Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Cat and the Cradle

Since much of the Netherlands is below sea level, canals were dug to retain excess water and reduce flooding. When some of the drained land started settling, they decided to build windmills to pump water to a level between the soil and river.

 Windmills at Kinderdijk

The name Kinderdijk or Children's Dike comes from a story taking place during the flood of 1421. Supposedly, days after a flood began someone saw a cradle floating in the flood with a cat rocking it back and forth, trying to keep it balanced. Someone fished the cradle out near the dike and found a sleeping baby inside. This tale is commonly known as "The Cat and the Cradle." 


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