Building a Trebuchet

A pigeon beats noisily out of a sycamore tree to my left.

Inside the white hawthorn blossom a bird sings.

There’s movement on the other side of the hedge. It’s a horse. It follows alongside me, all the way to the field’s end.

I am thinking about Jake who is staying with me again.

He said: ” I would like to see things just like a dog or a cat or a fish.”

His teacher had explained that what we see as colour is just a given wavelength. The colour is in our brain. Another creature might see it quite differently.

“Perhaps that will be possible in your lifetime. In fact I am sure it will,” I said.

Yesterday there was a group on the green. They were medievalists making a trebuchet, a siege engine used in the middle ages. The technique for making a trebuchet was lost until a Frenchman recreated one in 1986.

Jake spent the morning watching them. Now he knows all about them. They can hurl a 100 kilo stone about one hundred metres.

“Sometimes they used to hurl dead bodies into a city to infect the inhabitants,” Jake told me.

Two trebuchets, working together, could hurl a rock every 30 seconds.

But the medievalists couldn’t get the sling at the end of the long throwing arm to work right. They were throwing a teddy bear.

“But it never went in the right direction,” said Jake.

I am going to China.

Ms. Tan wrote and said they were looking for someone to prepare travel guides for Europe.

Maureen is coming with me.

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