Cat’s CradleKurt VonnegutContents

30. Only Sleeping

“Mother?” asked the driver, incredulously.

I wiped away more sleet and uncovered this poem:

Mother, Mother, how I pray

For you to guard us every day.
—Angela Hoenikker

And under this poem was yet another;

You are not dead,
But only sleeping.
We should smile,
And stop our weeping.
—Franklin Hoenikker

And underneath this, inset in the shaft, was a square of cement bearing the imprint of an infant’s hand. Beneath the imprint were the words:

Baby Newt.

“If that’s Mother,” said the driver, “what in hell could they have raised over Father?” He made an obscene suggestion as to what the appropriate marker might be.

We found Father close by. His memorial—as specified in his will, I later discovered—was a marble cube forty centimeters on each side.

“FATHER,” it said.

Turn page.