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- “I'm a diesel! Hard as nails, always gruff, a diesel should be rough and tough!”
Diesel and the Ducklings is a magazine story, illustrated using images from the CGI television series.
One day, as Thomas pulls into Brendam Docks, Diesel biffs into the back of him. Thomas is not happy, but Diesel sneers and tells him that a diesel is as hard as nails and always gruff. Thomas tells Diesel that he would have more friends if he were a nicer engine, but Diesel says his friends do not like him because he is nice, they like him because he is rough and tough. Diesel laughs and oils away.
Later that day, Thomas spots Diesel up ahead talking gently and sweetly to a group of fluffy ducklings. Thomas cannot believe what he is seeing. Diesel begs Thomas not to say anything to the other engines. In return, Diesel promises to be nice to everyone as long as Thomas keeps his secret about the ducklings.
But no matter how many times Thomas reminds Diesel of his promise, it is very hard for Diesel to change his ways. Then, Thomas sees 'Arry and Bert trundling along the tracks. Thomas decides to take 'Arry and Bert to see Diesel's ducklings. Diesel is horrified.
As Thomas races around a corner, he sees the ducklings on the tracks. Thomas applies his brakes and stops just in time. Diesel tells Thomas off for going too fast and the little tank engine apologises. Thomas goes on to explain to Diesel that it is okay to show his soft side and he does not have to be rough and tough all the time. For once, Diesel agrees. Then, rough and tough 'Arry and Bert see the little ducklings and instantly fall in love with them, too.
- 'Arry (speaks in speech bubble only)
- Bert (does not speak)
- Gordon (cameo)
- Cranky (cameo)
- Big Mickey (faceless, cameo)
- Edward (incorrectly mentioned in speech bubble only)
- One of Diesel's speech bubbles addresses Edward, but in the corresponding image, it is Gordon he is speaking to.