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- “Why are you so popular with the children. What's your secret?"
"It's my ice-cream, you silly diesel!"
"You and your silly tune, at least I'm doing something useful!”
- ―Daisy and the Ice-Cream Van
The Ice-Cream Van is a magazine story.
One sunny morning, Daisy is travelling slowly along the line when she spots some children playing in a playground. Daisy likes watching children play as they make her laugh. Then, she hears a cheerful tune as a grinning ice-cream van arrives. He is soon surrounded by lots of children. Daisy feels depressed; she can never be that popular.
Later that morning, Daisy sees the ice-cream van again when she stops at a signal. Daisy asks why he is so popular. The ice-cream van calls Daisy a silly diesel for not knowing that his secret is his ice-cream. Daisy takes exception to this and remarks that at least she does something useful. Daisy's driver intervenes and points out that Daisy would be more popular with the children if she served ice-cream. Daisy has to admit he is right.
Soon, at a village station, Daisy hears the ice-cream van's gaunty jingle once more. Sure enough, some children soon run over to purchase an ice-cream. However, something as wrong as the van is no longer grinning. The driver of the van explains that they have run out of fuel and the ice-cream is sure to melt. Daisy thinks it serves the ice-cream van right for being rude. Daisy's driver is not impressed and tells Daisy that she should not be jealous over someone else's popularity. Daisy thinks about what she said and realises that she has been very unfriendly. She asks what she can do to help. Daisy's driver calls out to the van driver to tell him that they always carry a spare can of diesel fuel just in case. The ice-cram van perks up imediately.
So, Daisy's driver fetches the diesel fuel from the guard's van and gives it to the ice-cream man. He tells them to think of it as a present from Daisy. The ice-cream van is soon working again and the happy children make sure to go over and thank Daisy. The diesel railcar says sorry and explains how she had been jealous of his popularity with the children. The ice-cream van reminds Daisy that she saved the day and now she is popular as well. Then, the ice-cream van plays his happy tune once more.