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Billy and the Factories

It had been a few days since Billy arrived on the island. Even though he’d learned on his first day how to be really useful, he still has lots to learn. Sir Topham Hatt came to see him at Knapford Yard. “You’ll be helping the factories today. You can start with the Ice Cream Factory.” Billy puffed quickly away. He was excited about his new job.

At the Ice Cream Factory, the manager was waiting for him. “You need to collect milk, eggs, strawberrys, and chocolate,” he said urgently. Billy started off again.

He collected milk vans from the Dairy. He collected vans of eggs and strawberrys from Farmer McColl’s Farm, and vans of chocolate from the Chocolate Factory.

When he returned his driver took him to the water tower for a drink. Then he was coupled up to refrigerated vans. He waited for a long time before the finished ice cream was loaded. “Take it to the Beach,” ordered the manager. Billy blew his whistle and set off.

At the Beach, his vans were unloaded, he shunted them into a siding. He was about to leave when an inspector rushed up to Billy’s footplate. “I’ve just received a message. You’re to help the Bakery. Go straight to the Flour Mill. They need more flour.” Billy puffed sadly away. “No one seems pleased with my work,” he thought as he thundered down the line.

At the Flour Mill he waited impatiently for his vans to be loaded with sacks of flour. As he waited, he began to doze off. A sharp whistle startled him. He looked and saw Molly arrive.

Molly looked at him. “Why are you so glum?” she asked. “No one has thanked me for my hard work,” said Billy sadly. “I wouldn’t worry. I help the factories a lot. Little to no one thanks me, but you do get thanked when you see the hard work has helped others.” “Molly! Your train is ready!” “I’ve got to go. Bye…” “Billy.” “Oh, I’m Molly. Bye Billy!” Molly puffed slowly towards the workman. Moments later Billy was finally able to leave the mill.

When he arrived at the Bakery the manager was waiting. “Please collect more boxes for us! There’s at the docks.” Billy puffed away, smiling a little. “Maybe Molly might be right,” he thought, as his mood began to slowly change.

He soon returned with the boxes. The manager was standing there at the platform to speak to his driver. “You’ll need to deliver some desserts to Callan Castle. Do you know the way?” “No sir,” replied the driver. The manager explained to Billy’s driver the directions as Billy’s empty vans were reloaded with cakes, donuts, cookies, cupcakes, and brownies.

Billy delivered the desserts to Callan Castle. People cheered for him. Billy could see that there was to be a concert. Some of the engines were already there. Billy wanted to stay, but since he was tired, he decided to head home to Knapford Sheds. When he arrived he was pleased to see his new friend Molly there. “You were right. I do help others, and that’s how I’m thanked.”

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