the happy tractor


Spotted on our walk today – possibly the most cheerful tractor in the world.

It made me think of the Ladybird book Tootles the Taxi (written by Joyce B. Clegg and illustrated by John Kenney), which features a variety of anthropomorphised vehicles.

I did used to have a copy, but it got lost somewhere along the way. Pictured above is Tony the Tractor. Other characters include Larry the Lorry, Billy the Baker’s Van and Cuthbert the Coal Cart. Each one had a little rhyme. I’m afraid that a quick hunt on the internet has failed to turn up Tony’s verse, so here instead is Billy’s, just to give you an idea:

I’m Billy the baker’s van,
Painted bright red;
I carry the sugar buns,
Pastry and bread.
I take all the orders
Round to each door,
And all of my customers
Come back for more!

It’s quite sad really, as the tractor is one of the few vehicles still in regular use now. The book was first published in 1956, and its baker’s vans, coal carts, trolley-buses, railway drays and milk-floats are thin on the ground these days.

Still, it’s nice to know that Tony the Tractor is happy and enjoying his retirement in rural France.


3 thoughts on “the happy tractor

  1. I have that book in England … or rather my mother still has my copy. Along with all those other Ladybird loves from childhood. Your tractor is adorable if not Tony himself, clearly his French twin separated at birth 🙂

  2. I’m slightly envious that you still have a copy! I used to have lots, mostly inherited from my older siblings, but I can now only find Ned the Lonely Donkey.

  3. Funny, as a child I always found that the front of the cars had different facial expressions. A Volvo looked different than a Saab, and a BMW different than a VW… That’s gone now, as most car models look the same, but I do fully understand the sense of that book, although I don’t know it. I can imagine you were thrilled to find that tractor – wonderful post!

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