To Perform

Ask two spectators to come up from audience to assist you. Have one stand on your right and the other on your left.

"It is said that Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher and teacher, once wanted to teach some of his students a certain philosophy. He thought the best way to do it was to give them something which they could actually see. So he took a piece of ribbon and asked two students to hold an end each."

Give each of spectators assisting you an end of ribbon. You stand behind ribbon and at the middle of it, Figure 4.

"'The way to true friendships,' said Confucius, 'is the straight, bright line of understanding.' He went cm to say that it too often happens that another mind steps in and tries to destroy friendship."

Show hands empty. Then pick up ribbon at the middle with thumb and index finger of right hand, Figure 5, next page.

"This disturbing element takes the line of understanding at the middle and holds it in his left hand of trouble-making."

Place ribbon against palm of left hand, Figure 6.

Curl left fingers over ribbon. Remove right forefinger from ribbon, then grasp Thumb Tip on right thumb securely in left palm, Figure 7.

Withdraw right thumb from Tip, pulling with it the loop of ribbon attached inside. The effect to the audience is that you have pulled the middle of the long ribbon up through your left palm and out between your thumb and forefinger to form a loop. In reality the middle of the long ribbon is grasped in the lower part of your left hand. The Thumb Tip is in the Palm with the loop of ribbon extending out above your hand, Figure 8.

Reach into upper left coat pocket and take out scissors.

"Then with the scissors of dissension, he tries to cut off understanding at the middle."

Cut a piece from the loop of ribbon and let it fall to the floor. Then cut the ribbon twice again, letting these pieces fall to the floor, Figure 9.

"To make sure his work is well done, you see, he keeps cutting into understanding inch by inch. Then he looks at the two severed ends and smiles and tucks them into his left hand of evil-doing."

Tuck ends into Thumb Tip with right thumb until they are all in. Of course, to audience it appears that you are tucking the ribbon into palm of left hand. Insert thumb into Tip and carry Tip away on right thumb. Show right hand empty by waving it around a little, holding end of Tip toward audience, as you have been taught. Keep your grip on long ribbon in left hand, Figure 10.

FIG. 9

"Then he takes the fan of hate and confusion."

Reach into coat pocket with right hand. Leave Tip in pocket, and remove fan. Open it out. "And tries to fan in many wild exaggerated tales and suspicions." Fan left hand a little.

"But the force that rules the universe is peculiar. The very fanning which is supposed to pull friends apart often acts as cement in holding friendship together. And where true friendship exists, all the cutting in the world or the fanning in of misunderstanding will not destroy the true, straight line of understanding built between the two friends."

Release ribbon from left hand and let it fall, stretched out again between the two spectators.

"There is much happiness in the wisdom of understanding. And Confucius without confusion made his philosophy clear to his students."

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