Meeting Isaac Newton by Anna B.

POOF! My time machine gave a last effortless groan and I found myself I in a dark crimson room, with closed curtains, a blood red colored bed moving and groaning with pain, and… WAIT A MINUTE! A bed that was moving and groaning with pain? That was scientifically impossible! I took a step closer, tiptoeing right next to the stirring bed. I gasped. Right in front of me was Isaac Newton!!! Was he having a nightmare? I crept up to the curtains and slowly peeked outside the window. It was day! I had read two whole books about Isaac Newton, but none of them stated that he was a lazy man… They said that he was a painstaking scientist. Suddenly, I heard a thud, and a gruff voice groaned, 

“Who goes there?” 

I quickly opened the curtains fully, and saw not the eager scientist I read about, but a weak, suffering person with closed, shut eyes and white hair. Oh, right… he was wearing a wig… anyway, why was he in bed instead of doing his interesting experiments? I pulled my phone out of my rucksack, and took a picture or two of this unusual situation I was in… 

“What is that curious device you are holding in your wee hand?”

“This? Oh! Umm… this is a cell phone!” 

OH MY GOD, I gasped to myself. I was talking to the real, REAL Isaac Newton! I was barely clutching my urge to jump on him and ask him for any information about him; but staring at this pitiful looking man in bed who could barely see, I thought better of it.

As he fiddled around for a handkerchief, I quickly scooped up one and put it in his hand. 

“Thank you… ACHOO! How did you, a child come into my room?” 

“Oh! That is simple. With my time machine, and to be honest I came here accidentally… I actually wanted to go meet the puritans on the other side of the Atlantic! I just couldn’t help it thinking about you and your experiments and that’s how I found myself here.

“It is okay. Now come close, sit here…”

I sat on the fluffy bed and crept close.

“So, you have read about me, of course… Everyone has.”

I nodded.

“Good, very good. So, do you remember my dazzling light experiments where I found out that white light is a mixture of all colors?”

I nodded again.

“In between them, I did something very hazardous;”

“What was it?”

“I stared at the sun for a very long time… The results weren’t very good for me, because I kept seeing colorful blobs in my eyes, and now I’m forced to stay in this little…”

I shoved my fingers in my ears. I knew that this wouldn’t be a very fit conversation for me.

When he was done, he sighed deeply.

“I’m sorry for that moment. I’ll add it to my list of sins. Ahem… so where were we? Ah, yes. So, I’m forced to stay in this dark room with my eyes shut.”

“Oh, I’m sorry but I’d like to ask you some questions, because I want to become a scientist too, and I’d really need to know what it really takes to become one, besides the experiments which we are doing in class. We even managed to lift our teacher, you know.”

“What do you mean, lift your teacher? Don’t you know anything about gravity?” 

“Of course I do! But we didn’t just pick her up!”

“Then what did you do?”

I could see a glint of shame pass through his face as he asked that! 

“Well, we used a class 1 lever, a seesaw and we put our teacher on one side and one of us on the other!”

“Hmm… speaking of gravity…”

“Did you even hear what I said?”

“Huh? Oh, yes I heard you. Have you ever read about me discovering gravity with only one apple? It ruined my freshly powdered wig, but I did discover gravity…”

I groaned.

“What? You should have seen me… I was gorgeous! 

“Everyone else would have eaten the apple; you know, smutterers? But I, the smart Isaac, started asking why this always happens and figured out how gravity works and how it affects everything, even planets!”

“That’s very cool, but can you tell me more about your experiments now? I really want to find out about how you kept track of everything and how you tried out different things until you found out what you wondered about!”

“Patience and perseverance, my child! That’s all! When I want to find out something, I even deprive myself of sleep! I always figure out new ways to approach the problem, by experimenting and writing down the results instead of just discussing them like all natural philosophers before me used to do.”

“Exactly! That’s what we are doing. Now we are using pulleys to gain mechanical advantage. We try all possible combinations like double pulleys, you know,” I added in excitement. “We are writing down the results and share our infor-“

“WAIT, WHAT????” he bellowed. “You share your precious results with others? Do you have any idea about how many enemies I had when I shared one, only one piece of information?”

“How many?”


“Wow really? That many? Who were they?”

“Leibniz the math show off and Hooke the smutterer with Hooke being by far the worst. 

‘He really thought being smarter than me although he did only mistakes. And by the way no friends are needed. Just keep everything for yourself and publish only when your enemies are dead!”

“That’s mean! I love my friends and I like sharing results. No offense, but you really should revise your attitude towards others. Only sharing makes science even more fun.”

“I can’t agree less with that, child. At Trinity College, Cambridge, where I was a student and then a teacher I locked myself up to avoid any contact with morons.”

“Do you mean bullies?”

“Bullies? I dealt with them already in grammar school.”

“I know you rubbed one’s nose at your school’s wall. At my school violence is strictly forbidden. We deal with bullies verbally.”

“Verbally? Really? I can’t listen to this anymore. I’m tired and need to rest. Just enter your machine child and leave!”

I was astounded by his rudeness and was about to protest, when my image blurred and I woke up with holding a used handkerchief in my hand. 

“Mom, I have Isaac Newton’s snot!! I need a frame!!” 


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