Ilse loves trains, especially old steam locomotives. She loves that one. She often walks to the station in the hope that one will passing by. These days this does not happen that often anymore, but when she sees one, her day cannot go wrong. Ilse does not have many friends, but she does not mind at all. She has one friend, whom she cares about very much. She does everything for him.
The weather is nice today and Ilse walks dreamily to the station. But before she gets there, she walks past the marshalling yard where the trains are parked. Often you will still find old steam locomotives there. Ilse walks further than usual along the terrain and makes a great discovery. A little further on is a special steam locomotive. It is, as it were, hidden among dense trees and bushes. Her joy soon disappears, and she sadly looks at the old, neglected locomotive. How can they neglect such a beautiful loco, she wonders.
Her fingers caress the copper headlight, which lights up to her surprise, and then suddenly she hears someone say, “That’s a nice feeling. Do not be scared though. It is just me, Bertus. I am over 200 years old, and no one looks back at me anymore. Because of the progress, they have sidetracked me. It feels like I am being stripped down and rust breaks me up. Oh sorry, I am rattling on. You must have been shocked by me.’
Ilse soon recovered from the shock and took a soft cleaning rag from the pocket of her jacket and rubbed the headlight clean until it turns a golden yellow color again.
“Thank you, now I can see much better. What a brave child you are,” whispers the locomotive.
“You’re welcome. You are so beautiful,” Ilse replies.
Ilse diligently cleans the locomotive with her cloth. She understands that with that little cloth, she cannot clean the locomotive in its entirety. She already notices that there are ugly stains on her dress. Mom will not be happy about this, she thinks. But she decides to help the locomotive at all costs.
“Every day when school is out, I come to you,” she says.
Ilse does what she promised. Not only does she Bertus up, no, but she also tightens all his nuts and bolts. And gives him a drop of oil here and there. Occasionally Bertus shouts that she is tickling him. Sometimes a part is broken, and she tries to fix it. She is determined to offer the steam locomotive a new future.
She no one tells them about her secret. Not because she does not want to. No, she wants it to be a surprise to people. She works hard and precisely and Bertus, yes Bertus, enjoys her passion the most.
Sometimes she needs his help and then he helps her. Especially when something heavy needs to be lifted. Then he does his best to serve her.
Today is finally the day. Ilse smiles and looks at the locomotive from front to back with admiration. And Bertus is proud of her. Now the day has come when she is going to show him to the village.
She has invited the whole village to a special unveiling at the station.
Indeed, most of the villagers are already eagerly waiting at the station. They do not know what is coming, but they are curious.
Ilse proudly goes to them and asks them to come with her to the marshalling yard. Some protest and think she has tricked them, but Ilse tell them that it is worth coming along. Most of them follow her and proudly she shows them Bertus.
They roll their eyes. Bertus, who is proud of her, flashes with joy with his lights.
“Look, I made the locomotive, it didn’t turn out great,” Ilse shouts.
She takes a seat in the boiler room and lets Bertus whistle and slowly sets the wheels in motion.
Ilse smiles from ear to ear. All those hours she has spent refurbishing Bertus can be paid with no gold.
The mayor comes to her and congratulates her on her great deed and promises her that he will ensure that Bertus gets another purpose in the village.
From that day on, Bertus regularly drives through the village again and Ilse is still collaborating with him daily.
Bertus is old, but far from finished with his task.
If you also have something old, see if it is no longer useful. Maybe someone else will be happy with it.