since it never showed up in the illustrations before.
The only engine left was Edward. "I'll give it a go," he said.
saw him coming. "Bah!" he said. "That will never do. Edward does not have the
capacity needed to move that train."
Gordon was right. Edward puffed and pulled
and whatnot, but it was no use. Edward was just not strong enough. He was very angry about
this, not sad as the TV series would have you believe.
"I told you as such," said Gordon rudely. "Why not
give the task to that rapscallion Henry?"
"I'll try anything once," said the
fat director. "And on reflection, it probably was a bit harsh sticking him in
that shed so long."
"Will you pull this train, Henry?" he asked.
"You bet I will!" shouted
Henry. "Anything to get out of this tunnel."
So Gordon's driver and fireman lit his fire, and some
random platelayers broke down The Wall. Pink Floyd were unhappy that their hit
album had been broken, so the fat director paid them compensation. Then the platelayers
broke the wall in front of Henry, and when he had enough steam, he puffed out.
He was dirty, his boiler
was black, and he was covered in cobwebs. Altogether, he was a mucky pup. "Ooh! I'm so stiff!
Ooh! I'm so stiff! And look at me, I'm filthy!" he groaned.
"You'd better have
a run to ease your joints, and find a turntable," said the fat director kindly.
"We've no time to clean you though, so get over it!" he barked not-so-kindly.
Henry came back feeling better,
and they put him in front. "Peep, peep," said Edward, "I'm ready."
peep!" said Henry. "I'm not. Give me a few minutes."
After a few minutes they
finally set off. the coaces were heavy, but they pulled hard, and they did it. The
coaches jerked and began to move, slowly at first, then faster, then faster, then slower because Henry was out of puff,
then fatser once he'd got his second steam.
"We've done it together! We've
done it together! We've done it together!" shouted Edward, in an attempt to get
people to understand the importance of teamwork.
"Mostly me though! Mostly me though! Mostly
me though!" shouted Henry, totally ruining Edward's plan.
All the passengers were excited. The fat director
leaned out of the window to wave at Edward and Henry; but the train was going
so fast that his hat blow off into a field where a goat ate it for tea. The goat
later died of food poisoning.
They never stopped till they came to the big station at the end
of the line. No, tell a lie, they stopped once to get the fat director a new hat.
The passengers all
got out and said "Thank you," and the fat director promised Henry a new coat of
"Would you like blue and red?"
"Not really," said Henry honestly.
"There's too many blue engines here already."
Well tough!" snapped the fat director. "You're gonna be blue and
"Huh!" snorted Henry. "I'll be back in green before you know it."
and Henry went home quietly, and on their way back they helped Gordon to the shed.
Because they felt like being nice.
All three engines are now great friends,
except when they're not.
Wasn't Henry upset to get his new coat? He's not very proud of it, but he has a plan-He
will pretend to be sick every day from now on. Yes, he came out of the experience without