Isabel the Coach was feeling sad. Everywhere he looked, he could see engines and coaches moving steadily forwards. They all looked confident and cheerful. One day, he aecided to talk to Caroline the Car. I'm always going backwards, Mrs. Caroline. I have forward-thinking views-I could a leader, if you know I mean. You can't be a leader without a train to follow you. You don't have a train, Mavis said. Isabel felt sadder sill. Caroline wanted to help. You're a very useful coach, Isabel. You help me coach, and you keep my freight cars in order when we go down hills. I know, Mrs. Caroline. But it would be so exciting to go fowards for a change instead of always seeing things sliding away from me. The freight cars were cross with Isabel. Who's he to start complaining? He's lucky to be able to loock after us. Let's teach him a lesson. The freight cars decided to carry out their plan when they reached Mavis' hill. When they where nearly at the top, they played their tricks. Ready, steady, go! And they jerked at a coupling, which broke. We're making your wish come true, Isabel! Follow the leader! yelled the freight cars. Isabel was still in a state of shock, so he didn't know what to think. And he couldn't ask the conductor-he had jumped clear! Faster, faster, as fast as you want! screamed the freight cars. Suddenly, Isabel found it fun, But the fun was soon over! A crossing lay ahead, and the gates were closed. Isabel couldn't stop. Worse still-Isabel not realized he was on the wrong track. There ahead was Mavis. The Signalman changed the points just in time. On, on! Faster! cried the freight cars. Suddenly, he saw Lady pulling a long, slow train. Oh, my goodness! Look Help! Save me! A quick-thinking shunter did, just in time. What was that?! exclaimed Lady. The signalman warned the Stationmaster at the next station. There's a runaway coming! Well send him into the sidings! Help! Help! called Isabel again. Isabel saw some buffers. Those'll stop me. But the points to the buffers weren't set. Oh, no! I'm back on the main line. Meanwhile, Caroline was racing to the rescue. I must catch Isabel, I must. Isabel sped past Molly. More danger lady ahead. Men were working on the bridge, but they had been warned about the runaway Isabel and his freight cars. They diverted him onto old sidings-straight into a muddy pool. Stopped at last! Caroline arrived, and when he saw Isabel, he could only smile. A pond is the only place for a Isabel, I suppose! That night, Isabel spoke to Caroline. I'm sorry, Mrs. Caroline, if I caused you any embarrassment. That's all right, Isabel. So what d'you think of going forwards? It's was fun, decided Isabel. But from now on I'll happy to look forward to the future . . . busy going backwards, so to speak!

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