My Magical Grandfather is a reading story for children, about a girl called Megan, who visits her eccentric Grandfather, with her family during the summer holidays, and learns about science in a fun and sometimes crazy manner.
“True,” my grandfather said. “You’re a very clever girl. Now let’s watch the ship as it sails towards the horizon, and see if we can observe any more clues.”
We sat in silence, watching the ship sailing towards the horizon. It looked like a naval ship, although as it sailed further away, it was more difficult to make out. The ship appeared to be sinking below the horizon. Sinking below the horizon. It suddenly dawned on me, that this was what my grandfather wanted me to see.
I turned towards him, and he smiled at me. He knew that I had realised the ship was disappearing slowly below the horizon, the further that it sailed away, and that this meant that the surface of the sea was curved in this direction as well.
“Well done.” My grandfather said, “you’ve just made some simple observations, similar to the observations that Pythagoras made thousands of years ago. You have heard of the great Greek mathematician?”
“Yes,” I said. “But what does that have to do with the moon sometimes being full, and sometimes being crescent shaped.”
“All in good time, Megan, all in good time.”
Bobby appeared at the front door, “mum’s putting on the kettle, granddad, do you want a cup of coffee?”
Before my grandfather could finish saying “yes”, Bobby was off and running.
“Come on,” he said, “we’ll get you some milk and biscuits, and then we’ll work on your question a little bit more before bedtime.”
“All aboard,” we could hear my grandfather’s voice calling from the hallway. “All aboard the spaceship Solar, for a trip into outer-space.”
“We better go and see what the silly old fool is up to now,” my mum said. And we all trooped out into the hallway.
What we saw made us all burst into fits of giggles. My Grandfather stood at the end of the hallway, dressed in white overalls, green fishing waders up to his waste, and a large fish bowl over his head. Beside him was an old fashioned tricycle, which he had covered in tinfoil. And behind the tricycle, he had attached a small trailer.
“Come on you two, get your spacesuits on, the countdown to lift-off has already started.”
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