Daddy was up early. He walked to the shower thinking, “I’m hungry. Breakfast sounds good.”
Meanwhile, in Travers’ room, Travers was sleeping. He was not dreaming about food. He was dreaming about his toy train. It was a circus train with an engine and three cars and animals and people to ride on it.
The animals and people had been up for a long time that morning -- even longer than Daddy. They wanted to play with Travers. One of them, the circus ringmaster, climbed onto Travers’ bed and began whispering in his ear. Actually he was shouting, but because he was so small it sounded like a whisper to the boy.
“Wake up, Travers,” the ringmaster said. “Wake up and play with us. You’ve had a good night’s sleep. Now it’s time to play.”
Travers rolled over and blinked his eyes. It’s hard to wake up sometimes, especially when the morning is still dark. At last he sat on the edge of his bed. He looked at the toy train with its little people and animals on the floor in front of his bed.
“Let’s play,” he said.
“Hooray,” said the ringmaster. “but don’t we need some light in here?”
He was right. No sunshine was coming through the windows yet, and the bedroom light was off. The little people and animals certainly couldn’t get up to where the light switch was, and Travers wasn’t quite tall enough to reach it.
“Daddy,” Travers called.
But Daddy couldn’t hear him. He was in the shower. Travers heard the sound of the water running and walked down the hallway to the bathroom, stretching up as high as he could, he turned the knob on the door and walked in.
“Hi, Travers,” Daddy said looking around the shower curtain. “Are you hungry yet?”
“No,” Travers replied. “I need a light on in my room.”
“Just a moment.”
Travers left the bathroom, carefully closing the door behind him, and went back to his room. He told the people and animals the light would be on soon.
“Oh, good,” said the monkey. “Now I can see when I hang from the side of the elephant’s car.”
“Great,” said the mama giraffe. “Now I’ll have an easier time playing with my baby giraffe.”
“And maybe,” said the ringmaster, “we’ll have an easier time finding the little dog who helps me drive the train. He’s always disappearing.”
Just then Daddy walked in. He turned on the light.
“Play with me, Dad,” Travers said.
“Are you sure you aren’t hungry yet?”
“I’m not hungry. Let’s play.”
So Daddy got down on the floor next to Travers and the train. He helped Travers squeeze the elephant into his circus car and after that they found the little dog. He had been playing in the barn with the rooster. Travers and Dad helped the monkey get a firm grip with both hands on the side of the elephant’s car, Then Travers attached all the cars by their little hitches and put the boy and girl in their seats in the caboose.
“Let’s go to the front room,” Travers said. And off the train went. All the animals and people were happy to go for a ride.
After the train had rolled around for a while, Daddy noticed the sun had come up, so that a light didn’t need to be on in Travers’ room anymore. He shut it off and said to Travers, “How about a little breakfast?”
“No I want to play,” Travers answered. “Help me fix the train, Dad.”
Daddy got down again next to Travers and the train. The engine had been knocked over when the train bumped into a chair in the hallway.
“Maybe the pigs and horses can push the engine back up again,” Daddy said.
“Okay,” Travers said. He helped the pigs and horses out of their train cars and showed them where the engine had fallen. The pigs pushed and the horses pulled. After a great deal of oinking, neighing and general grunting, the animals got the train back on its wheels.
Travers totted the whistle and the train once again rolled merrily along the floor into the front room. The train chugged around the rocking horse, behind the couch legs and under the kitchen table.
But wait! Where was the little dog? He had disappeared again. Maybe he had gotten lost when the engine derailed. Nearby was Travers’ toy helicopter. Two pilots were in it. They were eager to help out. The propeller going round and round, the helicopter flew back to the crash scene in the hallway.
There was the little dog. Was he ever happy to see the helicopter. The pilots opened their hatch and let the dog in. He sat between the pilots.
“Thank you for rescuing me,” the dog said as the helicopter whirly-whirly-whirlied back to the front room.
“Good to see you again,” the ringmaster when the dog jumped out of the helicopter.
“Let’s ride around some more,” said the dog.
“Hold it,” said Daddy. “Aren’t any of you hungry?”
“I could eat a little,” admitted the dog.
“Me, too,” said the elephant.
“What about you, Travers? Do you want some food, too?”
In Travers’ room was a little farmer with a broad-brimmed hat on. He had a plane. After Travers and Dad told him about the hungry animals on the train, the farmer loaded his plane with food from his crops and flew to the train. He brought hay for the horses, leaves for the giraffes, corn for the pigs and even a bone for the dog.
“Eat, eat, eat,” Travers said, helping the animals get the food from the plane.
“Wait a minute,” said Dad. “Did the farmer bring any food the people can eat?”
“I don’t know,” Travers said.
“He didn’t, and we’re hungry, too,” said the ringmaster and the boy and girl in unison.
Everyone thought a little bit.
“We have some food in our refrigerator,” Daddy said.
“Let’s go see,” said Travers.
Daddy lifted Travers up and they opened the refrigerator door.
Sure enough, there were eggs and butter and milk and jam and fruit -- just the right kinds of food for people big and small.
But the people on the train didn’t get to eat right away. “I’m hungry,” Travers said to his dad. And so they ate breakfast.