Narrator: It was a bright spring morning on Sodor, and Thomas and Percy had stopped at the postal depot to collect the mail.
Percy: Did you hear the news Thomas?
Thomas: No Percy, what's that?
Percy: The Fat Controller's grandchildren are on a difficult case.
Thomas: Really, what's that?
Percy: I don't know, but it sounds absolutely serious?
Thomas: I'd better go and find out what's happening. See you later Percy.
Narrator: So once all the mail was loaded up, Thomas was on his way to the Fat Controller's mansion. When they arrived, his driver went in. He saw that young Stephen was crying.
Thomas' Driver: What's all this? Tears on a Tuesday? That won't do.
Sir Topham Hatt: Ah driver. Am I glad you're here. I've been waiting for you all morning.
Thomas' Driver: Well it's good to be finally here. Now then, let's see if there's a sweet in my pocket.
Sir Topham Hatt: A sweet?
Thomas' Driver: You know. To soothe things up for your grandchildren.
Narrator: And luckily, there was. And Stephen tried to smile again.
Thomas' Driver: There that's better.
Lady Hatt: It's this reading business. Young Stephen's off school with a cold. And his sister's brought his reading book home, but he can't seem to learn his letters at all.
Thomas' Fireman: I had an ABC when I was little. That helped. I'll tell you what you young Stephen. We'll make an ABC.
Stephen Hatt: How can we do that?
Thomas' Driver: The fireman and I will get a notebook next time we're at the post office, and we'll put a new letter in each day. You'll soon learn then.
Stephen Hatt: Oh yes!
Thomas' Fireman: And you can do the pictures. Bye!
Stephen Hatt: I do like drawing.
Bridget Hatt: Good, so do I.
Narrator: The next day Thomas' crew bought a red notebook. They even borrowed a small tin.
Thomas' Driver: Now Stephen, have a look in here.
Narrator: The fireman opened the tin, and as they did, a tiny creature ran about in it.
Stephen Hatt: A little ant!
Narrator: So on the first page of the notebook, Thomas' driver wrote 'a is for ant'. When Bridget came home, she brought her book of sums. She wrote in Stephen's new book, 'a is for add'. Lady Hatt looked in the larder. She put some fruit on the table, and wrote 'a is for apple and apricot'. The next day, Thomas' driver looked at all the drawings in the book.
Thomas' Driver: What about b?
Narrator: Just then Mr. Percival arrived on his bike.
Stephen Hatt: B is for bike.
Narrator: So Thomas' driver wrote 'b is for Mr. Percival's bike'. Mr. Percival drew his bike for Stephen. Later, Stephen was helping to clear the breakfast things.
Stephen Hatt: B is for butter.
Narrator: So Lady Hatt drew the butter and wrote 'b is the yellow butter in its dish'.
Thomas' Driver: Bye! We'd better be buzzing along.
Narrator: At teatime, Bridget drew another picture and wrote 'B is for big bad bee'. The next day Stephen had gone back to school. The Fat Controller made a drawing and wrote that 'c is for his cat', and that he likes cream and cake and cod. He even remembered to draw his car before taking it out to work. Thomas' driver even added in a pile of coal once he had filled Thomas' bunker with coal. Each day someone added a new page to Stephen's book. When Stephen came home from school, the first thing he did, was to look at the new page in 'Thomas the Tank Engine's ABC'. Farmer McColl called. He drew his dog and wrote 'd is for his dog Katie'. Later Bridget drew a dish for the dog's drink. Then the Fat Controller came in, and drew the donkey in the top field. The next day, Stephen had eggs and soldiers for breakfast. He write 'e is for eggs and eggcups'.
Edward: Hi sir. What's going on?
Sir Topham Hatt: My grandson is learning their ABCs with the help from his friends.
Edward: Can we have our names put in the ABC book?
Emily: He does mean me as well.
Sir Topham Hatt: Sure. If you insist.
Narrator: So Stephen added Edward and Emily's names to the ABC book. On Saturday, Stephen saw a frog in the pong. He drew it when they went home. Matt the Mobile Shop Owner called. Lady Hatt brought fish fingers, a strawberry flan and some kitchen foil. They even remembered to add the 'Fat Controller' to the ABC book. Stephen helped Farmer Trotter feed his newly delivered goats and geese. Then the Farmer drew both animals in the ABC.
Bridget Hatt: I don't like the way the geese hiss at me.
Narrator: On Sunday, they all went to church. They saw Dowager Hatt, and write 'g is for granny'. She dropped one of her new gloves. She gave Stephen a gum-drop when he picked up her glove. Gordon even had a chance to have his picture drawn in the book. At Sunday school, Bridget drew the Fat Controller's hat. And Stephen drew a hen that had walked into the churchyard. He even remembered to draw a picture of Henry. On Monday, Stephen and Bridget had ice-cream for tea. Meanwhile, the Fat Controller's car had a puncture, and he had to jack it up. So he drew his jack in the book. On Tuesday, there was jam and jelly for tea. And Jem Cole said "Just the job!" And James was more than happy to be drawn in the book especially since he was the same colour as the ABC notebook. On Wednesday, the Hatts had kippers for tea. Then the driver and fireman called for a cup of tea the next morning.
Thomas' Driver: Good morning.
Lady Hatt: I've just boiled the kettle.
Narrator: So the driver stayed for a cup of tea and drew the kettle in Stephen's book.
Sir Topham Hatt: My grandchildren are getting on really well with their letters. They know all the words in their ABC so far.
Narrator: On Friday, Bridget said she had seen a lark on the way to school. So she drew that. One of Farmer McColl's hens stole the Fat Controller's keys, and the controller had to climb up a tree with the farmer ladder to get them back. He drew the ladder.
Sir Topham Hatt: It was so high, I was really scared.
Narrator: That evening, Thomas and his crew went to watch the lighthouse lantern beam on and off. So his driver drew the lighthouse in the book. On Saturday, Lady Hatt bought a big melon at the market. Meanwhile, Stephen and Bridget played in the barn. Bridget saw a mouse. Stephen drew it in his ABC.
Thomas' Driver: I once had a pet mouse, just like the one in your book.
Narrator: Matt the Mobile Shop called again. Stephen bought some nutty nougat with his pocket money, and gave a piece to Bridget. On Sunday, it was time for church again. Dowager Hatt played the organ. And the Vicar of Wellsworth gave each child an orange. Stephen and Bridget had pie and peas and potatoes and pancakes for their dinner. Percy even got to be in the book. Then the Hatt children played cards. And Stephen drew the queen. It rained on Monday. At playtime, all the children saw a beautiful rainbow in the sky. Stephen had taken their ABC to school, to show his teacher. So he painted the rainbow in it, using all the paints in the box. They had sausages and sweetcorn for school dinner. And Alice drew them for Stephen in his ABC. On Tuesday, Bertie the Bus was stuck in the mud. So Terence the Tractor had to come round to tow him out.
Bridget Hatt: T for tractor.
Stephen Hatt: And T for Thomas.
Sir Topham Hatt: Not forgetting Toby.
Narrator: Then the Fat Controller, drew both engines in the abc, along with their names. Then he wrote, 'Terence the tractor towing Bertie the Bus'. On Wednesday, the wind blew the Vicar of Wellsworth's umbrella inside-out. But luckily Thomas' driver helped him to put it right again, then he drew the umbrella in Stephen's ABC book. There was a sale at Stephen's school. Dowager Hatt bought a vase, and drew if for her great-grand son.
Dowager Hatt: It's just the thing for my violets, and it looks very valuable.
Narrator: Mr. Percival bought a watch.
Mr. Percival: It has a wobbly winder. I'll soon mind that.
Thomas' Driver: Will you draw it?
Mr. Percival: Willingly.
Narrator: And Mr. Percival wrote underneath, 'w for watch with a wobbly winder'. Later Thomas and his driver went to watch the windmill's sales go round. Then the driver drew the windmill in the book. Then Thomas needed to fill on more water on the way home, and he even blew a happy toot on his whistle when he felt better. So Thomas' driver put in the water and whistle too. On Thursday, Stephen played music on a xylophone at school.
Stephen Hatt: I can play it or draw it, but I can't spell it.
Narrator: So his teacher helped him. On Friday, Thomas and Percy went to the seaside to watch the boats.
Thomas: Look at all those pretty sails Percy. What do you call a boat like that?
Percy: That's a yacht Thomas.
Thomas: I knew that. Oh, and the word yacht begins with y, the next letter.
Narrator: So Thomas' driver put in 'y for yacht'. That same day was the monthly school trip. Stephen, Bridget and their class went to see the lions and the tigers at the Sodor Animal Park.
Bridget Hatt: Y is for yellow on the giraffe's neck.
Stephen Hatt: Now I know how to end our ABC. And I can spell it myself. 'Z for zebra'.
Bridget Hatt: And 'z for zoo' too.
Thomas: Cheerio! (breaks the fourth wall)
Narrator: And Stephen Hatt never forgot the letters in his ABC ever again.