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Thomas and the Scarecrow

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"It's the Fat Controller! That's his top hat and his tailed coat and his grey trousers! He looks fatter than ever, though. He must have a new job scaring crows to lose weight!"
— Thomas upon seeing the farmer's new scarecrow

Thomas and the Scarecrow is a magazine story.

Plot

Everday, when Thomas pulls Annie and Clarabel along his branch line, they pass a scarecrow in a field at McConnell's Farm. Everyday, Thomas blows his whistle at it. Thomas' driver laughs and says if the scarecrow ever moved and waved back, Thomas would be scared.

The next day, as Thomas puffs along his branch line, he gets ready to whistle at the scarecrow again, but the scarecrow isn't there; perhaps the scarecrow can move after all. Ahead, there is a bend in the track and as Thomas puffs round it, he sees something in the field that almost makes him bump his coaches. There, in the field, is the Fat Controller. Thomas thinks the Fat Controller is looking fatter than ever and he must be scaring crows in an effort to lose weight. Thomas puffs carefully on his way, thinking the Fat Controller is watching him. On the footplate, however, the driver and fireman wink at each other.

When Thomas pulls into the main station, he gets another surprise when he sees the Fat Controller standing on the platform. Then, the driver explains that the Fat Controller is wearing new clothes and he gave his old ones to the farmer so he could make a bigger and better scarecrow. The Fat Controller tells Thomas that he has no need to be scared of his scarecrow, only troublesome engines should be scared of him.

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