Little Toy Train

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The following is from American Childhood Magazine, December 1949. This long poem was written by Ruth Stephens Porter, a poet and songwriter.

Little Toy Train
Ruth Stephens Porter

Too-too-too was a little toy train
That Santa Claus brought in his pack;
There was an engine and thirteen cars,
And it ran on a little toy track.

The little toy train ran round and round,
While making the merriest noise,
“Too-too-too!” as it hurried along,
Awakening two little boys.

“Hurry up, Jack, for Santa was here,
And he always brings us some toys.
It sounds like a genuine railroad train
That makes a terrible noise.”

As soon as the boys came into the room,
A sight just dazzled their eyes,
For they saw a lighted-up Christmas tree,
And underneath, a surprise.

A little toy train was running around
On a tiny tin railroad track;
A shiny new engine was pulling along
A big line of cars in the back.

“How do you do?” said the brown teddy-bear,
That was sitting right under the tree.
“I wish I could ride on your railroad train —
Why can’t you wait for me?”

A woolly white dog was watching the train,
And he barked at it: “Bow-wow-wow!
If only you’d stop for a minute or two,
I’d climb aboard, somehow.”

A little fur kitten was watching it run,
And called out: “Mew-mew-mew!
If only you’d seat me away from the dog,
I’ll be a passenger, too.”

So, after a while, the two little boys,
Whose names were Bobby and Jack,
Stopped the toy train that was running along
The little railroad track.

Bobby became the conductor, at once,
While Jack was the engineer;
Bobby collected the animal fares,
And Jack had the engine to steer.

The conductor asked the teddy-bear:
“Have you a ticket to show?”
The teddy bear paid for his railroad fare
His blue ribbon tied in a bow.

The woolly white dog had a collar on,
With his number stamped on a tag;
He had long ears and soft brown eyes,
And a stumpy tail to wag.

The conductor took the collar and tag
That buckled, a perfect fit,
To pay for the puppy-dog’s railroad fare,
And give him a place to sit.

A bell hung under the kitty-cat’s chin
It looked becoming on her;
And sounded a musical “Ting-a-ling-ling”
When anyone stroked her fur.

The conductor collected the cat’s new bell.
It was kept with the collar and bow.
He called to the cat, the dog and the bear:
“All aboard! It is time to go!”

The teddy-bear straddled a tank car;
The dog was admitted as freight.
The kitty-cat road in a passenger car,
Sitting up, prim and straight.

Jackie was glad to be engineer,
And take the three toys for a ride.
The engine had to pull quite hard,
With an extra load, beside.

“Too-too-too!” said the little toy train.
“The going is getting rough.”
Slower and slower the engine ran,
For it had to puff and puff.

Suddenly all the train gave a jerk,
And over the teddy-bear flopped.
And Jackie, the railroad engineer
Saw that the train had stopped.

The woolly white dog came hurrying fast,
He wanted to help, somehow.
“Oh, hurry and ring for an ambulance;
I’m afraid he is hurt. Bow-wow!”

So Bobby’s toy truck was the ambulance,
And Bobby gave Teddy first-aid.
He and the dog and the scared little cat
Had a spoonful of pink lemonade.

They belled the cat and collared the dog,
And Teddy’s blue ribbon was tied.
You see — the conductor returned the fares
To the animals missing the ride.

The cat, the dog and the teddy-bear sat,
As quiet as they could be,
Watching the little toy train go round
The lighted-up Christmas tree.

Bobby remained the conductor,
And Jackie the engineer,
And the little toy train kept running along,
On Christmas and all through the year.

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