The Friendly Dinosaur


© C.E. Ayr

Ginny remembered her Daddy as she stood overlooking the railroad yard. She was just three years old when he showed her that first train up close. It was moving slowly; large and stately, like a friendly dinosaur. The engineer looked down at her and smiled. She waved shyly back. She’d loved trains ever since. Someday, she’d teach that same love to her children and tell them how much she adored the Grandpa they would never meet. Ginny left the train yard and went back to work in the oncology ward. She hated the cancer that had taken her Daddy.

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The idea is to write a piece of flash fiction with a max limit of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit

Today’s story is exactly 100 words long.

30 thoughts on “The Friendly Dinosaur

    • Thank you, Sandra.

      When my boys were around two (twins), my wife, the kids, and I took a road trip with my parents from California, where I lived at the time, to Omaha, Nebraska, my hometown and where all of my Mom’s still family lives.

      Somewhere in the middle of Nebraska, we stopped at a railroad museum. It also had a large park and was located in a very rural area.

      We were sitting close to the train tracks in the park area when a freight train came along, going very slowly, slow enough to where you could see the faces of the engineers. They smiled and waved at my boys, and I realized this was a classic Americana moment, probably one I experienced when I was young. It had a real “Norman Rockwell” feel.

      No sad ending. My kids are grown and my parents are still alive. I felt I needed to give the story a poignant twist to give it more impact.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I almost didn’t include the last line, but just having Ginny tell her future children about a Grandpa they’d never meet just didn’t have enough emotional impact. Having her work in an oncology ward is her way of fighting back against the cancer that killed her Dad.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I see the comparison of trains to dinosaurs. I’m not generally particularly excited about dinosaurs, but a lot of people think of them as big and bulky like train cars. And especially of them as being extinct. I DO like trains very much, and don’t want them to go extinct. (The extra part about the grandpa then goes with forlorn death.)


    • I was trying to use symbolism that might come from a small child’s mind and “dinosaurs” popped into my head. When I was a kid, I read about big, bulky dinos, although we now know a lot of them were smaller and sleeker.

      We’ll still need big rig trucks and trains to haul stuff around the country that’s too big or too expensive to move by air. That said, with self-driving cars becoming all the rage, can self-driving trucks and trains be far behind?


  2. I enjoyed this piece, James. Until I was nine, we lived in a neighborhood where trains ran behind our back yards. I missed the sound of those old steam trains when we moved to the country. My one grandfather had been a telegrapher with the Erie Railroad Company in western Ohio. Good writing. 🙂 — Suzanne


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