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Cows and Whistles
Season 4, Episode 17
Air date July 11th, 2015
Written by DonaldDouglasandToby6
Directed by DonaldDouglasandToby6
Episode guide
Previous
Duck and the Coaches
Next
Jason's Lost Friend

Plot

Cows can be a nuisance to the Island of Sodor. They often stroll down the line and cause large delays. "Botheration," scowled Daisy, "What's this despicable cattle doing on my line? Now I shall be late with my passengers and the milk! What an unpleasant combination!" Many engines have dealt with cows at one point, particularly Daisy, Gordon, and Henry. But Caitlin hasn't ever met a cow before. Caitlin is a very innocent engine, but can get too excited for her own good.

One day, she was picking up her coaches at Knapford Yards before going back to the Mainland for the night. She was being coupled to her now empty coaches when she noticed Gordon and Henry puffing in together. The streamlined engine heard an interesting conversation between the two. "Cows are a menace to all engines," Henry was saying, "They do anything bad that they'd like; block the line and then obnoxiously not move." "Cows," agreed Gordon, "are vulgar."  Caitlin chimed in. "Cows are very kind creatures. They'd never do that." Gordon and Henry glared. "You've never met a cow, have you...?" huffed Henry. "Well, no but-" "So how in the world would you know about cows?" "Um, well..." "Exactly. You're ignorant to the annoyance of such foul creatures." grumbled Gordon, "The indignity some have, to think that they'd know what we're talking about!" "Agreed." muttered Henry. But Caitlin was cross. "I bet I could shoo a cow away." challenged Caitlin. Gordon laughed. "Yeah, right." Caitlin was crosser still. "I have a shrill whistle, unlike you!" she huffed. Gordon blew his whistle and startled Caitlin. "You were saying?" said Gordon smugly and the two big engines laughed. Caitlin let off steam feebly. "That wasn't nice." she pouted. "Oh please. It's bad enough you kept the island awake all night." cried Henry. Before Caitlin could say a word, her driver walked up. "No time to chat Caitlin, time to go." Caitlin huffed angrily and steamed away towards the Mainland, but she was still furious. "How dare they! I think I can shoo a cow away. It's very simple!" she fumed, "I'll tell Connor the second I see him! He should know what to do!"

It was dark by the time Caitlin had reached the Vicarstown Bridge. At Barrow-in-Furness, she saw Connor with his coaches. "Hello, Caitlin!" called Connor, "You look a bit upset." "I am," replied Caitlin, "Have you ever seen a cow before?" Connor chuckled. "Maybe once or twice when I go out into the countryside." "But have you ever tried to shoo one away?" Caitlin persisted. "Well, no... Why do you ask?" Connor asked, "Well, Gordon and Henry said I can't shoo a cow away, so I came to you for help. Edward told me that Gordon and Henry had incidents with cows in the past. This'll be a good chance to prove that cows aren't trying to hurt anybody." said Caitlin. Connor laughed. "Maybe you can shoo a cow while I'm watching, Then, I'll tell Gordon. Now if you excuse me, I have to get some rest." and Connor puffed away to the goods yard to drop off his coaches and fall asleep in the shed. Caitlin yawned and followed suit.

The next morning, Caitlin woke up bright and early for her morning train, and was surprised to find that Connor had already left. "My, he's an early riser." she giggled and she puffed to the station to wait for her coaches to be shunted. A BR Class 08 arrived. "Hurry up, please." Caitlin said kindly, "I'm due for Ulfstead soon." "Whatever." mumbled the Diesel. Soon, he had shunted Caitlin's coaches into place, and the passengers boarded the train. The guard blew his whistle, and Caitlin started off to Ulfstead Castle. "Now I'll do it." she said confidently. As Caitlin raced into Crovan's Gate Station, she passed Gordon. "Have you tried to shoo a cow yet?" he laughed. "Um.... no," replied Caitlin meekly. "I guess you're too scared to!" and Gordon raced off. Caitlin was now crosser than ever. "Who was that lout?" asked a voice. Caitlin looked over and saw Paul, the grumpy Diesel, "I'm Paul. And you're Caitlin. I can read. I know, shocking." "Hello Paul. But I can't stop to talk. I have passengers to deliver!" said Caitlin excitedly. "Good for you. I have quarry duty. But don't listen to louts like Gordon. They're just stuck-up. At least I have excuses." said Paul. "I'll keep that in mind." chuckled Caitlin and she bustled away. "Heh heh... I like being deceptive." chuckled Paul. "What are you doing sitting around, Paul? Hurry up to the quarry!" cried Rusty, who was oiling alongside. "Oh no..." and Paul raced off.

At Ulfstead Castle, meanwhile, Connor was puffing in with passengers for Millie. "Hello Millie. A fresh patch, just for this castle!" "Thanks, Connor. It means a lot to keep tourists coming here." said the narrow gauge engine gratefully. Suddenly, steam erupted from his cab. "Oh no... I burst my safety valve! I had a feeling I was going a bit too fast." Connor felt very upset. "Don't worry Connor," comforted Millie, "Surely somebody is to come soon." Just then, the Earl arrived. "What's happened here? And what's with all the steam? We aren't having a concert. Well, at least not at the time." he coughed. "Oh, that would be mine." apologized Connor, "I burst my safety valve. I need an engine to take me to the Steamworks." "I think Gordon should be done with his express run soon. He can do it." "Oooh, not looking forward to that..." sighed Connor.

Caitlin was puffing to Maron Station, where she would scurry up the Ulfstead Branch Line to the castle. But at Maron was Henry, collecting workmen to take to The Lumber Mill. The look on his face said it all as Cailtin flew by. "Pah, he thinks he can be so smug to me! Well, he's got another thing coming!" grumbled Caitlin as she rattled over the junction, and swerved as her wheels accompanied the rails. It didn't take her very wrong to reach Ulfstead Castle. But as she puffed up the slope, she could see that Connor wasn't puffing by. "What's taking him?" she asked to herself. When she finally reached the castle station, she got her answer. "Bust my buffers! What happened?" she gasped, "Connor, are you alright?" "Don't worry, I'm fine. I just burst my safety valve," explained Connor, "and the Earl sent for Gordon to take me to the Steamworks." Caitlin sighed sadly when she saw a glimpse of blue in the distance. The big tender engine puffed on the line Connor was on and sneered at Caitlin. "So, have you still tried?" Gordon teased. "Well..." "Shut up, Gordon!" cried Connor, "Caitin will shoo a cow away soon, I know it!" Caitlin was surprised. "Alright Caitlin, do it." challenged Gordon, "Right. Now." as he pulled Connor away. Caitlin gulped and looked down at the rails. "Alright..." and the shunter uncoupled her from her coaches. Beside the line was field with many cows and sheep grazing. Caitlin looked over and saw the field. "*sigh* If only I can shoo away a cow... That'd show Gordon and Henry that I'm more than 'innocent'." Suddenly, one of the cows charged the fence; it didn't like the idea of being locked up and longed to be free. "Moo." it said as it bumped the fence. The wood gave way and the cow's head perked up when he saw some grass in the ballast and ran toward it. Caitlin watched as it stood on the line, lowering its head down to graze. "Ha, I'll show them! Now, for my shrill whistle," thought Caitlin and she whispered her plan to her driver. "Alright, Caitlin. We'll need to get this excuse of a cow off the line anyway." he said and her driver prepared to pull the whistle chain. The driver pulled the chain and a loud whistle ran throughout Ulfstead Castle. Even Stephen, who was showing tourists around the castle grounds heard the sound. "What's that?" he wondered. The passengers had to cover their ears. "What's that noise?" a man scowled. "It sounds like Caitlin's whistle to me." wondered Stephen, "What in the blazes is she up to?!"

At the station, Gordon puffed away with Connor tugging behind as fast as his wheels could carry him. "So loud! I can't hear myself puff!" cried Gordon. Connor winked at Caitlin as Gordon dragged him; Connor was used to loud whistle, so he didn't mind at all. The whistle was so loud, in fact, that only Caitlin noticed that the cow was back in his field; The driver stopped and Caitlin turned around on the turntable to take her passengers back to Barrow-in-Furness. "I... I never heard a whistle that loud before," cried Millie, who was shivering with fright. Caitlin smirked and made her way across the island. Meanwhile, Gordon took Connor to the Steamworks. Victor greeted them warmly. "Hello Connor and Gordon, my friends. What can I do for you?" Victor asked. Gordon groaned and shut his eyes. "Please, stop! I can't bear it!" he shouted. Victor was surprised. "Connor, explain your issue and why Gordon is so... fragile? In that respect, you're quite almost like Murdoch." he said. "How is he, anyway?" asked Connor, "I heard he was in a nasty accident." "Oh, he's actually almost ready to return to service. But let's worry about you. What happened?" "I... sort of burst my safety valve." Connor explained. Victor smiled. "Don't worry, my friend. We'll take care of that in no time."

That night, Caitlin backed into Tidmouth Sheds for another visit.  Gordon and Henry weren't pleased, but decided to say nothing. "See, engines? Cows are nice! You just have to know how to handle them." she gloated. "Well... Henry and Gordon's cow experience happened a long time ago in the earlier days of the railway, so I'd say they learned," chuckled Edward, "What happened for you to mention cows just now?" "I proved Gordon and Henry wrong. I can shoo cows away." "You? I doubt it." laughed Henry. Caitlin smirked and whistled shortly. Gordon nearly jumped off the rails. "Please, stop whistling! I get it!" he cried, "You can whistle perfectly and cows are friends! Just leave me alone!" Caitllin giggled. "That wasn't that loud! What got you so sensitive, Gordon?" asked Henry cheekily. "I'm not sensitive, dear Henry, just... Well, let's just say Caitlin here shooed a cow and blew the loudest whistle I ever heard." Henry's eyes widened. "Really? Then I can see why you're grumpy." "Pah!" But the engines just laughed. "Well, I suppose we've learned something today." chuckled Edward. "Don't mess with cows?" suggested James, who was trying not to burst into laughter. "Um... no. I mean that we shouldn't underestimate the abilities of other engines. Isn't that right, Gordon?" "Make it stop!" moaned Gordon. The engines laughed once more, James in particular, and the conversation to Cailtin's dismay ended, but she knew she had taught two boastful engines a valuable lesson.

Characters

  • Edward
  • Henry
  • Gordon
  • James
  • Daisy
  • Stephen
  • Connor
  • Caitlin
  • Victor
  • Rusty
  • Paul
  • Millie
  • Sir Robert Norramby
  • Murdoch (does not speak)
  • Billy (cameo)
  • Sir Handel (cameo)
  • Freddie (cameo)
  • Kevin (cameo)

Trivia

  • References to the second season episode Cows and the seventeenth season episode Calm Down Caitlin are used.
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