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From: "Nigel Price" 
Subject: (urth) Single-handed shark fishing
Date: Sun, 11 May 2003 16:25:28 +0100

Returning for a moment to the interpretive thread which sees the
demon-possessed Baden himself as the shark which attacks his family in "The
Tree Is My Hat"...and while fully possessed by the shark, Baden is so
closely identified with Hanga that it is perhaps pointless to try and
distinguish between the two...it's interesting to note that it is of course
his right hand which he loses. After the attack, he has to write his journal
entries left-handed.

I mention this, because it would fit well with the idea that he comes to
himself in the middle of the murderous struggle and cuts his own hand off.
I'm thinking about Matthew 5.30 here: "And if your right hand causes you to
sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of
your body than for your whole body to go into hell."

If this is a correct interpretation of what happened, then maybe the story's
ending is not as clear cut as I previously thought...Even so, I have to say
that I find it hard to find much hope for poor old Baden, either physically
or spiritually. The plane is down to one engine, the storm is approaching,
and the shark is waiting below...



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