Percy and the Barage:

One evening Duck was at Arlesburgh Harbor, watching the sunset. He dreamt about going to faraway places, and during the day, when he has a chance, he speaks with the captains of the ships that come into the harbor. "Time to go home, Duck," his driver said kindly. Duck puffed cheerfully back to his shed.

The next morning he arrived early to the harbor to watch the sunrise. Once the sun had risen, he went straight to work, shunting empty cars to be loaded, and shunting loaded cars into the sidings, out of the way. Then other engines could come and take them away. Soon Percy arrived to help. Unlike Duck, who dreams of going to other places, Percy prefers his rails over anything else.

Duck was shunting some empty cars to a crane when a captain of a ship came up to him. "Hello Sir," Duck said cheerfully. "Where did you come from?" "I came all the way from the Mainland," explained the captain, "and I've brought coal." Duck shunted the cars into place, and while the crane loaded the cars Duck continued asking the captain questions, and the captain was happy to answer them. Soon all the cars were loaded. "Beg pardon Sir," said Duck politely, "but I've got to get back to work. Safe travels!" And he puffed away with the loaded coal cars.

ater that day Duck was at the water tower when Percy puffed up.

"Rails aer more important than ships," he said rudely. "I like ships just as must as my friends," Duck said sadly and he puffed sadly back to work.

That afternoon Percy was shunting some loaded flatbeds of oil when the Harbor Master came up to speak to Percy's driver. "A barrage has to go to the Steamworks," he explained, "it's engine has failed." "We'll take it right away," replied Percy's driver. Percy was cross.

He was coupled up to the flatbed and he puffed away. He puffed quickly down the line. He wanted to get the job done and over with. A few miles down the line, there's a signal-box. The night before the points had been jammed, so the signal-man had called for workmen to come and fix the points. They had said that they were coming the next day. But since there was a lot of work at the Steamworks, the workmen couldn't come until that afternoon. Bertie was taking the workmen to the points. He was nearly there when he heard an engine's whistle. "PEEP! PEEP!" "STOP!" shouted Bertie. But Percy was going too fast. The driver applied the brakes, but it was no use. Percy's driver and fireman jumped clear. Percy shut his eyes. When he opened them he saw the flatbed had crashed through the buffers. The signal-man had heard everything and had called for help.

Soon Harvey arrived with the workmen. They put the flatbed and brakevan back onto the rails, and Percy was on his way again. He arrived late to the Steamworks. Victor was waiting for him. "Where have you been?" he asked sternly. Percy told him about the accident. "I wanted to get my job done quickly," Percy said sadly, "I don't like ships." "Ships and engines are both important," said Victor sternly, "and you must respect those who like them." "Yes Victor. Sorry Victor." It took a long time, but at last the barrage was repaired. Percy took it back to the harbor. Soon it was back in the water and the barrage left with a load f fruit and vegetables. That evening PErcy found Duck watching the sunset. "I'm sorry I was rude," he said sadly. "I'm glad you like ships." "Thakn you," said Duck kindly. And Percy puffed to Tidmouth Sheds, happy to still have his friend.

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