Guest Post: ‘The Saw,’ by Brian McClelland

On the pavement opposite the Water Office steps sat a man of indeterminate age and nationality.

He rested on a piece of old cardboard, legs folded, body slightly bent forward.

Grasped in his left hand was one end of a very large saw, its other end settled below his chin.

His right hand deftly held a tensioned bow. A small crowd of onlookers quietly gathered.

The man gently drew the bow across the saw edge and flexed the saw as he played.

A haunting, melodic sound emanated and caressed the assembled audience.

He didn’t stop playing until a much larger crowd had gathered.

Eventually he stopped and gestured towards an old hat carefully positioned at his feet.

Small coins jingled against each other vying for position within the upturned hat.

Was he going to play again?

How had he learned to play like that?

How had he got the saw?

What sort of saw was it?

Why was it more flexible and much larger than the ones carpenters normally used?

What was it originally made for?

Where was it made?

Who made it?


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