The Real Cat's Cradle and Four Other String Figures HTML version

You now have a loop on each thumb, index, and little finger. There is a near
thumb string and a far little finger string passing directly from one hand to the other, two
crosses formed between them by the near little finger string of one hand becoming the far
index string of the other hand, and the far thumb string of one hand becoming the near index
string of the other hand.
In forming many of the figures beginning with Opening A it is absolutely
necessary to follow the order just given, and take up, first, the left Palmar string with the
right index, and then the right Palmar string with the left index: it will save trouble,
therefore, if this order be always followed, even if it makes no difference in the result. If the
reverse of this order is ever required, it will be noted in the description.
Two persons and one loop of string are required for the game of “Real Cat's
Cradle” which is played by the persons alternately taking the string off each other's hands to
produce eight definite figures which have been given distinctive names, as follows: 1,
Cradle; 2, Soldier's Bed; 3, Candles; 4, Manger: 5, Diamonds; 6, Cat's Eye; 7, Fish in a
Dish; 8, Clock. For convenience in describing the game the players will be called “A” and
“B.” The terms “near” and “far,” “right” and “left” describe the position of the strings as
seen by the person from whose hands the figure is being taken.
1. Cradle
First: “A” takes the string and passes the four fingers of each hand through the
untwisted loop, and separates the hand; then with the thumb and index of the right hand he
turns the left near string away from him across the left palm, and then toward him across the
back of the left hand, bringing the string to the right between the left thumb and index. In
the same manner, he turns the right near string once around the right hand. There are now
two strings across the back of each hand and a single string across each palm.
Second: Opening A(picking up the palmar string with the middle finger). There
is now a loop on each middle finger and two strings across the back of each hand; the
“Cradle” being formed by a straight near string, a straight far string, and the crossed strings
of the middle finger loops.