Tiger by the Tail is a short story by Alan Nourse, which you can read here.

A character claims that the purse can't be turned inside-out because it's a "second-order geometrical form". The term "inner-tube" is also used. But what are those things?

How can the steel bar inserted into the purse come back out, and how can Collins tugging both ends at once affect the universe at the other end? (If you tug both ends of the same steel bar, the bar doesn't move, except for stretching by an imperceptible amount.)

What does the hook on the larger bar hook onto, exactly?

What is a "non-free section"?

Why would the bar going back into the purse affect our universe?

Sorry for asking so many questions, but I can't make sense of this story at all. A diagram would be appreciated.

closed as too broad by tobiasvl, Chenmunka, Edlothiad, Mithrandir, Donald.McLean May 8 '17 at 11:30

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • I don't know the story well enough to know if this is really one encompassing question about the nature of the "purses" or "inner-tubes", but in general you should ask one question at a time. What's your actual main question? "What are those things?" – tobiasvl May 8 '17 at 8:32
  • Since this is about just one short story, I'm voting to leave it open. – Gallifreyan May 8 '17 at 9:18