On the Other Side of the Mountain….

Photo credit:  Bob Travis

Photo credit:
Bob Travis

IthinkIcanIthinkIcanIthinkIcan pants the little engine, as she slowly climbs the long mountain grade. She’s the smallest engine of the crew, but just look at her pulling the BIG load of toys and candies for the boys and girls who live in the valley on the other side of the mountain! It’s a wonderful feeling and a great career move!

The bigger, stronger engines all tried, and failed, or didn’t even try; some of them even refused the job. They just gave up, pooped out, couldn’t do it.

Now The Little Engine Who Could was looking pretty good! She’s giving it her all – straining and wheezing as she pulls the train of toys and candies up over the mountain, but making progress! As her wheels turn against the track, she hears repetitively, I can do it, I can do it, I can do it.

On the other side of the mountain she rests in the station, her firebox glowing with satisfaction. She’s blowing irregularly, her valve chest dented, pistons worn, her crankshafts and flywheels clashing. She’s made a great effort, done a great thing. Something the Big Boys couldn’t do. Her boss will certainly notice, maybe it will earn her a promotion to the Santa Fe line, maybe she can become a SpeedLiner someday….

Oh! And here come the little boys and girls, their eyes so bright. They are running; they are screaming with excitement. They scramble over her sides, sticky hands pulling each other’s clothing; they climb on top of each other, fighting to get to the treats, the toys and candies. A little girl in a gingham dress cries out as stiff leather soles crush her fingers against the railing. A boy snarls at her to “get out of the way!” and pushes her off the cab,  under The Little Engine’s steel wheels.

 Disillusioned, exhausted, the little engine rotates on the turntable, and rolls her dented little self down the mountain to her home station, promising herself that next time, she’ll only accept a job with Meaning.

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