Copyright 1962 by William B. Peet, Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston

"Smokey worked in a railroad yard and never got to travel like other locomotives. When he heard he was going to the scrap yard, he decided to take a trip. Then his adventure began."

My father fell in love with steam engines and trains when he was a child. When I was a child, the whole family would go down to the station in Glendale to watch the steam locomotives. We were not the only people there just to see the great machines. They were especially spectacular at night when the glow from the fire box could be seen and the steam was made whiter by the station lights. On one occasion my father took me out in front of one of these behemoths to look at it more closely. Standing between the rails as the engine rumbled and hissed was frightening. I was afraid the engine would start up and run over us. Then the engineer let loose with a blast of steam from somewhere near the pistons in front. I don't know what my reaction was, but my dad and the engineer were both laughing. I then realized the steam had been released for my benefit.My dad loved to draw trains. He felt that steam locomotives were alive. They are marvelous pieces of design that are made all the more interesting because all the working parts are exposed and they make a variety of interesting sounds to go with the action. It is easy to see why my dad loved trains so. He wrote another train story called The Caboose Who Got Loose and trains featured prominently in Pamela Camel and Farewell to Shady Glade.---- Bill Peet, Jr.



Color sketch for oil painting: The railroad yard.