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to one of those who form the ring, and it is passed round from one to another, so that nobody knows who has it. Then the one who stands in the centre goes to the man at the top of the oval ring and says, " My lady's lost her gold ring. Have you got it ?" He answers " Me, sir ? no, sir." The one in the middle says, " I think you lie, sir, but tell me who has got it." Then he points out the one who has the thimble, of which he takes possession, and then says the above lines. Then the one who was found to have had the thimble takes the place of the one inside the ring, and the game is repeated.
Halliwell gives a version of this game under the name of Diamond Ring (Nursery Rhymes, p. 223), but the words used consist only of the following lines :—
My lady's lost her diamond ring, I pitch upon you to find it.
In the two following games from Yorkshire and Lincolnshire there are no words used in rhymes or couplets.
One child stands in the centre of a ring, which is formed by each member clasping the wrist of his or her left hand neighbour with the left hand, thus leaving the right hand free. A thimble is provided, and is held by one of the players in the right hand. No circular movement is necessary, but as the tune is sung, the right hand of each member is placed alternately in that of their right and left hand neighbour, each performing the action in a swinging style, as if they had to pass the ring on, and in such a manner, that the one standing in the centre cannot detect it. The thimble may be detained or passed on just as the players think fit. The words are the following:—
The thimble is going,
I don't know where. Varied with
It's first over here,
It's over there,
as the case may be, or rather may not be, in order to throw the victim in the centre off the scent.—West Riding of Yorkshire (Miss Bush).
The players sit in a row or circle, with their hands held palm