Percy and the Special Truck is the eleventh story of volume four.
|Percy and the Special Truck|
|Season 4B, Episode 11 (87)|
|Air date||12 June 2022|
Percy's New Dome
The Trouble with the Hay
Percy the Small Engine can be rather rough at times, especially with the troublesome trucks. He has even had many accidents at times due to improper handling of trucks. Regardless, he knows how to get the job done, and in general, trucks behave well whenever Percy is around.
One night, when Thomas and Jessie returned to the sheds, Percy was still in steam.
"I still have one more job to do," he told them.
"Just don't make too much noise when you come back," teased Thomas.
"I won't," promised Percy. Then he slowly puffed away.
Thomas and Jessie were tired. It had been a long day.
"We're starting early tomorrow," yawned Jessie. "Better get a good night's rest."
Thomas agreed and with that, the two fell fast asleep.
When Percy returned it was late. He came in as quietly as he could and once his Driver and Fireman left for the night, he went to sleep.
The next day, the engines were out very early, and things went as they usually do. Thomas was kept busy with Annie and Clarabel whilst Percy handled the trains of stone to the Harbour. Toby and Mavis kept busy at the Quarry and Jessie managed the rest of the goods trains on the line.
At the end of day though, Percy was once again was still 'in steam'.
"Now where are you off to?" asked Thomas.
"Not very far," replied Percy. "Look Thomas, some of us don't mind working all day and night," he teased.
"I like getting some rest if you don't mind," retorted Thomas.
"Never mind Thomas!" laughed Jessie. "You can both have it your own way. Just don't wake us up, Percy," she added.
"You know I won't," said Percy. "Anyways, don't mind me."
Percy puffed slowly away. He passed Liza on his way.
"Good night Liza," he called.
"Good night Percy," she replied. "Are you working late again?"
"Erm, uh, yes," he stammered. "Just another quick job to do."
"Very well. Good night Percy," she called as she headed home.
"Night Liza!" called Percy. He waited till she was out of sight. "Phew," sighed Percy with relief.
On a siding right out of the way was on old truck. His frames were old and his paintwork was faded. He had a single 'M' painted on his side in white albeit it was now fading. He was known as the 'M' truck.
"You took a bit longer," the 'M' truck chuckled.
"Sorry," apologised Percy, "but I didn't want to create any suspicions."
"You shouldn't worry too much about that. Honestly, I've had my time. I've given many great years of service. It's only a matter of time before . . ."
"No!" interrupted Percy. "That can't be. I'll figure something out. In the meantime, I have to take this train of tankers to the dairy tomorrow but I'll place a stone train in front so you can stay out of sight."
"If you say so," sighed the 'M' truck.
The following day, Percy was idling in the yard when Mavis arrived with trucks full of stone.
"I'm bringing down another stone train with Toby," said Mavis. "Where do you want this lot for now?"
"Don't worry Mavis, I can handle it."
"Nonsense. I can help you."
Just as Percy and Mavis began to argue, Liza came up.
"Relax Mavis, you should get back up to the Quarry. We don't want Percy to be late to the Harbour. . . again. He can re-arrange things here in the yard."
"Oh, all right. I suppose I must," said Mavis. She trundled away.
"Thank you Liza," said Percy. "You know, you really didn't have to intervene. I mean, there's no specific reason why I wanted to move this line of tankers."
"If you say so," grinned Liza. "And there's definitely no real reason for why you venture off in the night every day."
"Oh, of course not."
Liza stopped for a moment.
"You are aware that I know, right?"
"Of course! Honestly, how couldn't I?"
"I was just worried you or someone else might tell Stationmaster about the 'M' truck," said Percy, sheepishly.
"You needn't worry anymore," soothed Liza. "We'll never tell. Not till he's in tip-top shape again."
"Thanks Liza," said Percy, gratefully. "Now, if you don't mind, I have some quick shunting to do."
With that, Percy carried on as usual.
That evening, Percy was back at Ffarquhar having a washdown.
"Now Percy, tell me more about the 'M' truck," inquired Liza, as she polished Percy's dome.
"First off, thanks for the extra polish on my dome," said Percy. "Well, he's a very old truck. He said he came to Sodor back when Thomas's Branch Line was first opened so he's been around for a long time. He once had a nasty accident where he was almost damaged and since then, he always has the utmost respect for engines. Unfortunately, time is catching up to him. He's hasn't been used in many years. Heck, even I forgot about him till one day I found him in the yard," explained Percy.
"Well I think you should tell Stationmaster so he can ask the Fat Controller if he can be repaired. After all, it would augment our rolling stock," said Liza.
"I'm just a bit worried though. I don't want to argue with anyone about the amount of rolling stock we have."
"You don't have to argue!" laughed Liza.
"I must have misheard then."
"That happens to you a lot."
"Yeah. I'm just a bit distracted right now."
"Well, think about it tonight," encouraged Liza. "I've left my point clear, but I won't tell anyone behind your back."
"Thank you Liza. Good night."
"Good night Percy."
Liza went home leaving Percy with a lot to think about.
The next day, Liza kept busy at the station. Percy was still unsure of what to do but he wanted to talk to her again.
Just then, Toby came up.
"Mavis will be here any minute with some stone trucks," said Toby.
"Right. Thanks Toby," said Percy at last.
"What's the matter with you? You look upset," said Toby.
"I have a little problem," began Percy. Then he explained to Toby all about the 'M' truck.
"Honestly Percy, you needn't worry. I wouldn't be surprised if Stationmaster knows already!" grinned Toby.
"I doubt it. He would have moved him long ago," replied Percy.
"I, for one agree with Liza," said Toby. "You should tell him."
"I hope I can," murmured Percy.
His chance came sooner than expected. Just up the line, Mavis was trundling down with her load of stone trucks but as usual, the trucks were up to their old tricks. Mavis had to work hard to keep them in order. Still, the trucks knew they had one last chance for mischief. As they approached the Yard, Mavis's brakes came on. She knew the trucks would surge into her but the trucks were heavy and they pushed her on. A shunter quickly switched her to the emergency siding. Toby and Percy saw Mavis skidding through the Yard.
"Oh no! She's headed for the 'M' truck!" cried Percy.
Mavis saw the truck in front of her.
"I've almost got them!" she groaned.
But it was too late, the 'M' truck flew off the track as Mavis squealed to a halt.
Toby and Percy rushed over to make sure everyone was okay.
"Sorry for the surprise entry," apologised Mavis. "But these trucks were nothing but trouble all the way."
"That's all right," said the 'M' truck, lying on the ground.
"Are you okay?"
"Just a bit battered, that's all. Are you and your crew all right?"
"Yes, we're okay."
"Oh dear Mavis. I'm glad you're safe," said Percy. "I see you've met the 'M' truck."
"Wait, didn't you used to be working?" asked Mavis.
"Of course," said the 'M' truck. "I've been here for years. Not used much recently but I'm glad to see you remember. Great to see you too Toby."
The engines were interrupted as the Stationmaster came up. He had heard the commotion and had to make sure everything was in order.
"Mavis, I saw you come in quickly. Are you okay?"
"Yes Sir. I'm fine."
"That's good to hear."
Then the Stationmaster noticed the 'M' truck. Percy knew this was his opportunity.
"I'm sure you noticed the derailed truck now," said Percy.
"Yes indeed," said the Stationmaster. "We must get him back on the track as soon as possible."
"Just one thing though," continued Percy. "He's not exactly in perfect condition."
The Stationmaster could see the 'M' truck's old frames and faded paint.
"Yes indeed. Well, there's only one fix for that." He paused impressively. "We have him repaired at once. He'll make a fine addition to our rolling stock consist."
That of course made everything right. The 'M' truck was soon restored to proper working order and now he keeps busy with whatever goods need to be carried. He often works with Percy and helps keep the others trucks in order. Most of all, he is glad to be Really Useful once again.
- The 'M' truck
- Ffarquhar Stationmaster
- Annie and Clarabel (do not speak)
- This story was inspired by the preservation of the 'M' truck's model by prop collectors ThomasTankMerch on Twitter. The model holds the record for being the oldest prop on the show since it was modelled on 9 December 1924.