jogging the list memory

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Mon Apr 11 13:44:35 EDT 2005


>On Wednesday 06 Apr 2005 3:09 am, Juliette Curtis wrote:
>> This is similar.....
>>
>> As I was going to St Ives,
>> I met a man with seven wives,
>> And each wife had seven sacks,
>> And each sack had seven cats,
>> And each cat had seven kits,
>> Kittens, cats, sacks, wives,
>> How many were going to St Ives?
>>
>>
>> Juliette
>>
>> PS the answer is "one".

and Chris the Hedgehog responded

>If I were going, alone, to St Ives, I might well overtake someone
>in a group that big.

I start at this point to contemplate the potential problems such a large
family might pose as travellers.  All it takes for chaos to ensue is for
one of the wives to become unsure that she really remembered to turn the
gas off, and retrace her steps to correct her possible error... in which
case she and her sacks, cats and kits would not be met by someone going in
the same direction as her and caboodle, so it would be a man with six wives
whom you met in your solitary ambulations, and *she* might well overtake
*you* in her haste to sort out her problem and rejoin her party.  The
answer to the riddle in that case would depend on whether the sacks have
bags of personality and count as people, or not, and on whether she had the
horse-and-common to stow her burden beside the road in order to proceed
more swiftly on her way.

What would happen if she let the cats out of the bags in her agitation is
of course another matter entirely.  Nobody would be going anywhere after
that, except round in frenzied cat-pursuing circles.

St Ives Cambridgeshire or St Ives Cornwall, upon which shall we wish all
these potential Throgmorten moments?

Minnow


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