Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

Mike Mulligan, a burly construction worker with a heart of gold, wasn’t like other men in the business. His most prized possession wasn’t a fancy truck or a modern tool, but Mary Anne, a magnificent steam shovel. Together, they were a dream team, carving canals for boats, tunneling mountains for trains, and digging foundations for towering skyscrapers. Mary Anne, with her powerful scoop and tireless engine, roared to life under Mike’s loving care. Their bond was undeniable; Mike treated Mary Anne not just as a machine, but as a loyal friend.

However, times were changing. Faster, more efficient diesel and electric shovels were replacing the old-fashioned steam engines. Jobs became scarce for Mike and Mary Anne. Their once-mighty bellows grew silent, replaced by the hum of new technology. Mike, ever the optimist, refused to scrap Mary Anne. He believed in her strength and vowed to find work, even if it meant traveling far and wide.

Their journey led them to the quaint town of Popperville, a place stuck in its ways. The townsfolk, led by the stubborn Mayor McGrail, were planning a grand new town hall. Unfortunately, they had a big problem – their chosen location had a massive rock right in the middle, making construction impossible. News of this challenge reached Mike, and a spark of determination ignited in his eyes. He approached the Mayor, proposing a solution – Mary Anne could dig the cellar for the town hall in a single day!

The townsfolk scoffed. They’d never seen a steam shovel before, let alone one as old as Mary Anne. But Mike, fueled by his unwavering belief in his friend, was persuasive. He convinced them to give him a chance. The day of the dig arrived, and the entire town gathered to witness the spectacle. Mike, with a determined glint in his eye, climbed into the driver’s seat of Mary Anne. The old steam shovel sputtered to life, a plume of smoke billowing from her smokestack.

Mike and Mary Anne worked tirelessly. Mary Anne’s powerful scoop tore through the earth, while Mike expertly maneuvered her around the site. The townsfolk, initially skeptical, watched in awe as the massive hole for the cellar grew bigger with each passing hour. But disaster struck just as the sun began to set. Mary Anne, having dug a perfectly sized cellar, found herself trapped. The dirt walls had caved in, burying her whole!

Dejected, Mike slumped beside the now-still Mary Anne. The townspeople, initially relieved to have their cellar dug, now faced a new problem – how to get the massive shovel out? Ideas flew, but none seemed practical. Just then, a young boy stepped forward. With a bright smile, he suggested a solution so ingenious it left everyone speechless.

Why not leave Mary Anne in the cellar? They could build the new town hall on top, using her boiler as the building’s furnace! This way, Mike could stay on as the janitor, keeping Mary Anne warm and cared for. The townsfolk erupted in cheers. It was the perfect solution!

The new town hall, built around Mary Anne, became a landmark in Popperville. Mike, ever the loyal friend, continued to care for his steam shovel, ensuring she remained warm and happy. Mary Anne, although no longer digging, became the heart of the town hall, her warmth radiating through the building. Mike and Mary Anne, a testament to friendship and perseverance, became local heroes, proving that even the oldest machines could have a valuable place in the ever-changing world.

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Mga Kwentong Bayan
Mga Kwentong Bayan