Cat's Cradle

 

Cat's Cradle

Asia

A: FMRL pu SN mt-gr nHS pu-tw ar H
M pu PS to create The Cradle

Person A: Pick up the string noose on your forefingers, middle, ring, and little fingers so the string goes between thumbs and forefingers and around the back of your hands. Turn palms towards you and grab the near hand string with your forefingers, middle, ring, and little fingers. Turn palms away from you and pick up the near string onto your forefingers, middle, ring, and little fingers. There are now two strings across the back of your hands and one across the palms. Right middle finger now picks up the left palm string, then left middle finger goes between right middle finger noose and picks up the right palm string similar to Opening A. This is The Cradle. You can make it look more like the cat's cradle by temporarily inverting your hands with fingers pointing down.

 

Soldier's Bed

B: TF gr 2XS

Person B: With thumbs and forefingers, move from above and grab the two crossed strings, pulling them out away from the center of the figure.

 

B: TF pu n&fSS

Person B: Move thumbs and forefingers under the near and far straight strings on Person A's hands and pick them up.

Note: Soldier's Bed also known as Chess Board (Korea), Church Window (England), A Mountian Cat (Japan), and A Pond (parts of USA)

 

 

 

B: re S from A's H

Person B: Extend thumb and forefingers up, removing the strings from Person A's hands to make the Soldier's Bed.

 

Candles

A: TF md-th TLN gr XS

Person A: With thumbs and forefingers, move down from above into the narrow thumb and little finger nooses and grab the crossed strings, pulling them out away from the center of the figure.

 

A: TF mu-pu n&fSS

Person A: With thumbs and forefingers, move under and pick up the near and far straight strings to make the Candles. Also known as Chopsticks (Korea), and the Mirror (Denmark).

 

 

The Manger

B: L mo FS gr fTS, ex:other L gr nFS

Person B: With the little finger on Person A's forefinger side, reach over the forefinger strings and grab Person A's far thumb string, then pull it out over the forefinger strings. With the other little finger grab and pull out the near forefinger string.

 

B: TF mu-pu n&fSS

Person B: Move thumbs and forefingers under the near and far straight strings on Person A's hands and pick them up to make The Manger, an inverted Cradle.

 

Diamonds

A: TF mu-gr 2XS

Person A: With thumbs and forefingers, move from below and grab the two crossed strings, pulling them out away from the center of the figure.

 

A: TF mo-pu n&fSS

Person A: Move thumbs and forefingers over the near and far straight strings on Person B's hands and pick them up, removing the strings from Person B's hands to make Diamonds, an upside down Soldier's Bed.

 

Cat's Eye

B: same steps as Candles

Person B: Do the same steps as you did to make Candles to make Cat's Eye also known as Cow's Eyeball (Korea), and Horse Eye (Japan).

You, Person A, can go back to The Manger by pulling out the diagonal strings where they cross through the center of the paired near thumb and far forefinger strings, then transfer them to your little fingers and pull them out away from the center of the figure. Next go down and through your little finger nooses and pick up the center straight strings on thumbs and forefingers, removing the strings from Person B's hands.

 

Fish in a Dish

A: TF mo-gr XS pu DS

Person A: With thumbs and forefingers, move down from above and grab the crossed strings and then pick up the diagonal strings.

 

A: re S from B's H, ex TF

Person A: Remove the strings from Person B's hands, and extend thumbs and forefingers apart to make a Fish in a Dish also known as Rice-mill (Korea), and Musical Instrument (Japan)

From here you can do the Clock, which ends the game of Cat's Cradle, or you can go back to an inverted Soldier's Bed that leads to Candles and so on. To go back, Person B grabs the crossed strings from above, then separates the two center strings by forcing their thumbs and forefingers to go down between them, then spreading thumbs and forefingers, and removing the strings from Person A's hands. If Person B comes up from below and through the two center strings, instead of down, the Cat's Eye is formed.

To go back to The Manger, Person B separates the paired center strings and transfers them to their little fingers that then pull them out. Thumbs and forefingers then move down through Person B's little finger nooses and grab the crossed strings from above, thumbs and forefingers then rotate up into the center of the figure removing the strings from Person A's hands.

 

Clock

B: separate cSS:L gr cSS, ex

Person B: Grab the crossed strings and pull them out to separate the two center straight strings so they do not cross. With your lilttle fingers grab the separated center straight strings. Pull them out over the crossed strings away from the center of the figure.

 

B: L ht, TF gr XS pu DS

Person B: While still holding the string in your little fingers, grab from above the crossed strings, then pick up the diagonal strings with your thumbs and forefingers by rotating them up through the center of the figure. 

 

B: re S from A's H

Person B: Extend thumb and forefingers up, removing the strings from Person A's hands to make the Clock. Held vertically this figure represents a tall grandfather type clock (slightly). Do this figure only if you want to end the game.

There are many variations on Cat's Cradle. Try doing something different occasionally. You may come up with a new figure that terminates the game, or you may be surprised to find you have jumped to one of the other figures from which you can continue the game. For example you can go from Soldier's Bed to an inverted Cat's Eye by picking up the crossed strings from below, instead of above, and then picking up the straight strings from above.

 


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