Friday Fiction – On The Shoulders Of Giants

I must be pregnant, or a stay-at-home-Mum … Oh, or both 😉  Each week I think I’ll write a story about something other than parent-child relationships and every week, I mull the prompt over, dismiss a bunch of other ideas and land back in the family. Here’s another one where the appropriate response might be “they’ll be asking to borrow the car keys next”;  I hope you like it and welcome your comments either way. In fact, I’ve written about Luke (and his brother, Matty) before; theirs is one of my favourite fictional families.

Rochelle continues to challenge us with fantastic prompts. This week’s comes from Ted Strutz – a long time Fictioneer whose writing I haven’t seen for a while. Are you still with us, Ted?



On The Shoulders of Giants

“Dad,” Luke paused in The World’s Great Inventors, “When Bell invented the telephone, who did he call?”

“Actually, three men were working on telephone inventions back then. Bell just got there first,” I said.

“So he called the other guys?”


“Also, when Edison invented the lightbulb did he have to wait for someone to invent the switch? And electricity?”

Surely only yesterday this little philosopher was riding on my shoulders and asking about Thomas trains? “Look up Isaac Newton next,” I said, inspired by the memories. “He had something to say about how inventions can’t be seen in isolation.”


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

32 responses to “Friday Fiction – On The Shoulders Of Giants

  1. Dear Jen,
    I like where the prompt took you this week, and I love that you have the energy and focus to produce this great stuff. One of the best things about kids is their insatiable curiosity. Luke is fortunate to have parents that encourage his learning.
    All my best,
    Marie Gail

  2. Helena Hann-Basquiat

    We romanticize inventors, and the stories of their creations, and often forget the minutae that gets lost to time. Cute piece, this.

  3. MrBinks

    This really made me smile. With my own boy now 4 and a half I’m on the cusp of fielding such questions myself. Lovely.

  4. Notice that they start asking questions you can’t answer? Newton should keep him busy for ten minutes.

  5. I would love to have such questions asked.. so much new stuff to learn.. and yes they have answers… and inventions came so gradually.. use coming long after they are invented.

    • Even the little research I did could have filled many lines of conversation between father and son – I’m sure Dad will go back and fill in some of the details too, but for now, Newton has some wise words for Luke’s insatiable appetite.

  6. A mature response to too many questions. Lucky kid.

  7. I almost went the Edison route on this. Glad I didn’t – you did a great job with it.

  8. Thanks for the memories. From Thomas trains to the words I heard this morning… “law school.” Little Philosophers grow up fast. Good luck staying one step ahead. Bravo for accomplishing anything in addition to loving the littles. Love your family tales… warm & cozy.

  9. Nice story. I like where you took us. And where we take each other.Randy

  10. I love the questions that Luke asks. Loved this. 🙂

  11. i think part of the process is that kids grow soooo sloooowlyyy that it’s hard to see the change. it’s like building a mountain with just one pebble at a time. first, it’s just pebbles. then suddenly, it’s an f-ing mountain!

    • You’re so right! I spend every day with my son, so it often takes a comment from someone else for me to stop think “hang on, since when we you that tall / eloquent / etc?”!

  12. I love the depth of this, Jen, both in the history and philosophical ramifications of actions and reactions but also the child-like questions that bring up very good points. There’s not much point in having one telephone. Wonderful story.

    • One assumes Bell (and the others) didn’t invent one telephone but a telephone system, but it’s perhaps something we forget to question as adults. There’s a lot fo stuff like that, isn’t there?

  13. Dear Jennifer,

    When my oldest son was four I told him I’d have to go back to school just to know how to answer his questions. Now he’s a brilliant man who can answer my questions. 😉

    You’ve written a delightful slice of parental life. They do grow up in the blink of an eye.

    Of course I’m pleased that, with all you have going on in your life right now, you take the time to participate in Friday Fictioneers. You were here before I joined and I’m so happy you’re here still.



    • Thanks Rochelle, like so many others, it’s a lonely life up here and I value the friendships I’ve formed through this group too much to let them go easily.
      I’m glad you enjoyed this slice of life too. Probably pushes the boundaries of what could be called a story, but then, so do lots of stories!

  14. This fictional family is alive and kicking and very funny. I’d love more…
    My son used to ask for a paradox (Just like, who would Bell call?) as we walked to school and we’d try to come up with something between us. He’s all grown and studying History so it might have helped.

  15. Clever little boy – when will his questions become too difficult for his dad?

  16. Oh my..I have a son that when he was a certain age I thought he would be scientist because his curiosity was so strong.Write about what you know Jen, I love stories I can relate to.

  17. Dear Jennifer,

    I loved the first sentence of your intro and I thoroughly enjoyed your whole story. They grow so fast and as they do you begin to realize just how short is this life we are given. Makes it all the more precious and miraculous. Keep your eyes open and keep writing these wonderful stories. Your children will read them at at least three different stages of their lives and each time the will love you more than the last. You are beautiful.



    P.S. He called his assistant and said, “Watson, come here”. (That is just me yammering. Pay me no mind. Lovely story you wrote.)

  18. Such a lovely story – I imagined a proud and exhausted parent surrounded by those buzzing young minds.

  19. faithebear7

    Nice images and quite reminiscent of lots of conversations I had with my own parents. Very true to life. 🙂

  20. I llike this fictional family – they ring true. Such pertinent questions being asked. Brings a smile as I remember my own attempts to find answers.

  21. This is awesome – I’m hanging out for my kids to start hitting me with these complex questions 🙂

  22. Interesting thought about the lightbulb. Sebastian will be reading that book soon and asking those questions… I think you will be ready, Jenn.

    I’m still around, but so busy of late… I’ll be back someday.

  23. Dee

    Well done Jen. My youngest granddaughter (4) stayed for the weekend and we fended off lots of questions including why is the moon yellow and why are peas green…

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