Adrienn Szalavári: Choo-Choo train and the little Stowaway

Chugga-chugga-choo-choo… Hello. I am Choo-Choo, the old-new steam engine. I would like to share a zooshing adventure with you.

I have been marching on the railway for a long-long time. Up the hill, down the hill, up a mountain, and down again, all the way to the sea. Then, I took a short break and started my way back with my load. However, as the years passed, I got old. My wheels started to screech, I could only go slowly, from my chimney the smoke coming out has blackened, and my paint has faded from my carriages.

One day, as I was climbing a mountain, I stopped. I moaned. Then, I fell silent. I could not continue my way anymore. They called a tow train that took me to the station, where they put me in a dark shed, and left me there. For days, no one came to see me. But one morning, I heard someone tap on the door quietly and come in. It was my little Stowaway, a nice, little boy. I knew him, because he used to travel on my board, he was the grandson of my engine driver.

“Oh dear Choo-Choo” said Stowaway. “I am really sorry for what happened to you. I miss you so much! I promise, I will help you. I won’t let you get eaten by rust. I will convince my grandad to heal you.”

Time passed, and I became sadder with every day. I lost all hope of someone wanting and old, broken train like me. And then, one morning - very early in the morning, I wasn’t even awake yet – there came my little friend, the stowaway. Only this time, he wasn’t alone. He came with his grandfather and many other men. They bought tools with them: polisher, drill, and lever. They came, because they wanted to fix me.

The first day they changed my wheels and cleaned my chimney. I could take deep breaths again. I felt like I was reborn. The second day, they polished my rusted paint off, and fixed my brakes. The third day, they tidied my carriages. By then, I could hardly stay in my place. I wanted to speed, like the wind, on the rails again. On the fourth day, there was nothing else left than repainting me. The engine driver stroked my side, and said to his grandson: “come, little Stowaway, I want you to write Choo-Choo’s name on his side.” The little Stowaway agreed to it happily.

When they were done with the painting, they put me on the rails again, and I started towards the station. The other trains didn’t even recognise me. Everyone was amazed at how I have transformed from an old, winy engine, into a splendid train. I was very grateful to my little Stowaway, but I still didn’t understand how he got the engine driver to fix me.

“You know, Choo-Choo” said the little Stowaway “I told my grandad how much I loved him, no matter how old and cranky he might be, I will never leave his side, because I love him just the way he is.”

And these words touched the engine driver. At this moment he realised that he can’t leave his old friend - me, that is - alone. Thanks to him, the rails are filled with my chugging ever since then. I am off to the next station! See you around!

Do you have an old friend whose side you will never leave?

Why do you love that friend so much?