Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/96

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84 Collectanea.

from " Fish in the Dish." The following is the method : Put thumbs and indices into the thumb and index loops of "Fish in the Dish," from the proximal side, and grasp the X strings. Pull the radial and ulnar mid-strings with the little fingers, each to its wrong side, and extend. Fig. 12 (p. 83).

Assuming that this method was ever practised, it may be asked how it came to be lost. I can only suggest that the approaching of the hands first from the proximal side, does not occur in the remaining play ; and further, that the method of arriving at " Fish in the Net " is not obvious from the preceding play. If the former figure were lost, so would be the latter; and if the latter, the former might be discontinued as useless, when some village genius had invented the present way of transforming " Cat's Eyes " into the final figure. I cannot otherwise account for the Korean players forgetting a figure — if they have forgotten it.

It may be pointed out that " Fish in the Net " is the only figure which is supported on two loops for either hand, all the others having three. Thus it may possibly be a final or dissolving figure. If taken off by those loops and extended crossways by the usual method, it resolves into a double crown figure, the crown being the obverse of the well-known truncheon head of the " Pound of Candles " game. This simple construction might almost be said to be the basis of " Cat's Cradle," for most, if not all, of the figures can be set up from it. It is also obtained directly from the Korean figure by dropping the little finger strings and further extending. But I know of no instance of its being played. On the other hand, there is another crown figure, found in Cambridge, which I give here.

Pull the radial and ulnar middle strings of "Fish in the Net" over to the ulnar and radial sides respectively distal to and beyond the side strings, letting them hang over as free loops. Grasp the X strings from above with thumbs and indices, turn them up, catching the inner strings of the X's on their dorsa; extend. Fig. 13 (see next page).

With a long loop, the figure is apt to tangle during extension, and needs a little adjusting. If the outer instead of the inner strings of the X's be pulled out, the figure does