The little red engine that could, but didn't really see why he should because nobody liked him. Or, The paronoid loco.

Once upon a time, in a town not far from here, there lived a little red engine.
Now I realize that it’s quite impossible for an engine, or any other piece of machinery for that matter to be alive, but in this story he is, not only that but he can talk, which is really silly.
Now I don’t know about anyone else, but I would have some very serious reservations about travelling on a train that was being pulled by a locomotive that had a big black nose, two large yellow eyes, and a stupid cheesey grin, but who can figure some people.

But travel on the train they did. Unfortunately they only ever got as far as the bottom of the large hill just outside town, from there they would change to the number nine bus, because the little red engine couldn’t get up the hill.
The same thing would happen every day. He would race along the track as fast as his little wheels could go.
As he got closer to the hill, he would begin to tell himself, " I know I can, I know I can", but the moment he began to climb the hill he would say, " No I bloody can’t", and just come to a complete stop.
The passengers would then get out of the train, turn around and laugh at the little red engine, then get on the number nine bus.
It was true he thought, everyone does hate me.

The little red engine went through hell for the next few months, he also went through extensive therapy and three new boilers, but nothing seemed to help.
He let himself go terribly, he stopped washing and spent all of his spare time by himself. He knew that the other engines were talking about him, and he noticed that he was getting fewer and fewer passengers each day.
The little red engine had finally had enough, and so one bleak monday morning, after the last of his passengers had decided to take the number nine bus, he decided to make his last run.

The little red engine left the station that fateful morning with a heavy heart, or an overloaded boiler, or what ever a depressed loco would have, for he knew his time had come.
He planned to derail himself just as he would begin his assent of the hated hill, and that would be that.

He had worked up a full head of steam as usuall, but as he hit the bottom of the hill, a strange thing happened, he kept on going.
Up and up he went, he couldn’t understand it, but here he was, halfway up and going strong with only a small reduction in speed.
Before he could say bless my boiler he was at the top, and after a short pause, began to hurtle down the other side, faster than he had ever gone.

It took the little red engine a while to work out what had happened.
The truth hit him during the return journey when, trying to negotiate the steep grade on the other side with a full load of passengers, he once again came to a complete stop.
" bloody passengers", he said, " thats the problem, too many bloody passengers.
The little red engine ordered everyone off the train and continued the journey alone.

He spent the rest of his days travelling alone from one side of the hill to the other. He never really achieved anything, but he was always a very happy little red engine.

The little red engine that could, but didn't really see why he should because nobody liked him. Or, The paronoid loco.

Eric Henderson

Sale, Australia

Artist's Description

Please forgive me for this silly piece of nonsense, sometimes I just like to amuse myself.

Artwork Comments

  • Michele Markley
  • Eric Henderson
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