excerpt from 'My end is my beginning' pp. 15-16 (379 words)

excerpt from 'My end is my beginning' pp. 15-16 (379 words)

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My end is my beginning

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Then father said I must see his Aunt Dinah’s famous troupe of cats. So one market [day] I was taken and left at the small hamlet of Crayke on the outskirts of Norgarth, whilst father transacted business there […] Dinah called six names through the open window and presently six beautiful Persian cats, an uncommon smokey [sic]  grey in colour, appeared […] Their names, Dinah told me, came from the bible, and they worked in pairs [...] 


Dinah was very tiny and as dainty as a wren, with bright twinkling eyes, and like the wren, possessed a clear liquid voice of remarkable power. The cats sat in pairs on a long low form and watched Dinah pour out six basins of either milk or porridge. Then she sang a cunning little song of her own composition whilst the cats purred in unison, the while they balanced, stretched, bowed and pirouetted on their form. They came to first breakfast in pairs as their names were called, although Dinah said she never used the same sequence. 


After breakfast they always did one of their acts of which they had quite a repertoire. “How do they know which to do?” I asked, “They watch and listen”, said Dinah, “and today they will dance a ‘Meeting Six’ and a ‘Shepherd’s Hay’ for you”, and as she took up her mouth organ the cats arranged themselves in a double row of three. After the first note of music, two corner cats tripped up, bowed to each other and retreated, then the second corners, and finally the middle pairs [continuing with the rest of the 'Meeting Six'] […] They went through this performance three times until Dinah put down her mouth organ. 


An interval of what appeared to be a waltz accompanied by loud purring followed, but as Dinah picked up her fiddle the cats again formed a double row of three, and as the music struck up they began the intricate weaving in and out of a Shepherd’s Hay in a sort of hopping walk, and on the final note they appeared to leap into the air, clap their front paws together and give vent to an ear-piercing waul. 

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excerpt from 'My end is my beginning' pp. 15-16 (379 words)


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