Variation 2. If, in the first method of transforming the fish in the net, the thumbs and indices be thrust upward through the overlapping middle strings (Fig. 9), the resulting figure is "Cat's Eyes."
I picked up this variation from a child of six or seven years old, some ten miles south of Trondhjem, Norway.
Thus the first transformation of "Fish in the Net" starts the play again, omitting the opening figure, while that of " Scraggly " omits the first two figures, the play re-starting at " Rushlights " (Fig. 3). It must be remembered, however, that the figures thus omitted are only obverse to the fourth and fifth figures (Figs. 5 and 4 in the diagrams), so that the round in a sense is complete.
Gomme, who is followed in this by De Cock and Teirlinck, speaks of the play re-commencing at the first or opening figure. This is quite easy to do : but I have never seen it. The method is as follows : Put the hands from the under side up into the central lozenge of " Fish in the Net," either hand between the middle strings and the crossing side strings, so that these latter can be caught on the backs of the hands or wrists. Pick up the middle strings with the second fingers, pulling either to its adverse side. Extend. The left hand may take the place of the right in making this transfer, but this is immaterial, as there is no distinction made between the hands in the subsequent changes.
"Fish in the Net" or its obverse may easily be set up by a couple of simple moves from " Opening A." It stands, as I may possibly show elsewhere, in close relation to some of the string figures of Australia and the Western Pacific ; but it is enough to mention the fact here.
The other figures may all be set up independently from " Opening A " or from " Position I.," but as these notes are concerned with the game of Cat's Cradle, and more particularly European Cat's Cradle, it is not necessary to go into the subject.
As further illustrating the connection of the European and Melanesian opening figures the following transformation is of interest :