“The Little Engine That Could” attributed to Watty Piper (a pseudonym for the publisher Platt & Munk) around 1946 inspired this monumental multimedia canvas. Each week, you’ll find a new photo of an “i think i can” to remind you that you can.
A little railroad engine was employed about a station yard for such work as it was built for, pulling a few cars on and off the switches. One morning it was waiting for the next call when a long train of freight-cars asked a large engine in the roundhouse to take it over the hill "I can't; that is too much a pull for me," said the great engine built for hard work. Then the train asked another engine, and another, only to hear excuses and be refused. At last in desperation the train asked the little switch engine to draw it up the grade and down on the other side. "I think I can," puffed the little locomotive, and put itself in front of the great heavy train. As is went on the little engine kept bravely puffing faster and faster, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can." Then as it near the top of the grade, that had so discouraged the larger engines, it went more slowly, but still kept saying, "I--think--I--can, I--think--I--can." It reached the top by dint of brave effort and then went on down the grade, congratulating itself, "I thought I could, I thought I could." To think of hard things and say, "I can't" is sure to mean "Nothing done." To refuse to be daunted and insist on saying, "I think I can," is to make sure of of being able to say triumphantly by and by, "I thought I could, I thought I could."
Thinking One Can 1906. The earliest known published version appeared in Wellspring for Young People, a children's Sunday school publication. The author is unknown.
July 2017
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