With his mantra of “I think I can, I think I can…” The Little Engine that Could, real name Percival Baldwin, became an eternal part of children’s literature after scaling a mountain through sheer determination and belief in himself.
Once receiving that inspirational taste of victory, however, the other side of the mountain proved to be all downhill for Baldwin as his aspirations began to overreach his bounds.
The failures at first meant relatively little to the train. He thought he could grab a coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts. He thought he could feed the seagulls at the beach. He thought he could learn the dance-based Afro-Brazilian martial art capoeira. Alas, none of these dreams came to be.
It is a short relationship with a yellow Corvette that many saw pushed Baldwin over the edge. It was once of those chance meetings—each at a crossroads in their lives—and soon became a whirlwind romance. Baldwin dreamed of finally settling down; maybe having some little green cabooses running around the trainyard. Unfortunately, word soon came that his beloved Corvette had been fooling around with a Hummer behind his stack, believing Baldwin was “always too straightforward.”
Enraged, Baldwin called a press conference to denounce the morals of his story.
“You think I’m so great because I pulled a load over a mountain,” he said. “Well whoop-de-do; I’m a train! That’s what I do! And, I’ve come to discover, it’s all I freakin’ can do! You all cheer and crap and then you go away and forget about me while I’m stuck on these tracks. I can only go where they lead; I have no other cho—hey! Don’t move my mike away! You just wait until you step in front of me; you’ll have to someday! I’ll remember your face!”
In the ensuing public relations nightmare for his company, Baldwin was decommissioned. He was last seen roaming the country’s tracks serving as a mobile church for extreme Calvinists.