“Ha! Ha! Scaredy engine!”
―The trucks

Brave Little Engine is a magazine story, illustrated using photographs from the television series.


Skarloey has many favourite places on the narrow gauge railway, but he really does not like the docks; he feels a little engine could get biffed about in such a busy place. One day, Skarloey is given a job at the docks. As he arrives, a big crane drops some heavy pipes which makes Skarloey jump. Some nearby trucks tease Skarloey and call him a "scaredy engine".

Skarloey puffs sadly away; he thinks the trucks may be right. Soon, Skarloey reaches a rickety old bridge. Rusty is on the other side and doesn't think he can cross it. Skarloey says he never looks down and puffs as hard as he can because he isn't a brave engine. Watching Skarloey cross the bridge makes Rusty feel brave enough to do it himself. Rusty calls Skarloey a very brave engine, but Skarloey doesn't agree.

Skarloey has to return to the docks to collect his trucks and he feels very scared. Then, Skarloey thinks of Rusty and is able to collect his trucks. Thomas and James are impressed and this makes Skarloey feel very happy and very brave.