Thomas the Tank Engine Tales - Ep. 23 (Season 1)

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Literature Text

Like a Rock

Written by holmesman

Gerald is a tank engine that works on Misty Island, but everyone calls him “Gator” because his sloping water tank makes him look like the head of an alligator. He is an old friend of Percy, and told him of his new job: delivering clay from Misty Island to Sodor. However, like Gator said, it was a very different type of clay than the one on Sodor.

Percy took his mail run to Misty Island. He had letters to give to the workmen at the clay works. Gator was pleased to see him. “Helloooo, Percy!” he hooted. “Hello, Gator! How’s the clay business coming?” Gator was very pleased Percy asked him that very question. “It’s going amazing, Percy!” he answered. “I really liked your idea of making that sign say ‘skrowyalcanihc’ so much, that I decided to rename this place the Skrowyalcanihc China Clay Works, instead of Misty Island China Clay Works!” Percy was delighted. “Well, if The Logging Locos didn’t tell me and Bertram that story about you,” he huffed. “I wouldn’t even think of that idea. I didn’t even know you worked here until now.”

Just then, Percy saw Gator’s trucks of clay. He was still curious about Gator’s new job. “Gator….” he asked. “Why is this China clay so special? Why is it different from the clay on Sodor?” Gator smiled his biggest smile all day. “I’m glad you asked.” he answered, and told Percy his story.

“I’ve been to the clay works on Sodor, Percy.” Gator began. “I was told the clay becomes unstable when exposed to water, and that it closes for the winter because snow is obviously frozen water. When I was sent to work here on Misty Island as my new home, I was to take some of Misty Island’s China clay to Sodor. At first, I didn’t think it was all that special; I actually thought it was just like Sodor’s own China clay. However, when it rained, I discovered that the clay walls didn’t become unstable. Misty Island’s clay was like a rock. You could put it in a pool of water for hours, even months, and it wouldn’t break apart. I felt under the impression that it was almost as strong as Jobi Wood.”

Percy’s eyes were wide with wonder. “Wow! I bet NOTHING can make it fall apart!” he exclaimed. Gator sighed. “Not quite, Percy.” he said. “The only way that Misty Island’s China clay can break apart is if gets really warm. Once the temperature gets hot enough, the clay melts like an ice cream cone. Sodor’s China Clay doesn’t do that.” Percy now understood. “I hope you know to close this place for the summer; it gets REALLY hot during that time.” he wheeshed. Gator laughed a little. “Oh, Percy.” he smiled. “I don’t have to worry about that. Misty Island doesn’t get warm during the summer for some strange reason, so that means the clay will never melt once it’s around here. I’ve been on this island for a while and thought it would be an excellent place where people from Sodor could go to cool off.”

Then, the manager came to give Gator his assignment. “I’ve just been told by Sir Topham Hatt that the Sodor Clay Pits needs your help.” he said. Gator knew he had to part ways with Percy for a while. “Well, Percy…” he puffed. “ I got to go help the Sodor engines. I will be back later, though. In the meantime, why don’t you help shunt trucks for my next train, and maybe get to know what it’s like to be a clay works engine?” Percy watched as Gator left the Skrowyalcanihc China Clay Works.

Bill and Ben were happy to see Gator as he arrived at the Sodor Clay Pits. They found it great fun to tease him. “Look out!” they laughed. “Someone call the Animal Park! There’s an alligator on the loose!” Gator fumed. He thought being called “Gerald” was much better right now. “You know I’m not an alligator, you two…” he said. “We know, Gator!”  Bill and Ben said together. “But we don’t CARE!” Gator decided to say nothing. “Don’t mind them, Gator.” Timothy wheeshed. “They’ll know you’re a credit to this railway, yet.” Marion added. Gator wasn’t sure how.

The next morning was a very hot one. The sun sizzled so hot it made the engines’ drivers and firemen convinced it was hot enough to fry eggs on their boilers. Most importantly, Gator knew it was bad news for Misty Island’s China clay. Bill and Ben arrived at the Skrowyalcanihc China Clay Works with trucks filled with Sodor China clay. Sir Topham Hatt had personally told them to apologize to Gator for what happened the other day before they could deliver it. However, Bill and Ben still didn’t care; they made fun of all the other engines all the time, so it wouldn’t matter to them if they didn’t say sorry. “Y’know, Gator…” Bill huffed. “Alligators like you are reptiles. They need to be warm to keep them moving.” “I know that, Bill,” said Ben. “If you were left out in the cold, you’d be stuck in the middle of the main line, blocking all the other engines!” Gator knew they were only teasing, but he thought it didn’t make it alright to do so.

Gator was preparing to take his train of Misty Island China clay to Sodor, but then, he noticed something. Bill and Ben’s trucks of clay were the exact same color as Gator’s trucks of clay, and he knew it would be very hot on Sodor. Gator decided to switch them around so that Bill and Ben would be taking the Misty Island China clay for him. He knew that the twins wouldn’t realize what they’re actually pulling because he knew they wouldn’t pull his clay if the trucks were a different color. “Y’know… Sodor China clay is more like a rock than Misty Island China clay when it comes to warm weather.” he said to himself.

Bill and Ben were ready to leave, albeit with Gator’s trucks. “Goodbye, you two!” Gator hooted. Bill and Ben were puzzled as they left. “What’s got HIM excited?” Bill asked. “Maybe he’s happy to shed his skin once a year… like an alligator!” Ben laughed. Little did they know that Gator was playing a trick on them, and the twins immediately fell for it.

Bill and Ben were on their way to deliver Gator’s trucks to Brendam Docks. The sun sizzled, and the clay started to melt. Percy was done with shunting trucks at the Skrowyalcanihc China Clay Works, and was about to go back to manage his mail depot, when he saw a trail of yellow-ish blobs on the side of the track. “I wonder if Samson is taking ice cream to Knapford, but is too stubborn to know that he’ll arrive with a gooey mess!” he laughed to himself. Just then, as he kept following the trail, he realized where the blobs are coming from. He understood now that Bill and Ben were taking the Misty Island China clay, but were unaware that it was melting fast. Luckily, Percy still remembered what Gator told him about Misty Island China clay. “Bill! Ben! Wait!!!” he exclaimed. “You need to stop!! You’re clay is….” But Bill and Ben were too far away for them to hear.

At the docks, Cranky was waiting to unload the clay from the trucks onto a ship. Bill and Ben arrived, but they didn’t arrive with clay anymore. Cranky put his hook into the trucks and felt something very…. gooey. “Heaving hooks!” he creaked. “What is this stuff? Ice cream?” Bill and Ben thought he was joking. “No, Cranky! It’s clay!” They argued. The manager opened the door on the trucks, and the melted Misty Island China clay poured out. “See? I TOLD you it was ice cream!” Cranky laughed. Bill and Ben were confused.

Gator was on his way to take Bill and Ben’s trucks to the docks, seeing that he knew their clay was needed as well. Percy came towards him. “Gator!” he exclaimed. “Bill and Ben took some of your clay to the docks, but it’s all melted, just like you told me! What should we do?” Gator beamed with pride. “Let ME handle this, Percy! I think Bill and Ben ought to know how useful I am!” he wheeshed, as he left Percy to carry on with his own job.

Brendam Docks was in an uproar. Trucks weren’t shunted, and cranes weren’t loading cargo to and from ships, all because of Bill and Ben’s delivery. “This is TERRIBLE.” sighed Bill. “Well, look on the bright side, Bill. At least Benson’s not here to yell at us.” chuffed Ben. At last, who should come to Bill and Ben’s rescue but Gator, who knew Bill and Ben would have learned their lesson by now. “Hello, you two…” Gator smiled. “What’s this confusion over ice cream?” Bill and Ben hesitated at once. “Well, you see…. we… um….” Gator laughed, and began to tell them why the clay melted. “You’ve been carrying some of MY clay!” he puffed. “It melts when the sun gets too hot. Your clay doesn’t do that.” Bill and Ben understood now why they made such a mess. They realized Gator knew a lot, and now, they knew they were wrong to tease him. “We’re really sorry we teased you…” Bill and Ben finally apologized. “You seem to know more about this clay than we do.” Gator was glad the twins were sorry. “I accept your apology, Bill and Ben.” he said, smiling.

At the end of the day, things were finally under control. Cranky loaded the Sodor China clay onto the ship. “Good thing Sodor China clay doesn’t get gooey…” Cranky moaned. Bill, Ben, and Gator laughed together “....except when exposed to water!” they said.

Then, as the ship left, Bill and Ben turned their attention to Gator; they knew now he had been a credit to the railway, just like Timothy and Marion promised, and wanted to know more about his job. “Gator…” the twins asked. “We really would like to know more about Misty Island China clay…” Gator smiled. “If you say so.” he wheehsed. “Perhaps Percy can tell you about it, too! And who knows…. maybe when the clay pits on Sodor close for the winter….” Bill and Ben knew what Gator was going to say. “...maybe we’ll work with you!” they said together. Gator was very happy that Bill and Ben were eager NOT to be cheeky, or tease him about being an alligator, this time.

“I think I like being called ‘Gator’ again.” he said to himself.

                                           THE END
In this episode, we dive deeper into Gator's new job on Misty Island! It would be nice if Misty Island was officially brought back in the show, but that's just me, I guess. =P

Also, the German title for the Season 4 episode "Bulldog" is used to name this episode.

No copyright infringement is intended. This story was made to appreciate the show and is NOT meant to make a profit.

Thomas and Friends (c) HiT Entertainment
© 2015 - 2021 holmesman
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AntonioAlexisHuerta's avatar
I want Misty Island back, but written as Railway series as possible.
I think my favorite episode of Season 14 that had the Logging Locos in it was Jumping Jobi Wood. It seemed to me they were smarter in that episode than all of their other appearances, for some reason.

As for your request, in my series it'll get somewhat realistic. I have a story idea revolving around the Shake Shake Bridge.
AntonioAlexisHuerta's avatar
Really? You actually like the Shake Shake Bridge? Most people who complain about Misty Island talk about it, I think.

I could be wrong, though.
AntonioAlexisHuerta's avatar
Do you compare James with Donald and/or Daffy Duck? I do because like those Ducks, James is vain and a hothead, and he was introduced with a black Paintjob, like Daffy's black feathers.
Nice connection. But seriously, you actually like the Shake Shake Bridge? 0___0
AntonioAlexisHuerta's avatar
Yeah. Before I learned Misty Island was based on Lord of the flies, I compared it to Wonderland and Neverland.
I learned that, too. Inspiration is what helps us come up with great things, like Shantae is inspired by Metroid, Zelda, and Castlevania. Inspiration applies to me, too; for a while, I thought of what a sequel to Thomas and the Magic Railroad would play out. It wouldn't be like every other special because it would take place years after the events of the first film.

I know a couple fans are having a crack at their own direct sequel, but mine would solve any unanswered questions like "What's Lady's purpose?" or "Why does Diesel 10 want to destroy Lady?", and Proteus (an engine that appeared in Season 9) would be an important focus, as he would help to solve these questions.
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