My son loves to read. Right now his favourite books involve trains, cars and farm animals. However, as much as he loves story time, he doesn’t yet have the patience to actually listen to the full story.
For example, this week’s favourite book is a classic: The Little Engine that Could. He wants to read it like 10 times a day. However, he only permits me an average of 3 seconds per page. So, like any resourceful mom, I have developed my own version of the story.
Would you like to hear it? (Well, read it?) Of course you would!
Here is my version of the Little Engine that Could:
Chugga Chugga Choo Choo! The little red train is speeding down the tracks. She is super happy because she’s carrying a lot of good stuff for kids. (What? Oh yes, that’s a train. Yes, that’s a train too. Train. Yup.)
Okay, anyway, the train is carrying stuffed animals, dolls, clowns, books and toys. Also knives for some reason?! Yikes! Who is giving knives to children?? (Yes, that’s a boat. Good job. Yes, a car.)
Also there is a bunch of yummy food and spinach. So the train is going when all of a sudden she stops. Probably because you woke up last night a lot and she is tired. Or maybe she was irritated because the toys were throwing a tantrum.
So the toys are like, “Oh no! What do we do?” (At this point my son usually makes a surprised face, so I would appreciate it if you also did this. No, more shocked. Okay, now put your hands on your face, like Kevin McCallister in Home Alone. Well, okay, that’s pretty good. Thanks!)
Then they see a pretty gold train. (Yes, train. Wow, nice train.)
The doll asks the train to help them, but the train is all, “I’m a passenger train and I don’t want to pull toys! Help you? Haha! I will not.” (I do this in a snobby British accent.)
The dolls are all sad. Then they see a new train, but it’s all “I’m a freight train. I pull important machines… blah blah blah. Sorry, I’m too important for you.” These trains have lots of time to make fun of the toys, but no time to help? That’s not nice. Boo trains, not cool.
So the toys are like, “Whatever, see you later.” Then an old train comes up. (Yes, another train. Choo Choo. Good job.)
“Ooh, maybe this old train will help us!” Say the toys. But they probably said it a bit too loudly because the train won’t help them. I probably wouldn’t either if they called me old.
How are the kids going to get toys and food? How will they knife fight without their switchblades? Apparently this village is super isolated, so the train is their only supplier. (Note to self: Hmm, maybe it’s a cult?)
So they are about to give up and walk back home when a blue train comes.
“Can you help us?” the toys ask.
“Well, I’m small, but let’s give it a try,” says the blue train. Finally, right?!
So they go over the mountain. This takes several pages to build suspense but basically they just get to the village. The train is all, “I think I can, I think I can.” And they were right! See? You can do anything if you try.
The kids can eat their spinach and candy, play with their toys and stab whoever they want. Yay, blue train! (Yes, train. You’re really nailing that word.) (Everyone claps at this point. Feel free to join in.)
The end! Good story, right? What? Oh, do you want to read it again? How about another book? No? Okay, we’ll read it again.
I think I can, I think I can.
2 thoughts on “An Alternate Reading of The Little Engine that Could”
The worst is when they know every word and so you can’t leave things out because they notice. And it seems like it’s always the worst books that they want to hear over and over!
I’m lucky that mine is still too little to know the words.