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- “First the rain, then an elephant. Whatever will you be afraid of next?"
"Never mind, Henry. I think you were brave today, and really reliable too!”
- ―Gordon and Thomas
Henry and the Elephant is the nineteenth episode of the fourth season.
One morning, Gordon, Henry and James are in a bad mood - with Thomas running his branch line and Percy nowhere to be found, they are forced to collect their own coaches. James decides to take out his anger on Henry and mocks him about his fear of the rain. Henry retorts that James looks like he belongs in a circus, which leads Percy, who has just arrived, to believe the engines have heard about the circus that has come to town. He explains that he had been helping to shunt the special trucks and coaches on the Fat Controller's request. The big engines soon forget to be cross and eagerly help out too. When it is time for the circus to leave, James is given the task of pulling the train away, making Gordon and Henry cross once again.
Later that day, the Fat Controller informs Henry that a tunnel is blocked and asks him to take some workmen to investigate. Henry arrives at the tunnel, grumbling all the way, and the workmen enter to examine the blockage. A few moments later, they quickly run out in horror. One explains to the foreman that the blockage is alive and they refuse to go back inside. The foreman does not believe them and decides to have Henry push it out. Henry, horrified of the idea of being stuck in a tunnel with something big and alive, protests this decision, but his driver reminds him that the line has to be cleared.
Henry reluctantly and fearfully enters the tunnel with the trucks he brought the workmen in, only for the blockage to push him back out again. Both Henry and the foreman are surprised to discover the "blockage" is a large, cross elephant that had escaped from the circus. The workmen offer the elephant some cake and water to calm him down. Unfortunately, Henry then accidentally startles him by letting off steam, causing the elephant to spray him with water. The elephant is soon reunited with his keeper, but Henry is most upset by what happened.
That evening, Henry tells the other engines what happened. Although Gordon and James feel sorry for him, they continue to tease him. Thomas, however, praises Henry for his bravery and how well he handled the situation.
- Annie and Clarabel
- Sir Topham Hatt
- The Elephant Caper (not named; does not speak)
- Duck (cameo)
- Big Mickey (cameo)
- Stephen Hatt (cameo)
- This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Troublesome Engines.
- A reference to the first season episode, The Sad Story of Henry is made.
- Henry's incident with the elephant in the original story was one of the reasons the big engines went on strike, thus leading to Percy’s arrival, while in the television series, Percy appears in the adaptation.
- On the PBS Kids Sprout airings and The Greatest Stories DVD, the unrestored opening and end credits are used.
- The models of Big Mickey, Izzy Gomez, and S.S. Vienna from TUGS appear.
- This episode marks the first appearance of Henry's Tunnel since the first season, excluding its appearance in a deleted scene from the previous episode, and its last appearance until the seventh season episode, Emily's New Coaches.
- At the beginning of the story, Thomas has Edward's whistle sound.
- When Thomas arrives at Elsbridge at the beginning, the camera moves slightly to the left.
- When the workmen look at the elephant in the tunnel, one of them is missing his right eyebrow.
- Gordon's buffers are crooked in the scenes at Tidmouth Sheds.
- When James says "We get no rest!" and when he is turning around on the turntable, his eyes are wonky.
- The elephant's keeper's mouth is missing.
- Percy's cab roof has been raised when he is at Tidmouth Sheds.
- Take Along (discontinued)
- Wooden Railway (discontinued)
- Thomas Engine Collection Series (discontinued)
- Books - Henry and the Elephant
- Step Into Reading Books - Henry and the Elephant
- Magazine Stories - A Jumbo-Sized Surprise
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