|Nicholas the Crane|
February 14th, 2014
It was another day at the Smelter's Yard. 'Arry and Bert bumped the trucks about. "Take that!" "Look sharp!" they laughed. The trucks shouted, "Ouch! Oh, what is happening?! Horrid monsters!" The Diesels were having great fun. Suddenly, 'Arry looked ahead. "Psst, Bert. I think you might want to take a look at this..." Bert glanced forward and saw Murdoch with a flatbed. On the flatbed was an orange crane looking scared. "Do I really have to work here? It looks scary." he said hastily. Murdoch sighed. "Sorry, but that's what the Fat Controller said, and I can't change that." The crane gulped as he saw the two Smelters diesels. "W-who are you?" 'Arry and Bert snickered. "Look at this, Bert. It's the dumbest crane of all time!" "I'm surprised you haven't heard of us. We're the Grim Messengers of Doom." The crane shivered. Murdoch rolled his eyes. "Nobody says that." 'Arry glared. "You're lucky that's true." he whispered darkly and the two diesels set to work. "I'm Nicholas." said the crane. 'Arry and Bert took no notice. Nicholas frowned. "Are all Diesels like that on this railway?" Murdoch sighed. "Thankfully, no. Some Diesels are nice, but the majority are just machines that want to destroy us." Nicholas gulped as he saw 'Arry and Bert handling the scrap.
The workmen nailed him down to an area of the Smelter's that looked a bit spooky. Behind Nicholas was a hot furnace, where scrap was melted down. But he didn't like the look of it. "This place is scary..." "Get used to it," mumbled Bert. "Are you just a scaredy crane?" teased 'Arry. Nicholas was cross and decided to set to work. His driver climbed up the ladder into the cab and set to work with the controls. Nicholas' hook lifted up some old twisted metal that looked like it was from an old car. Then, he turned around and unleashed it into the furnace. "Oh, I wish I could work in a place more light-hearted..." he thought.
Meanwhile, Murdoch was telling Donald and Douglas about Nicholas. "He's a good sort, but a bit paranoid about scrap. He said he once was intended to be scrapped, but the Fat Controller bought him and gave him to the Smelter's." said Murdoch. Donald and Douglas exchanged a worried look. "The poor lad..." said Donald sadly, "He has to go work with them devils at of all places, a scrapyard. How do ye think he feels? He nearly escaped and the diesels might try something to get rid of the little guy." Murdoch pondered the situation. "Well, I guess, but the Smelter's does need a crane." "Wait a moment there laddie. I thought the Smelter's did have a crane." interrupted Douglas. "Losh shakes! Ye're right, Douggie. But the question is, what happened to it?" "I suggest we use a deputation." said Murdoch. "But who's gonna ask?" asked Douglas. Before Murdoch could answer, his driver got back from his lunch break. "Come on, Murdoch. Time to go." Murdoch puffed away, leaving the twins to chatter amongst themselves.
Meanwhile, 'Arry and Bert talked about scrapping. "Which one do you want to get first?" asked 'Arry. "I don't know. I always wanted to get the blue puffer." "Which one?" "The obnoxious tank engine of course!" giggled Bert. "But Fat Hatt won't allow it." replied 'Arry. "Thank you for reminding me..." Nicholas overheard. "That's not very nice!" and he was so busy being upset that he accidently dropped a bunch of scrap on top of Bert. "Ow..." Nicholas frowned nervously. "Uh... Need a hook? Heh, heh?" 'Arry and Bert were furious. "You stupid crane! You make me look like a fool!" growled Bert. "The manager's gonna hear of this..." and they proceeded to tell the manager. "No, wait! It was an accident! Oh, no..." groaned Nicholas; he knew he was in deep trouble.
Suddenly, two Scottish voices were heard. "Have ye found that crane yet?" "Nah, not yet." Nicholas gulped. "I'm in trouble now!" he thought. The Scottish voices turned out to be Donald and Douglas. "Aye, Douggie. Are ye sure ye haven't found the lost crane?" "Quiet. Remember, Nicholas doesn't know who we are..." whispered Douglas darkly, then he glanced up at the big, sturdy crane that sat before them. "Dinna fash yerself. We're here to help, lad." Nicholas felt relieved. "Thank goodness. But how?" "We know the Smelter's has a crane somewhere, but we're trying to find out where." Nicholas' face turned pale. "What is it, laddie? Have ye seen it?" asked Douglas hastily. Nicholas gulped. "No, actually, but Murdoch told me what happened. 'Arry crashed into the old crane, and the supports were so weak that it tumbled into the furnace..." Donald and Douglas groaned just as the Smelter's diesels arrived with the manager. "Will somebody tell me what is going on with my company? I've got a position to keep up, you buffoons!" "What's that?" asked Nicholas. The manager pretended he hadn't heard and turned to Donald and Douglas. "Steam engines aren't allowed in this facility." "But sir. It turns out that poor Nicholas prefers to work outside the scrapping community." said Donald crossly. "And he has the right to work where he feels comfortable." added Douglas. Nicholas smiled; Donald and Douglas were true friends, even if they only just met. The manager shook his head grimly and walked to a telephone booth.
"Yes, Topham? Apparently your stupid crane here is too whiny to work here. What? What do you mean he was going to be scrapped and then you saved him? Geez, calm down. I'll transfer him to the Fishing Village. Just relax, ok? What? I'm fired?! Oh, rats..." The manager walked angrily out the door. Donald and Douglas blew their whistles in delight as Murdoch arrived with Rocky. "I'm here to load you onto my flatbed!" smiled Rocky and he he slowly lifted Nicholas off the ground and onto the flatbed. 'Arry and Bert growled. "Oh no, you don't..." But the trio were off before the Diesels could catch them.
Murdoch took Nicholas to the Fat Controller. "I'm sorry if I caused any problems, sir..." The Fat Controller smiled. "No worries, Nicholas. I want everybody on my railway to be comfortable, and you're no exception." Nicholas smiled. "Murdoch, take Nicholas to the Fishing Village with Arthur. I think he's gonna like it there." "Yes, sir." smiled Murdoch and he puffed away with Rocky and Nicholas.
NIcholas now works with Arthur at the Fishing Village, loading fish into his vans. He now feels like a Really Useful Crane.
- Donald and Douglas
- 'Arry and Bert
- The Fat Controller
- Arthur (does not speak)
- Hiro (cameo)
- Charlie (cameo)