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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the animals.

Cows is the tenth episode in Season 1.

Plot

The beginning of the spring of 1938 was well received by the Engines of Sodor. This wasn't just because it meant they could put the unpleasantness of the previous story behind them, but the parting of winter also meant the engines could resume working properly again. Shipping returned to the island and the reopening of its many industries gave them plenty to do. Everyone was very busy indeed. No sooner did they complete one job, there were another two that needed to be done. In response to the extremely heavy workload, Mr. Star had Alfred temporarily assigned to Sodor, where the B12 would take over the express so Gordon could assist the rest of his colleagues with the goods work, which Gordon didn't take to kindly to. However, he did do very well with his new "express goods trains". One day, Gordon goes to pick up one of these at the Lumber Yard, where James and Matthew are talking about Kate and how Thomas is having his eyes on her. James braces himself, expecting Gordon to rant on about how an express engine to forced to pull goods trains. To James's shock, Gordon declares that he will refrain from doing so because he has come to the belief that any work is good work for an engine, regardless be it passenger or goods trains. Matthew then tells Gordon that his train is to be dropped off at Wellsworth and the rear four trucks are to be delivered to the Skarloey Railway, because they're replacing all the old sleepers on their line.

Soon, Gordon is coupled up to his train and sets off, making good time until just past Crosby, he finds a cow on the line. Gordon's driver throws on the brakes and comes to a stop. Gordon blows his whistle to try to get the cow to move, but it's useless. Presently, Henry arrives with a goods train from the other direction. Henry wheeshes steam at the cow and then blows his whistle, but his attempts are no more successful than Gordon's. The two engines's crews then attempt to get the cow to move and back into its paddock where it had wandered out of in the first place. As Henry and Gordon part ways, they vow to keep this quiet. Later, Gordon has arrived at Crovan's Gate and apologises to Rheneas for being late, and grumpily explains that a big engine like himself was unable to scare a cow away. Rheneas explains to Gordon that livestock are notoriously stubborn and that he and Skarloey have had their own run-ins, mostly with sheep, sometimes worse. Gordon also tells Rheneas to keep it a secret. However, what neither of the two engines knew, was that Percy, who was in the works, had overheard their entire conversation and chuckles to himself.

The next morning, at Knapford Harbour, as Gordon's goods train is being loaded, he and Thomas talk about politics as well as the potential of another world war. Presently, Percy arrives with a passenger train. Percy asks Thomas what day he took a stone train to Alresburgh. Thomas answers, "I think it was MOO-nday!", and he and Percy laugh. Presently, Edward arrives with a coal train. Thomas tells him to leave his coal train on Track 1 and tells him his next train is on Track 2. Edward departs, saying "I had better get MOO-ving." Edward mentions that after this day, he had began to believe in karma, since he's sure his run to the mainland with the cattle trucks wouldn't have gone so bad if he hadn't had teased Gordon. Just like Gordon, Edward was forced to stop beyond Crosby since the line was blocked by two cows. His efforts to shoo them away were just as futile and he found himself under siege from the rest of the herd. Fortunately, the farmer and his dog were nearby and quickly rounded up their cattle and the farmer promised he would have his fence fixed by tomorrow morning. Edward sped down the line as fast as he could to make up for lost time, unaware of a coupling on one of his trucks starting to come loose because due to the intervention of a curious cow. As Edward climbed Gordon's Hill, the coupling gave way. Edward's guard tried to apply the brakes, but, for some reason, they weren't working. The back part of Edward's train careened down the hill, and crashed into Adam, as he was coming out of the yards at Wellsworth.

The accident was very severe. Adam suffered extensive damage and his crew would also be hospitalised. Mickey took Adam to the works, and quickly began an investigation. The brake van Edward had that day was defective due to improper maintenance and the workmen responsible for neglecting it were subsequently fired. The farmer who owned the herd was given a heavy fine for not maintaining his property which lead to him losing his farm. Edward was also brought to task for not having his crew inspect the trucks after his run-in with the herd. The Midis were saddened after hearing about Adam's accident. After they learned of the specifics surrounding it, they were quick to capitalise on the information. The Midis harassed the Nor'easters by making Mooing noises at them and belittling them with remarks about how they were seemingly outdone by such dimwitted livestock.

A couple of weeks after Adam's accident, Colin has gotten his orders on what he needs to do, retorting with "I'm not stupid, you know." Diesel replies, "Then how come I've had to explain this to you, FIVE times?" Colin leaves, Diesel muttering that Colin must have been built with an empty smoke box. Reginald mentions they all were and tells off Diesel for being so cruel to Colin and mentions that Diesel sometimes takes their rivalry with the Nor'easters too seriously. Meanwhile, Colin is stopped by Trevor who asks him if he's seen a bull, alone, wondering outside of a paddock and explains that the farmers he was talking with have lost their prize bull, named Thumper. Colin leaves, mentioning that a wild bull on the loose isn't a good thought. Presently, they run into the bull. Colin comes up with an idea to move Thumper. When the refugees from the Spanish Civil War arrived on Sodor, one had told Colin about a thing they used to do in Spain to get bulls moving. Colin shouts at Thumper, "Toros, Toros!" Thumper charges at Colin, who quickly retreats back to Wellsworth.

When he returns to Wellsworth, he explains to Diesel what had happened. Diesel doesn't say anything for a moment, then lays into Colin for getting scared off by the bull after taunting it. Colin didn't see Trevor, so he couldn't tell him. Diesel tells Colin to get the stationmaster to telephone the Vicarage and tell them where he last saw it while Diesel will head back along the branch and try to find it and keep watch on it and keep it in place, without goading the bull into charging. Diesel leaves, mentioning the if the Nor'easters hear about this, they're in trouble and tells Colin to not do anything stupid while he's gone. Colin and Reginald actually want Diesel to fail, because if he succeeds, they're in trouble. Diesel meets up with Trevor who tells him that Colin found Thumper and that the farmers are on their way. Diesel meets up with Thumper, who seems tame, but when Diesel mockingly calls the bull a "smelly hunk of beef" and about being turned into porterhouse, Thumper charges at Diesel, who retreats. Diesel thinks no one else saw it, but they hear a bell. It's Toby, who thanks Diesel for helping out with Thumper and will make sure the others hear all about it. As Edward recalled, it really was luck that Toby happened to be coming back from Brendam at the precise moment the farmers learned where Thumper was, and now Toby had arrived in time to see Diesel run for his life. The farmers picked up Thumper and Toby dropped them off at the Vicarage and from there, they returned to their farm. Toby told the rest of the Nor'easters about Diesel's encounter and they all harassed Diesel afterwards. The reason Toby was on the Brendam Branch was because he was at the docks giving the Midis a lecture on how to handle cattle trains, because of all the engines on Sodor, he had the most experience handling livestock, which the most of the years he spent were on his old railway. Being in the midst of market season, Toby's wisdom was invaluable.

Appearances

Trivia

  • This episode adapts The Railway Series/Thomas & Friends story/episode Cows.

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