|Salty and the Small Engines|
|Season 7, Episode 4|
Love for the Sea
Salty was grumbling in the Dieselworks; he had been there for a while now, since he needed new buffers after carelessly shunting some trucks into some buffers at the Docks. "Argh, aren't I ready to go yet, cap'n Den?" the Dockside Diesel complained. "Uh, well... Your buffers are being fitted on, so I assume you can go by the end of the day." "Ohh, that's not quick enough..." "Sorry, Salty," apologized Dart, "But repairs don't happen overnight... unless it's something really minor, like this." "I just want to go back to the Docks," Salty muttered, "The last time something like this has happened, it didn't end too well for me, ya see?" "I think that should do it," said a workman confidently after surveying Salty's bufferbeam. "So I can go, cap'n?" Salty grinned. "I believe so. Just let me check with the manager." As the workman walked off to the manager's office, the Fat Controller drove up in his inspection car. "Salty! I need to talk to you!" Salty bit his lip; for a few seconds he thought he did something else wrong, though he couldn't imagine what; he had been stuck in the Dieselworks, not doing anything. "About what, sir? Are ye still angry with me, sir? If so, I'm very sorry-" "I know, Salty, that's not what this is about. It's another engine I'm annoyed at now. Let's just say Oliver will be looking after the Docks with Porter for a while." "But why, cap'n?" "Oliver's been quite rude to Duck, so I sent him to Brendam so he could respect certain types of work more." "Oh... I see, sir. So then where will I be going?" Salty asked, "To the quarry?" "Nonsense. The Little Western does need an engine, and I believe you're the one to help." Salty was surprised; he had never been on the Little Western before. "But sir, I don't know the area." "I'm sure that Duck, Donald and Douglas will be kind enough to tell you the route. Now, I expect you to leave right away, since your buffers seem to be repaired," said the Fat Controller. "Oh, yes cap'n! Right away" Salty smiled. The Fat Controller nodded to Den and Dart, then Winston reversed out of the building. "Well, isn't that lovely, Salty? You'll still be working by the seaside," said Dart. "Not to mention you won't be stationed in one particular location. You'll get a chance to stretch your wheels," added Den. "Such long sentences, Den." "I know, Dart. It's fun." "Argh, thank ye two for a nice stay! You're right; it will be a nice change of pace! Goodbye now!" Salty honked his horn and started out of the Dieselworks, just as the workman ran back. "Okay, you can... go. Never mind..." "Nice try, Wilson. Maybe one day," Dart grinned.
At Arlesburgh Sheds, Duck, Donald and Douglas were talking about the day's work. "It's been quite a busy time without Oliver," murmured Duck, "At the same time, I'm glad he isn't whining about my interests." "Aye, he kin be a pain whin he wants tae be," chuckled Donald, "Ye cannae deny his intelligence though." Douglas was about to interject when a strange horn blasted out. Salty backed into Oliver's berth, surprising the trio. "Salty?" Donald asked, "Whit urr ye daein' 'ere? Ah thought ye wur at th' docks." "I'm here to fill in for Oliver until he gets back from the Docks," Salty chortled. "Oh yes, I remember now," Duck chuckled. Salty grinned, and he shot a meaningful look at Duck. "So, I guess we be working together now, are we? That should be interesting." Duck was beyond delighted. "Yes Salty, I guess we are! I cannot wait until tomorrow! I'll show you all my friends around here! There's a railboat, a purple tank engine, miniature tender engines..." Duck started chatting endlessly. Salty looked over to Douglas. "Does he always go on tangents like this?" "He does whin he gets excited," Douglas smirked. Salty chuckled lightly. "Well then... I'm in for a ride."
The next morning, Duck whistled loudly, waking Salty up. "Argh, where's the Flying Kipper? I need to shunt-" He then looked around and remembered everything from the previous evening. "...oh." "Wake up, lazywheels," Duck smirked, "You have to collect some supplies from the harbour and take it to Arlesburgh Junction. It's just a little ways from here " "Oh... Right away," Salty yawned as he rolled out of the shed. Duck snickered. Douglas, however, was more concerned. "Urr ye sure that diesel know whit he's daein'? He forordinar ainlie shunts trucks, ye know." "Oh, I'm sure he'll be fine," said Duck confidently, "I hope..."
At Arlesburgh Harbour, Skiff was flying along the rails happily. "Wee, woo hoo! I just love watching the sun rise on a cool day!" "Argh, indeed. Takes me back to when I was on the Mainland," said a pirate-like voice. Skiff blinked in confusion as he sailed alongside a red BR Class 07. "I've never seen you before," the railboat said in surprise. "Blimey! I for one have never see a boat with wheels either. My name is Salty, matey." "I'm Skiff. Are you new around here?" "Sort of. I've been on the island for years, but never in these parts, argh. I'm still getting used to this place." "I see," said Skiff as Salty was coupled up to his trucks, "I'm just restricted to this harbour, since I give tours. Not that I really mind though; the sunsets are beautiful." "Indeed they seem to be, judging from their sunrises," Salty murmured, "I'll see you later I suppose, Skiff. I must get to some junction." The diesel honked his horn and rushed away. Skiff grinned. "Seems like a nice diesel. I like his pirate accent too. So authentic."
As Salty rolled along the coast, he couldn't help but draw his eyes to all the seagulls, sand dunes, and the sound of the waves splashing into the beach. "Argh, it's just like Brendam Docks, only less industrialized. I'm gonna like it here..."
At Arlesburgh Junction, Salty rolled up alongside Duck, who was collecting some ballast. "Did you meet Skiff?" asked the Great Western engine. "Argh, indeed I did matey. He's quite friendly. Such an optimist. Nice to see one on this island, to be honest." "I can't help but agree there. Now, I should probably tell you how this ballast chute works." "Yes, please do. Otherwise, I might have ballast all over me!" Salty chortled. "We already had that happen with Sidney, so it wouldn't be the first time," remarked Duck, "Anyway, those small tracks over there belong to the Arlesdale Railway. That railway has miniature engines that do many different jobs, like us. One of those jobs is to deliver ballast from their mines to the chute that's up there." Salty was a bit confused, but listened anyway. "Now, their trucks have this mechanism that allows the ballast to fall through the bottom of their trucks, through the small holes in the chute to our standard gauge trucks." "Sounds a bit complicated if you ask me..." Salty muttered. "It's not, once you get used to it," Duck replied, "Believe me, I was confused on the small engines' existence as well, but they really do mean well. Now if you excuse me, I should probably get to Tidmouth. I'll see you later, Salty." "See you later, Duck."
Salty was about to be uncoupled from his supplies when he noticed the miniature engines at the junction. "Goodness me! When Duck said you were small, I didn't think you were this small!" the diesel said in surprise. Bert smiled kindly. "We may be small, but we're still useful." Mike scowled at the newcomer. "What is that thing?" asked Mike rudely, easily loud enough for Salty to hear. "Mike!" cried Bert harshly. However, Salty didn't seem to notice the condescending tone in Mike's voice. "I be Salty, me hearties. I'm here to collect some ballast." Salty said happily. "He talks weirdly," whispered Rex to the other three. "Be nice... Pleasure to meet you, Salty. I'm Bert, and the green engine is Rex, and the red one is Mike." "I see... So who's going to give me some ballast?" Salty asked as he started towards some ballast trucks that were on a siding. "I'm not," Mike fumed, "I love trucks, but I don't want to be around someone such as you. Salty was a bit hurt. "I'm sorry I upset ye, matey." "I'm not your matey," Mike fumed as he puffed away. Bert sighed. "I'm sorry about him. He's always like that." "I understand, I suppose," Salty muttered as he started pushing the trucks to the chute. Rex gulped and started to puff away. "I... uh... I have to... uh... help Jock at the mines," he stuttered as he rushed away. "I don't understand... Rex is usually so nice," Bert sighed as he started to shunt his trucks onto the ballast chute. Salty groaned. "I suppose it's me nature... I am a bit... strange." "Not to me. I mean, if little engines can work a small line, anything makes sense to me," Bert chuckled as the ballast fell through to Salty's trucks. Salty smiled slightly. "At least one of 'em likes me... See ya later, Bert." Salty honked his horn and started towards Harwick. Bert grinned.
At Harwick, Ryan was arranging his next goods train as Salty rushed in. Ryan grinned broadly. "Oh, thank goodness this ballast has arrived. We have a piece of track in the Construction Yard that needs repairing. A bit ironic, come to think of it." He then frowned, suddenly realizing he had no clue who this engine was. "Wait, who are you again? Sorry, the introduction must've slipped my mind. I've never really been good with those." "You must be the purple tank engine Duck told me about," Salty said. "He talked about me? How flattering! Oh, my name's Ryan by the way." "And I'm Salty." The Dockside Diesel sighed. Ryan winced, a bit confused. "What's wrong?" "Oh, it's just those small engines..." "Rex, Mike and Bert? I mean there's also Jock and Frank but... well, it doesn't quite roll off the tongue as well," Ryan said. "Well, sort of. Bert's a kind engine, but Rex and Mike seem to not like me. I think it's because of my pirate ways..." "I'll admit I haven't met an engine like you before, but perhaps that's what makes you so interesting. You have a sense of karsma." "I think you mean charisma..." "Oh, right. I haven't memorized that word yet," Ryan chuckled sheepishly, "Unfortunately, I'm not really one to give advice. I'm not a troublemaker exactly, but... well, how do I put it... I'm... young." "Arg, at least ye accept me, and I'm grateful for that," Salty replied as he started to back up. Ryan smiled. "Thanks, Salty."
Salty managed to hide his sadness until Ryan couldn't see his expression. "How do I get Rex and Mike to accept me? I probably won't be here for much longer, and I don't want to be remembered as the awkward pirate diesel to them forever." "Why are you so obsessed with someone accepting you?" Salty looked over to find a diesel railcar rolling in front of him on the other track. "Oh, well... I suppose I'm not typically like this, but those Arlesdale Railway engines have me in a mood now." "Who cares what they think?" Daisy scoffed, "I haven't really met them, though it seems I should be glad I haven't." "They aren't all bad, lass," Salty muttered, "Bert's nice. Rex and Mike though... they don't seem to be." "Truth be told, I've met a lot of not-so-nice engines in my time. I express myself differently than everyone else, and I haven't let anyone else stop me." "Yes, but I act like a pirate. Isn't that strange?" Salty asked sadly. "Not really. I've seen worse things...! Besides, it's not like it's hurting anyone. From what you've said, you'll be going back to... wherever you work soon anyway, so why even bother?' Daisy asked. "Because then they'll only remember my pirate nature and... that's it, matey." "Their loss then," said Daisy smugly, "I had a similar feeling when I left for this branch line. See, I used to work on the Ffarquhar Branch, but the Fat Controller decided I should be placed here instead. I was worried all the passengers would remember this stuck-up diesel who for some reason wears makeup. After a while I let it go, since they aren't part of my life anymore." "For a lass who claims to be stuck-up, you seem legitimately wise," Salty said in surprise. "Oh, an old friend taught me a few things... Just trust me on this one... Express yourself however you like, as long as it's not hurting anyone. We all have our quirks." Salty smiled. "Thanks, lass. You certainly have brought my spirits up a bit." "Oh, I suddenly realized I haven't even told my name yet! My mistake. I'm Daisy. You are?" "My name is Salty, me heartie." "Well, keep doing what you're doing, Salty. I have to go to the harbour though. Maybe we'll see each other again sometime." "I sure hope so. Just wait till I tell you all me tales!" Daisy giggled as she started to cross the junction that led to the harbour. "Can't wait to hear 'em." Salty felt like himself again as Daisy rushed away. "That lass knows how to cheer an engine up."
Meanwhile, Bert was still upset with Mike and Rex. "I'm sure you two hurt his feelings," the blue engine fumed, "He's a newcomer, and we must treat him with respect." "I admit I probably acting... harshly," Rex muttered. "I don't think so," Mike scoffed, "He's strange. Who talks like a pirate? The only person I know that does it is some weird ventriloquist. He always creeps me out." "I'm sure you're strange to him too," Bert retorted. "Not gonna lie, he has a point," Jock grinned. "This isn't even your problem, Jock! Get out!" "This is my berth, Mike. I'm not leaving." "Shut it," muttered Frank, "Just admit we're all strange and let it be the end of it." "So what's normal then?" Rex asked. "Normal... is boring," Bert smirked. "Alright, alright, I understand now," the green tender engine muttered, "I'm sorry, Bert." "I'm not the one you insulted." Salty's horn blew, making Rex and Mike freeze. "It's him!" whispered Mike. "Go apologize, both of you," Bert ordered. "Yes, Bert!" Rex spluttered as he rushed away. "Why should I?" huffed Mike, "I'm not going to." Bert was about to try and convince Mike when he noticed Salty backing into the junction. "There he is now. This is your chance." "Argh... Hello there, mateys," Salty grinned. "Ah, hello Salty. Did-" "Oh, I feel fine. Just fine, thank ye matey." "Here we go..." grunted Mike. "Now, I have plenty of stories to share with ye! Which one do you like better: The tale of The Lost Pirate or the tale of the ghost engine?" "The Lost Pirate sounds interesting," said Bert. "Well then, matey, let me tell you the tale of... Captain Calles..." As Salty talked of the tale of "The Lost Pirate", Bert, Jock and Frank listened intently. Rex was at first rolling his eyes, but soon got sucked in like everyone else was. Even Mike got interested in the story; he didn't typically hear stories like the ones Salty seemed to tell. By the time Salty was done, all of the Arlesdale Railway engines were impressed. "I must say, Salty. You're quite a storyteller!" Bert said. "I well... I suppose I am," Salty grinned, "I guess it's part of my strangeness." Rex and Mike shot a guilty look at each other. "I... don't think you're strange, Salty," Rex said quietly. Salty was surprised at the confusingly nice comment. "But... you rushed away from me when I was picking up ballast." "I... guess I wasn't sure how to react," Rex admitted, "I'm sorry, Salty." "I am too," Mike piped up. Frank and Jock's jaws dropped; Mike barely apologized to anyone, unless he cared about them. "R-really?" the Dockside Diesel stuttered. "Yes... I didn't think like things that were different from the usual engines that come by here, which are either Great Western engines or the Scottish Twins. But now you've shown how diversity is truly a wonderful thing." "Argh, well... Thank ye, Mike. You too, Rex. I sure wasn't expecting this." "Whit urr ye aye daein' 'ere, Salty? Ye'r supposed to be at Tidmouth by this time! Git a move-on!" Donald cried out as he puffed up. Salty chuckled sheepishly at the Caledonian twin. "Oh, sorry Donald. I must've lost track of time. I'll be there soon, I promise!" "Ah hawp sae, or th' Fat Controller wilnae be pleased wi' ye." "Right, I'll leave right away, matey. I hope I see you all again soon!" As Salty started rolling away, the Arlesdale Railway engines all blew their whistles and horns in unison. "We hope so, Salty. We hope so, too..." Bert smiled. Donald was confused, but decided to not ruin the moment, even if he didn't know what it was about.
That evening, Salty backed into the shed, feeling quite happy indeed. Duck couldn't help but notice this. "I'm guessing your day went well?" "Oh, indeed I did! In fact, today was a great day," Salty replied, "Got to tell a few tales, make some new friends... At first, Rex and Mike didn't like me, but I won 'em over." A few moments of silence flew past. "Do you miss Brendam?" Duck finally asked. "Sometimes I think about it, and how well Porter and I work together. I do miss the lad, to be honest. He's always so supportive. Heck, I even miss Cranky!" "Is that even possible?" "It is for me," Salty smirked, "After living at the Docks for years, you know Cranky isn't that bad once you get to know him. He's... well, for lack of a better word, cranky, but... he has his kind side."Duck frowned. Noticing this, Salty quickly changed the subject. "Oh, but don't worry, I still love it here too. That 'Skiff' fellow is quite right about the sunsets; they are lovely." "Heh, they are. Having a lovely view before dozing off to sleep is always pleasant," said Duck. A whistle blew, cutting the conversation short. "Oliver?!" Duck groaned, "He's back already?" Oliver winced as he backed into Douglas' berth; it was clear Duck wasn't happy to see him. He understood this, since him being back meant that Salty had to leave, but he didn't exactly feet wanted. "I'm sorry, Duck, but the Fat Controller was satisfied with my new understanding of the types of work Brendam Docks has, so he sent me back here." "So I guess that means I have to leave then, eh?" Salty asked. "I'm afraid so, Salty. The manager told me to tell you that you can rest for the night, but then you have to wake up early to shunt the Flying Kipper." "Ah, I see, matey." "So... this is goodbye?" Duck asked quietly. Salty grinned, in an attempt to cheer the Pannier tank up. "Nonsense, me heartie! Ballast is an important export, so I think you'll be visiting Brendam Docks quite often. I'll be waiting for you, yar." Salty honked his horn and trundled away.
At Brendam Docks, Porter was shunting some oil tankers for Paxton when Salty backed in. "Salty! You're back!" Porter exclaimed. "Indeed I am, matey!" "Tell us about your trip," Porter urged. "Oh, it was wonderful! They have little engines there!" "Little engines? Are you sure about that?" Cranky muttered. "Sure I'm sure! Duck can tell you all when he comes back. They also have a boat on wheels!" "A railboat?" "Exactly, Porter!" As Salty, Porter, and Cranky were talking, Paxton slowly rolled up for his tankers. He noticed what was going on and frowned. "Oh. Better leave them alone for a few minutes." the diesel said quietly as he slowly backed into one of the goods sheds. "Argh, when all is said and done mateys, I did miss home sweet home, and you two as well." "Heh... we missed you too," Cranky smirked. Salty, Porter and Cranky all laughed as Paxton tried to get their attention. "Um? Hello? My tankers? I need them... Is it okay to interrupt this? The Dieselworks needs these tankers... Uh... never mind..."
- Donald and Douglas
- The Fat Controller
- Winston (does not speak)
- Arthur (cameo)
- Norman (cameo)
- Toad (cameo)
- Sidney (mentioned)
- Sodor Dieselworks
- Arlesburgh Sheds
- Arlesburgh Harbour
- Arlesburgh Junction
- The Construction Yard
- Brendam Docks
- Tidmouth (mentioned)
- This story takes place during the later events of Love for the Sea, only focusing on Salty and his adventures on the Little Western.
- The story Sidney Helps Out is referenced.