The Early WhirlyBird

Air Date

March 15th, 2014

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Percy the Small Engine loves taking the mail; it's his favorite job, and he wouldn't want anybody else taking it away from him, especially Harold.

Harold was working together more with Percy, but he wasn't too happy about it. "He keeps on taking over my work!" groaned Percy, "One day, he'll take all of our work! That silly Whirlybird!" The others didn't take much notice at all. "Stop complaining," they would say. The reason why Percy was so upset was because the Fat Controller had placed Harold on morning mail duty and he was feeling rather pompous. Harold buzzed over the sheds. "Good, day! Have nothing to do, Percy? Too bad!" "It isn't fair! It isn't fair!" groaned Percy.

One day, Percy was talking to Duck at Tidmouth Hault. "Why does the Fat Controller keep on giving Harold all of my mail duties!" he groaned, "Now I've only got my night man run, which Thomas helps me with." Duck sighed. "Sodor has to modernize at some point, you know. On the Other Railway, I hear the lorries are taking over for goods now and buses for passengers. Be thankful you're still in service." said Duck. Percy snorted indignantly. "Any off-rail vehicle shouldn't be taking over our work!" huffed Percy and puffed away with the Local. Percy sighed. "Doesn't the Fat Controller realize that pulling the mail is my favorite job?" "Well, we can't get what we want all the time," reminded his driver, but Percy was still cross.

Meanwhile, Harold was flying over Maron to drop the mail bags onto the platform. "Uh, Harold, I don't think that's a good method..." warned Murdoch, who was taking on water. But Harold was too high up to hear properly. He dropped a mail bag straight onto a pet dog, who was waiting with one of Dowager Hatt's friends on the platform. The dog growled and starting ripped the bag apart. "Uh oh..." Harold said, as he saw the bag and the mail get destroyed. "I told you something bad would happen. And please stop that noise! Consider others!" huffed Murdoch as he had finished taking on water. He set off to pull his next train that was due for the mainland.

Harold continued along the railway and over the villages, dropping mail bags. He even saw Percy helping Charlie with the milk. "Boy, Percy. It sure is nice of you to help me with this train of milk," thanked Charlie. "Pah! I don't deserve to take milk." Percy looked up and scowled. "Oh great. Now that Whirlybird's going to boast how good he is." "Hello, chaps! Good day!" called Harold and he dropped a mail bag onto the cottage next to the tracks. His rotors spun around and Harold made a terrible noise. "Don't listen to him, Percy. He's just jealous that we're taking milk! I've got a joke about milk." "No, thank you Charlie..." huffed Percy and the two engines puffed on. Harold chuckled. "Poor Percy..." he said to himself, chuckling. 

Meanwhile at Knapford, the Fat Controller's telephone rang. "Ugh, bother that telephone." huffed the Fat Controller and he went over to answer it. "What? Oh, it's Harold. What did he do? He dropped the mail bags?! He should've just landed! Hm... He also made super loud noises? Ugh, that's what you'd expect from a helicopter. Yes, I'm sorry." He hang up when it rang again. "What? Yes, I'm sorry." All morning the Fat Controller got complaints aboud Harold's service. He got so cross that he slammed the door behind him. Molly was at the station waiting for her trucks. She was surprised to see the Fat Controller in a fussy mood. "Sir, what's wrong?" "Oh, hello Molly. Can you take me to Dryaw? I have an... *ahem* an appointment there." Molly was surprised, but agreed. "I'll arrange for James to take your coal." said the Fat Controller. He cllmbed into Molly's cab and she whistled off.

The Fat Controller and Molly arrived at Dryaw. Toby was there already with a passenger run. "Sir, what are you doing here?" asked Toby confusingly. The Fat Controller said nothing as he stormed out of Molly and onto the airfield. "I think it has to do with Harold's poor mail service." Molly explained. Toby gravely understood and puffed away as soon as his guard blew the whistle. The Fat Controller spoke severely to Harold. "I'll see to it that you are grounded from air service until I can trust you again." said the Fat Controller. Harold was sorry, but the Fat Controller had made up his mind. He then walked back to Molly. "Molly, please take me to Tidmouth. Percy should be there shunting." boomed the Fat Controller. "Right away, sir," said Molly and she puffed away.

At Tidmouth, James was cross; Percy wouldn't stop complaining.. "It's not fair," complained Percy, "Harold's a fusspot. He used to be a good friend, but ever since he took over our work, it hasn't been the same." "Oh, knock it off," huffed James, "You're just looking for something to complain about." "Oh, and you don't?" Molly's whistle was heard and the two engines looked foward and saw Molly with the Fat Controller. "*ahem* Percy, I want you to take the mail from now on. Harold has caused confusion and delay." Percy was delighted. "Oh, yes sir! Thank you, sir!" "You're welcome, I guess." said the Fat Controller. Percy happily puffed away to get the mail trucks.

The next morning, Percy puffed into Dryaw with the mail train. "Hello, Whirlybird! Got nothing to do?" Percy asked cheekily. "I've been grounded," grumbled Harold, "Everybody's calling me 'The Early Whirlybird.'" "Well, that is what you are!" chuckled Percy, and he puffed away laughing, Harold feeling very silly indeed.


  • James
  • Percy
  • Toby
  • Duck
  • Murdoch
  • Molly
  • Charlie
  • Harold
  • The Fat Controller
  • One of Dowager Hatt's Friends (does not speak)
  • Dennis (cameo)
  • Rosie (cameo)
  • Henrietta (cameo)
  • Nancy (cameo)
  • Thomas (mentioned)


  • This episode is an adaptation of the thirteenth season episode, The Early Bird.
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