The Traditional Children's Games of England Scotland
& Ireland In Dictionary Form - Volume 2

With Tunes(sheet music), Singing-rhymes(lyrics), Methods Of Playing with diagrams and illustrations.

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STAG
213
usually played in the playground, or yard, attached to a school. Any number can play. A place is chalked out in a corner or angle formed by the walls or hedges surrounding the playground. This is called the den, and a boy stands within the den. Sometimes the den is formed by chalking an area out upon a footpath, as in the game of " Bedlams." The boy in the den walks or runs out, crying, " Rag-stag, jinny I over, catching," and having said this he attempts to catch one of the boys in the playground who have agreed to play the game. Having caught him he takes him back into the den. When they have got into the den they run out hand-in-hand, one of them crying, " Rag-stag, jinny I over, touching," whilst the other immediately afterwards calls out, " Rag-stag, jinny I over, catching." They must keep hold of each other's hands, and whilst doing so the one who cried out " Touching" attempts to touch one of the boys in the playground, whilst the one who cried " Catching " attempts to catch one of such boys. If a boy is caught or touched, the two boys who came out of the den, together with their prisoner, run back as quickly as possible into the den, with their hands separated. If whilst they are running back into the den any boy in the playground can catch any one of the three who are running back, he jumps on his back and rides as far as the den, but he must take care not to ride too far, for when the boys who are already caught enter the den they can seize their riders, and pull them into the den. In this case the riders too are caught. The process is repeated until all are caught.—Addy's SJieffield Glossary.
Another name for the game is " Stag-out." One player is Stag, and has a place marked out for his bounds. He stands inside, and then rushes out with his hands clasped together, and endeavours to touch one of the other players, which being accomplished, he has the privilege of riding on the boy's back to his bounds again.—Book of Sports. In a London version the hands were held above the head, and joined by interlacing the thumbs, the fingers being outspread, the boy had to touch another while in this position.
In Shropshire it is called " Stag-warning." One boy is chosen Stag; he runs about the playground with his clasped







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