"A perceptual notion machine," explained Moffat. "It's
based on the theory of relatives actually, mostly uncles and aunts.
"I see," said Jennifer but she didn't, not really.
"I wish it was more economical though, the way it is now it takes
a great deal of entropy to make it go."
"Oh," said Jennifer. "What does it do, exactly?"
"I'm not really sure," Moffat admitted. "That's the beauty
of it! It might do any number of things and it probably does! I won't really
know until afterwards, and even then it might be hard to tell!"
Moffat looked down at the pot on his left just in time to see the raccoon
licking up some of the bluish goo. He brushed the raccoon away with his
"Still a few bugs to get out," he observed. 'And the occasional
Jennifer looked at the raccoon, and with a fair bit of interest too.
He seemed to be floating a few centimeters in the air! This was really quite
odd, to say the least. Jennifer was sure his feet had been flat on the floor
just before he had sampled the goo in the pot.
"Are you sure it's all right if he eats it?" she asked.
"So long as he doesn't eat something essential," said Moffat.
"You have to be ready and up on your toes, especially when he's hungry
and he usually is!"
"I brought up the apples you wanted," said Jennifer.
Moffat took one out of the bag and dropped it into the pot on the right.
When the apple had gotten sufficiently gooey, he speared it on a chopstick
and passed it over. Jennifer wasn't sure what she should do. She'd had plenty
of stick-apples before but they'd always been red and tasted like candy.
This one was yellow. She wondered how the sun might taste, then she took
"How do you like it so far?" asked Moffat .
"It tastes very good," she said. It was true. It did. In fact
it tasted so very good it started to tickle. Jennifer giggled. "How
did you get it to taste this way?"
"You might say it's sort of a secret process," he said. "I
forgot what I did so it's a secret from me anyway."
"A secret," said Jennifer. "That reminds me. A strange-looking
man was looking for you outside in the back yard."
"He was? You saw him?" said Moffat and he looked surprised.
"He's sometimes a little bit hard to see. Some people miss him entirely."
"He was definitely there," said Jennifer. "Who was he?"