Here’s the second part of the story of little Hedgehog, now an adult. If you’ve missed the first part, you can find it here.
One day, a worker from the engine room fell ill and Hedgehog was offered his post temporarily.
It was a bit tiring, one had to fill the wood-fired boilers so they wouldn’t go out, but he agreed.
He was going to fly!
A dirigible is a bit like a ship except, instead of the sails, there are some big balloons that are filled up by steam coming out of big funnels.
That steam comes from the boilers in which wood is being burnt.
It’s not very practical, but at that time they didn’t know how to do differently.
On the morning of his first flight, Hedgehog was a bit nervous.
What if something went wrong?
What if he was sick?
And what if he couldn’t do his job properly?
His new colleagues reassured him.
“Everything is going to go well. You will get used to flying really quickly, and the work isn’t complicated. Just do like us, and it’ll be fine.” Said Bear.
They showed him around the engine room: a large room in which there were a lot of wood pellets in big bags, and two big boilers from which started several pipes as well as their chimneys. The heat was also used to warm up the passengers.
There were also several portholes quite high.
“How am I going to be able to look at the view once we will fly?”
“You’ll just have to climb on the bags when you’ll take a break.” Said Rabbit.
They started the boilers and put some pellets in them.
They needed to heat them up to make some steam so that the balloons could start to fill up in anticipation of the take off.
The stockers were all standing on bags to look through the windows at passengers and goods arriving.
It was really entertaining, between the passengers dressed in the latest travelling fashion and all the bags, trunks and containers of all sorts.
Then, they got to work. They filled the boilers so that they heated up enough to fill the balloons with steam.
And then… the dirigible started to lift off the ground slowly.
Hedgehog’s friends had sent him to stand on bags to watch his first take off.
It was so exciting for him to feel the dirigible climb up and to see people, vehicles and buildings become smaller and smaller.
He didn’t stay there long, though, as he had work to do.
Filling the boilers wasn’t as hard as he thought. The hardest part was to fill the shovel with the right quantity of pellets and keep up the rhythm.
Since there were enough of them, some could rest whilst other worked.
When it was his turn to take a break, he went to look through the porthole to see where they were. They were flying over fields, but not like the ones back home.
And in the distance…
“Is that the sea?”
“Yes! We are going to fly over it, you’ll see it better then.” Told him Squirrel.
“I’ll see it for the first time.”
He climbed down from the bag and went to lie down. A nap and a snack would do him a lot of good.
The third and final part will come out next month!