Published in August 2009 issue of Prospect Magazine
The knitting circle
It was the weekly meeting of the Lower Aspirations knitting circle, so named because its members sat in a large circle. The president, Hyacinth Hurst, had the most comfortable chair. Round the circle to her right were, in turn, Olive O’Reilly, Primrose Poole, Scarlet Smith and Violet Vincent.
That day, they were all knitting scarves.
“I suppose it was inevitable,” said Olive.
“What was?” said Primrose.
“Each of us is knitting a scarf in the colour of one of our first names.”
“So we are,” said Primrose. “It must be because we’re featuring in a puzzle column.” They all nodded. “And each of our names is the colour of only one scarf.”
“None of us is knitting a scarf whose colour is their own name,” Scarlet said.
“Or the name of a lady seated next to them,” added Violet.
“Not only that,” said Hyacinth. “But the lady whose scarf is the colour of the lady on the left of the lady whose name is the colour of the scarf being knitted by the lady on the left of the lady whose scarf is the colour of my name is sitting on my right.”
There was a stunned silence. This kind of thing was why Hyacinth was president.