The Story of "Ellie" the Special-Needs-Engine
In the middle of a small town was a train station where strong engines would pull heavy train cars form here to there. But when they needed to pull the-heaviest-of-cars-and-the-longest-of-trains, the Trainmaster would call on a big strong hunk of a steel engine named Smokehouse. He loved doing the heaviest of work for the trainmaster.
But what he loved pulling the most was Railonda [Rail-lon-duh] a beautiful polished mahogany dining car with stained glass windows that reflected red, blue and yellow colors on the people inside as they ate their dinner.
The people loved and appreciated Smokehouse & Railonda’s hard work and wanted to make a small engine for them to love and care for. But since they couldn’t afford to buy all the new steel, they brought everything from frying pans to oil cans and every scrap of steel that could find. The Trainmaster did the best he could with what he had. When Ellie was unveiled, the crowd cheered and said, “He looks just like a little Smokehouse”…except…his smokestack was kind of crookedly-twisted, so instead of blowing, “Choo, Choo”, he said “wimp,wimp”. As he rolled down the track, his wheels were al twisted, and went “clickety clank”. And his arms were so weak he couldn’t reach back to his coal car to feed himself. So Railonda brought in the Therapy team
The Nurse helped with feeding while the Occupational Therapist strengthened his arms until he could reach his own coal to feed himself. The Speech Therapist straightened his smokestack until he could finally say, “Choo, Choo”. And the Physical Therapist changed his wheels and taught him how to smoothly push himself down the track.
Ellie is known as a “Special-Needs-Engine”, and all who know him say, “Yes! He’s a Very Special Engine indeed!’