The Hose is the fifteenth story of volume three.
|Season X, Episode 65|
|Air date||11 July 2021|
Jessie and the Coaches
Water towers are very important on the Island of Sodor. They provide steam engines with the water they need to make steam.
Ffarquhar has its own water tower close to the sheds and it is regularly used by Thomas, Percy, Toby, and Jessie. Recently, Liza had taken up the task of helping the engines fill up with water. She'd take charge of the water tap whilst the Fireman put the hose into the water tank. The water would flow from the tower to the tanks and soon they'd be on their way.
One evening, Percy was at the water tower. Usually, before going into the shed for the night, the engines would fill up with water. Liza turned the tap and the water flowed into Percy's boiler.
"You look like you could use a wash," observed Liza.
"I thought that was rather obvious," chuckled Percy.
"I'll clean you up," replied Liza. "Just after you finishing taking on water."
So once Percy's thirst was quenched, he puffed over to a siding. In that siding was a hose that Liza used to wash the engines. If for some reason, the water tower was out of order, the hose could also be used as a water source.
She'd turned the tap and the hose would spray water against the engines. That washed off all the dirt and dust accumulated.
Percy was very glad to be clean.
"That's a lot better," he sighed. "Thanks Liza!"
"No problem. Now I better get home," she said, and walked away.
A few days later, the Stationmaster had news for Liza and the engines.
"There is a water shortage so only one engine can be washed down each day," explained the Stationmaster.
The engines were rather dismayed.
"I get dirty a lot," complained Percy. "I need wash downs."
"Well until the situation improves, you're not going to get it," replied Thomas.
"Oh, of course you don't care," retorted Percy.
"I do care," continued Thomas. "I like to be clean and so do Annie and Clarabel."
"Sometimes the passengers complain that we're filthy," put in Annie.
"But we're useful all the same," said Clarabel.
"Exactly," cut in Toby. "What matters most is that we do our work properly. Now Liza, I propose some sort of system to ensure that all of us get a wash at least once a week."
"Yeah, I want it to be fair," agreed Liza.
"I call Tuesdays 'cause that's the day I take more stone trucks to the Harbour and I'm bound to get dirty," said Percy.
"That's fine with me," said Thomas.
"Okay, so Percy has Tuesday," said Liza. "Toby and Mavis, perhaps you'd like your turn at the end of the week."
"That way we're clean for the weekend," said Mavis.
Toby agreed to take Thursdays and Mavis was assigned Friday.
Thomas took Monday.
"That way I'm clean for the week," he said.
"I'm sure Jessie will be fine with Wednesdays," said Liza. "She always comes on that day. And to finish off, as you know, I'm usually off on Sundays so Saturday will be first come first serve."
The engines were glad to have the system in place, and they all kept to their assigned days.
One Tuesday evening, Percy had gotten back from the Harbour just before Thomas's evening train. Thomas had to take on water, and then Percy could be washed down.
Thomas was at the water column whilst Percy waited in the siding.
Thomas's Fireman had placed the hose in Thomas's filler-cap and Liza turned the tap. However, no water came.
"Oh dear," cried Thomas. "I need water quickly. I can't pull my train without more water."
"We'll have to use the hose then," said Liza, urgently.
Thomas carefully made his way to the siding where Percy was waiting.
"Sorry Percy, but first we need to use the hose to fill Thomas up with water!" explained Liza.
"Hmm, about that Liza, I can't seem to see the hose anywhere," said Percy.
"You're right," said Liza. "Where is it?"
In the meantime, Thomas's Fireman damped down the fire.
"It's always here," murmured Liza. "It's very unusual for it to be missing, and what a time for that to happen!"
Percy's Driver and Fireman joined Liza in searching for the hose but they could not find it anywhere.
"It seems like I'm going to have to take your train," called Percy.
"Hold on," interrupted Liza. "I know for sure that I have a hose at home. It'll work for this."
With that, Liza sprinted down the road to her house and quickly found it in her front yard.
"I'll bring it back soon Mother!" she called. "At least I hope," she thought to herself.
Finally, she was back at Ffarquhar, she attached the hose, turned the tap and water flowed into Thomas's tank. Before they knew it, Thomas was ready to go.
"That's a lot better," sighed Thomas. "Thanks Liza! You saved the day. It's a good thing you had a spare hose!"
Then Thomas puffed away.
"My Mother just recently bought it for our garden," chuckled Liza. "Now let's get you cleaned Percy, and hopefully the water tower will be fixed soon and I hope I can get this hose back to my house."
"I never saw anyone touch the hose," said Percy.
"Neither did I," replied Liza. "It's really strange that it disappeared but this will do for now."
Liza's hose was used the next day whilst the water tower was fixed. She also kept it for cleaning the engines. Quite mysteriously, the original hose re-appeared the following week, and no-one ever figured out where it had gone. No-one claimed to have touched it. Regardless, Liza returned her hose to her house and the original kept its use for cleaning the engines. Best of all, the water tower was fixed and all the engines were able to take on water without a problem.
- This story is loosely based off the 1990 annual story, Hosepipes and Shunters.