Fifteen Minutes Of Fiction Writing Gallery

The Little Engine That Thought It Could: A poem about what really happened to the little blue engine
Posted by lostcerebellum, Jan 21, 2008. 3168 views. ID = 519

The Little Engine That Thought It Could

Posted by lostcerebellum, Jan 21, 2008. 3168 views. ID = 519
This post was written in 2 minutes.
This post has been awarded 48 stars by 13 readers.

“We’ve a train full of goods to go to the next town,
But the hill is so steep all the others back down.
What of you little engine? Will you be the one,
Or, like others, will you say, ‘It just can’t be done?’”

“Yes, I think I can do it,” the blue engine said,
And he started the train moving slowly ahead.
“He’s a hero,” the townspeople started to shout,
And the next thing you saw was his chest puffing out.

Well, the engine was happy to show off his might,
And the people were eager to take in the sight.
At the foot of the mountain they stood near the track
As the engine belched clouds of black smoke from his stack.

He had psyched himself up with, “I think that I can”,
But the real facts of life brought a change in his plan.
As he came near the top, and the going got tough,
His big effort collapsed with a long final puff.

It was physical laws versus strength of the will,
And the train started rolling on back down the hill.
Though he once thought, “I can”, he now wished that he could,
But the scene now before him was not looking good.

He was picking up speed, versus building up steam,
And the crew and the townspeople started to scream.
As he drew near the curve at the foot of the hill
All the screeching and screaming was getting more shrill.

Having way too much speed to remain on the rail,
Like a hundred ton bird, he just started to sail.
What goes up, we all know, in the end must come down,
And the train, when it hit, wiped out most of the town.

It’s so easy, when idling around in the yard,
To let off lots of steam, and to be a blowhard.
You can toot your own horn with a lot of hot air
But that isn’t a sign that you’ll get anywhere.

If you aren’t really made of the right kind of stuff,
Merely thinking you can isn’t nearly enough.
You should never bite off more than what you can chew,
And it’s smart not to hang out with others who do.

Copyright 2008 lostcerebellum. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

You must be logged in to comment on or rate this writing.

Click here to join the Fifteen Minutes Of Fiction Writing Community!

This post has been awarded 48 stars by 13 readers.
This is a revised version of a post. Click here to view the original version


Jan 21, 2008
This is delightful! I've added this to the featured gallery.

Welcome to the site!
   ~Posted by Douglas, Jan 21, 2008

Jan 22, 2008
I like this! :-) Very nice job!
   ~Posted by Katie, Jan 22, 2008

Jan 26, 2008
My favorite part is the section about sailing through the air and flattening the town...that made me laugh. Great job!
   ~Posted by Janee, Jan 26, 2008

Rabbit Stu
Jan 26, 2008
I'm debating whether to say "this is great", 0r "this sounds like something I would write". After all, if I said BOTH of those things, it would suggest that I write great stuff, which is a bit arrogant.

So I'll just say it's great, and I'm jeaulous that you came up with the idea first. ;D
   ~Posted by Rabbit Stu, Jan 26, 2008

Jun 27, 2008
Yes, it's good of itself but I don't know if I like that it kind of makes fun of the little engine story. I like that story because it teaches to believe in yourself, but this is good too, not to be over-confident...Great writing though.
   ~Posted by Hannah, Jun 27, 2008

Search for Great Fiction

Use the google search bar below to find writings exclusively on this site.

Custom Search

News!    Writing Prompt    My Assignment    FAQ    Contact    Privacy Policy    Search     Terms of Use     Login