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““Look what I’ve got!”
Wen is looking extremely pleased with herself.
She appears to be holding an ordinary length of string.
Wen looking pleased with herself whilst apparently being ordinary means she is up to something extraordinary.
It is very difficult for me to become excited about an ordinary length of string but it is very easy for me to become extremely apprehensive when that ordinary length of string is being brandished by the redoubtable Wen.
“Pretend you’re describing, ‘the fish that got away’.”
“The fish that got away. How big was it?”
“This big,” I say holding both forearms upright a body width apart.”
Wen does something unfathomable with the string in an eyeblink. And a gnat’s eyeblink later the string is taut around my fingers, yoking both of my hands together.
“Remember this?” says Wen.
“I think so.”
“What is it called?”
“It’s called Cat’s Cradle isn’t it?”
… “It is called Cat’s Cradle,” says Wen, “and get this, there are eight forms, one of them the exact reverse of another, two of them repeated, one repeat at the beginning and end of the sequence the other repeat before and after the inversion, and one of the forms, the inversion, which comes in the middle, is called… The Manger!”…
And Wen calls me insane…”
Stuart France and Sue Vincent
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