Chapter Eighty Five
Hitty Carol lifted our anamorphoscope (an`a`mor'pho`scope) out of its box and set it up on the table. Ours was made by the Robertsons' son Bill about ten years ago and it is 1/12th scale. From time to time we enjoy guessing what the images on the printed cards really are and then see the actual pictures in the anamorphoscope.
When we three stepped back to discuss another subject, two of the little Hittys climbed up on a stool and started playing with it. Becassine was quick to come after them. She didn't want them to get in trouble!
Becassine thought perhaps it was a telescope and she tried to look through it. We explained that an anamorphoscope is an instrument for restoring a picture or image distorted by anamorphosis to its normal proportions. It usually consists of a cylindrical mirror just like ours and was a common toy for children at the beginning of the 20th century. Today anamorphic images are often seen in mirrors that make a person look fat or skinny in amusement parks. We showed her that the picture on the card the little ones had been looking at was really the ten of hearts when seen in the anamorphoscope..
As we looked through the series of cards I remembered that one of them was of Napoleon. That piqued Becassine's interest since he was French and she had studied about him in French history. She couldn't believe the distorted picture on the card looked exactly like Napoleon on the scope. We explained that it is very important that you place the scope in the center of the circle when you want to show the picture.
We have about ten different images and sometimes have a contest as to who can guess the most pictures correctly before we put the scope on it. Some are easier than others. Of all of them, HittyPat liked the image of the squirrel the best. It was a fun time as we looked at all the cards. A very pleasant way to spend time indoors on a hot summer day.
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