another excerpt from Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

Little Newt stirred.

While still half-snoozing, he put his black, painty hands to his mouth and chin, leaving black smears there. He rubbed his eyes and made black smears around them, too.

“Hello,” he said to me, sleepily.

“Hello,” I said. “I like your painting.”

“You see what it is?”

“I suppose it means something different to everyone who sees it.”

“It’s a cat’s cradle.”

“Aha,” I said. “Very good. The scratches are strings. Right?”

“One of the oldest games there is, cat’s cradle. Even the Eskimos know it.”

“You don’t say.”

“For maybe a hundred thousand years or more, grownups have been waving tangles of string in their children’s faces.”

“Um.”

Newt remained curled in the chair. He held out his painty hands as though a cat’s cradle were strung between them. “No wonder kids grow up crazy. A cat’s cradle is nothing but a bunch of X’s between somebody’s hands, and little kids look and look and look at all those X’s.”

“And?”

“No damn cat, and no damn cradle.”

2 thoughts on “another excerpt from Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

  1. At so many absurd junctures in my life do lines from this book pop into my head. “See the cat? See the cradle?” Glad to know I’m not alone. 🙂

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