|The Christmas Tree|
February 23rd, 2014
Christmas was coming to the island of Sodor on the Ffarquhar Branch. Thomas wasn't pleased with wearing his snowplough. "Snowploughs... They're so uncomfortable!" he complained to Percy. "Well, that may be true, but it's for the best. We have to stay safe you know." "Don't I know it..." grumbled Thomas. Later, Thomas was at Elsbridge station taking on water. Just then, Winston drove up. "Ah, sir! How many times have I told you to put on the brakes?" "I know, Winston!" "Then why aren't you trying?" "It's hard to pull a lever when you're searching for a bag of chips!" "That explains a lot actually..." The Fat Controller braked hard and stopped. "Thomas, I want you to collect the Christmas tree this year. It'll be at the Docks, and you'll take it to Ffarquhar, where the tree will be put up." Thomas was excited; his branch line never had its own tree before. "Thank you, sir. When do I leave?" "Right about now, actually." replied the Fat Controller and he drove away. "Sir, don't go so fast!" "Early days, Winston!" "You've had me for three years though." Thomas chuckled and puffed off, ready for his journey.
As he puffed on the Wellsworth Branch, he passed by all sorts of engines, who were delivering decorations to all of the stations. At the Docks, Porter had just arranged the brakevan for Thomas' flatbed. "Thanks, Porter!" whistled Thomas. "I'd advise you to be careful out there, Thomas. Snow's falling down and you may cause an avalanche." warned Porter. Thomas snorted. "I have my snowplough. What more do you want?" "Porter's right, Thomas," cautioned his driver, "One wrong move and the whole mountain could topple on us." Thomas sighed and puffed away, knowing he was right.
Thomas was having a great time delivering the Christmas tree. Thomas passed by Rosie, who was delivering decorations for Knapford. He was soon on the Main Line after a half hour. Thomas was in a mountainous area before arriving at Crosby, where he would go to Knapford onto his branch line. He let out a loud "Peep! Peep, peep!", whistling to a biker alongside the line. His driver was worried. "We best go faster. I can guarantee that that whistle will bring down some kind of snow." Unfortunately, Thomas' driver was right; his loud whistle had loosened up some snow on one of the higher mountains. The snow started to slip down the steep slope. Thomas could see it coming. "Let's get out here!" he cried. But the snow was too fast, and it plowed into Thomas, almost knocking him over. "Cinders and ashes!" cried Thomas. But you wouldn't have heard him; the snow muffled his voice.
At Ffarquhar, the members of Thomas' Branch Line were all gathered up, waiting for Thomas. But he was an hour late already. "Thomas never took this long since the time Donald and Douglas had to rescue him from a snowdrift." said Percy worriedly. "What can we do? What happened?" cried Toby. "I hope he's alright." said Emily, "Thomas is a reliable engine." The Fat Controller walked out of the station building with a concerned look. "Records say that Thomas left The Docks a while ago. He must be by the mountains near Crosby, according to my calculations." "Oh, no!" cried Emily. "He probably whistled and snow fell on him. Hmph! How silly." sniffed Daisy. "How are we going to rescue him?" asked Mavis. "I've got an idea... Percy, I need a lift to Ulfstead Castle." "Right away, sir!" The Fat Controller climbed in his cab, and Percy left, while the others had to be content.
The Earl was showing some visitors the castle onboard Stephen when Percy puffed up. "Hello, Sir Topham! Good day, isn't it?" asked the Earl enthusiastically. "I'm afraid it's not. Thomas went missing, and we need Donald and Douglas to help. They are still here after delivering the decorations, right?" "Correct." replied the Earl and he blew Stephen's whistle. "Donald! Douglas!" The Scottish Twins puffed up alongside Stephen. "What's the problem, sirs?" asked Donald. "We need you to go to Crosby and find Thomas." explained the Earl. "So, the wee engine has been snowed in again? Come on, Donal', we 'ave to go!" And the twins set off to find Thomas. "I hope they find him..." thought Percy worriedly.
Donald and Douglas made their way down the line towards the mountains of Crosby. "Thomas? Thomas?" they kept on calling, but no engine answered. "What's all the fuss about?" asked Duck when they approached a signal. "Wee Thomas has gone missing, and the Fat Controller assigned us to find him." replied the twins. "I'll keep a lookout on my branch." promised Duck and he hurried away.
Meanwhile, Thomas' crew had dug themselves out and tried to find a telephone. "I can't see one. Can you?" asked the fireman. The driver sadly shook his head, just as two whistles were heard. "Donald and Douglas! Over here!" cried the fireman and he waved his arms. Donald and Douglas were surprised to find a shape under the snowdrift. "Losh, shakes!" cried Donald. "It's yon Thomas!" gasped Douglas. The Scottish Twins came to a halt by Thomas' fireman. Just then, BoCo arrived with a last minute Christmas train. "What's going on here?" Donald and Douglas explained the situation. "I can help if you want." smiled BoCo, "My snowplough should be somewhat useful." "Thank you, BoCo. We need all the help we can get." replied Thomas' driver, and the crews began to dig Thomas out with shovels, while Donald, Douglas, and BoCo kept charging the snow with snowploughs, which made the work go by a lot faster.
After an hour of digging, Thomas was out. "Finally, I can breathe!" he panted as the last bit of snow was taken from his funnel. Donald's driver phoned Ffarquhar to let them know of the news. "We've found Thomas, and he's alright." he announced. The engines whistled and tooted their horns in delight. "He'll be arriving soon." the driver added, and he hung up. When the Fat Controller told the engines, they whistled and honked their horns with delight. "He'll be arriving soon." the driver added, "But he might be a bit crabby," and he hung up. "That isn't surprising." muttered the Fat Controller. Thomas' fireman lit Thomas' fire. The warmth spread through his boiler and Thomas charged the snow with his plough. "Thanks, Donald, Douglas and BoCo!" Donald and Douglas whistled in reply, while BoCo tooted his horn.
Thomas whistled along the line as fast as he could."I hope the tree isn't damaged." he panted. Thomas panted into the station, with the tree fine and safe. "Sorry that I'm late..." Thomas wearily said as he triumphantly charged into the station. However, the engines were far from cross. "That doesn't matter. What matters is that you're safe and sound." replied Toby. "We are all so worried!" agreed Emily. "I hope I don't have to do this again next year..." grumbled Thomas, "I hate snow." All the engines could do was laugh. Soon, the tree was put up and covered in decorations. The engines sang carols and presents were put under the magnificent tree. A light snow fell, adding to the Christmas scene. "Merry Christmas everyone!" whistled Thomas.
- Donald and Douglas
- The Fat Controller
- Sir Robert Norramby
- Rosie (does not speak)
- Stephen (does not speak)
- Bill and Ben (cameo)
- Billy (cameo)
- Stanley (cameo)
- Stafford (cameo)