THE LITTLE LOCOMOTIVE (3)




For the first time, the little locomotive finds itself in a real city, in the midst of traffic it has always heard about but never seen personally. The locomotive looks at itself and notes with regret that it is all dirty. At that moment it encounters a very shiny streetcar, and the conductor shouts to it, "Well, are you coming straight from the cellar? You should be ashamed of yourself!" And she is about to go on when the streetcar comes to a halt: the streetcar is loaded with people on their way to work who welcome the idea of a breakdown amid shouts and curses. The man looks for the breakdown and does not know how to do it, but the locomotive offers to carry the passengers to theameta and effortlessly pulls the stopped wagon. The conductor apologizes for his offensive words, and the locomotive mutters gruffly, "Whatever, whatever!" Now he has only one concern, to resume the clean look he always had! And suddenly she gets an idea: she will go to the sea! Slowly she sets off and advances on the beach, skimming the water: who knows, maybe it's cold. Then she dives in amidst the shouts of the bathers. How wonderful to splash in the water, thinks the locomotive,as the waves tickle her. Even the fish stick their heads out of the water to see the unusual bather; every now and then she must cough as the water enters her chimney. She plays with the children and whistles like a steamer. Watch out, a ball flies toward her. Paf! with a flick of the nose the shot is parried. 1-0 to the locomotive! Then she dives and looks like a submarine. At this point the lifeguard intervenes, "Now you are perfectly clean. It would be better if you left: you are creating great difficulties for me here on the beach" The locomotive whistles happily, quickly gets out of the water and quickly goes up the sand dune. "It's wonderful to be clean again," our friend thinks, "the whole world seems more smiling to you!" After shaking herself off like a wet little dog, the little locomotive heads back to town and thinks back to the day she entered service; even then she was so shiny and bright!
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