Thomas and the Christmas Feast

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Snow was falling, carollers were singing and the engines were all busy. It was Christmas time on the Island of Sodor. 

Everyone was excited and busy getting ready for the festive celebrations. 

(Salty can be seen with Cranky, Carly and Big Mickey loading and unloading decorations and ice rink equipment.) 

It was not far from Christmas Eve when Thomas saw Nia looking sad. 

"Hello, Nia, what's the matter?" asked Thomas. 

"Oh, Thomas, I have so enjoyed my new life here on Sodor...but I miss my friends in Kenya. Kwaku and all the trucks and...oh, I just miss them very much!" 

Nia puffed sadly away. 

Thomas felt sorry for Nia. He wondered if there was anything he could do to help her. 

Later, at Knapford, Thomas saw the Fat Controller and Lady Hatt. They both looked happy. 

(Stephen and Bridget Hatt can be seen there too. James and Gordon can be seen with either coal trucks or Express coaches.) 

"Ah, Thomas, tomorrow on Christmas Eve, I would like you to take myself and Lady Hatt up to Vicarstown for a Christmas feast in the town. There will also be a big fireworks display during the feast. You would be able to see them from the station if you wait for us to bring us back home again!" 

"Yes, sir and ma'am," said Thomas excitedly, "I would be delighted!" 

"Splendid, Thomas!" said Lady Hatt. "Come along, Topham, we need to do some Christmas shopping!" 

(She nods in the children's direction with a wink.) 

"Ah, yes! Uh, carry on, Thomas!" said the Fat Controller. 

Thomas did so, excited about his Christmas Eve special. 

(He passes Rebecca and Toby as he goes along.) 

Thomas was at a signal when he saw Henry looking worried. 

"What's wrong, Henry?" he asked. 

"I just saw Nia. She's feeling very homesick," explained Henry. 

Thomas gasped. He had forgotten all about Nia in his excitement. He still wasn't sure what to do to cheer her up about her friends. 

"I'll think of a way to cheer her up," he said to Henry. 

Then he puffed away again. 

Later, Thomas saw Percy with his mail trucks. He told Percy all about Nia feeling sad and homesick at Christmas time. 

"I think I know something that will cheer Nia up," said Percy knowingly. 

Thomas smiled. "What is it, Percy?" 

"It's a surprise," said Percy, "but Nia will like it!" 

Thomas was puzzled, but he also wanted to help cheer up Nia, so he left Percy to his surprise, while he puffed on thinking of another way. 

Later, he saw Edward at Wellsworth Station. 

"Hello, Edward...I was wondering if you had any idea how to help Nia...she misses her friends back in Kenya. I don't know how to help her." 

"Well, Thomas, all you really need to cheer her up is to remind her of the friends she has here, maybe do something really nice for her that will make her feel appreciated. It'll remind her that while she misses her friends, they miss her too and that will keep them together in spirit! And doing something nice for her will also remind her that she has good friends here too!" 

Thomas liked that idea. But he wondered what he could do that would be nice for Nia. 

That evening, Thomas was on his way back to Tidmouth Sheds, passing through Knapford, when he saw the Fat Controller looking worried. 

"Hello, sir," he said. 

"Ah, Thomas, we may have a problem. My mother would like to come to the Christmas Feast, but she will be at Ffarquhar during the day. We won't be able to go on your branch line and stick to the main line to get to Vicarstown on time." 

Then an idea flew into Thomas' funnel. 

"Sir, I could take Dowager Hatt to the feast...if Nia could take you and Lady Hatt for me! I know my branch line best and Nia knows the way to Vicarstown and is, after all, our newest engine! She deserves a special like this! And anyway, sir...I would like her to do it to cheer her up. She misses her friends in Kenya..." 

The Fat Controller thought Thomas' idea was a good one, and a very kind one too. 

"Splendid idea, Thomas! You can take my mother in a single first class coach, and Lady Hatt and I will ride in Annie and Clarabel!" 

"Yes, sir! Thank you, sir!" 

Thomas met Nia at the Sheds. 

"Nia, I have a special for you!" he said. 

"Really, Thomas?" 

"Yes, tomorrow evening, you are going to take my coaches and bring the Fat Controller and Lady Hatt to Vicarstown for a Christmas feast! And you and I will be able to watch a fireworks display afterwards!" 

"That sounds...exciting!" said Nia. 

She was smiling! And that made Thomas very pleased! 

The following evening was Christmas Eve. Everybody was happy, and that included Nia. She collected Annie and Clarabel and then took the Fat Controller and Lady Hatt from Knapford to Vicarstown. She was keen to attend the fireworks display while they went to the feast. 

Thomas, meanwhile, was collecting Dowager Hatt from Ffarquhar Station, and then he took her to Vicarstown too. 

Thomas and Nia soon reached the station. Henry, Edward and Rosie were there too. They were looking forward to seeing the fireworks. 

"Enjoy the feast and fireworks, sir!" said Thomas. 

"And ma'ams!" said Nia. 

The Hatts waved as they left. 

As they all waited for the fireworks display to begin, Percy arrived with the mail. 

"Nia, the mail has a letter from overseas, just for you," he said excitedly. 

"For me?" 

Nia was puzzled. 

The Stationmaster read it out for her. 

"To Nia, 

We all miss you so in Kenya and we hope to one day see you again. 

We hope you are enjoying your new life on Sodor and we want you to know that we are still Really Useful in your absence and want you to continue to be where you are. 

Say hello to Thomas and all of his friends and please, always remember us! 

Until we meet again, 

Love from all of your friends in Kenya." 

Nia had tears in her eyes. 

"Are you alright, Nia?" asked Thomas worriedly. 

"I am, I am so happy that my friends haven't forgotten me," said Nia in a joyous voice. 

Then the fireworks began! 

(The Photographer can be seen taking a picture of the display.) 

"Maybe, just maybe, your friends can see them in the stars," whispered Thomas to Nia. 

"Maybe, Thomas..." 

"Merry Christmas, Nia!" 

"Heri ya Krismasi, Thomas!" 

The engines laughed happily. 



(THE END!)

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