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THUN'ER SPELL—TICKLE ME QUICKLY 291
A thin lath of wood, about six inches long and three or four inches broad, is taken and rounded at one end. A hole is bored in that end, and in the hole is tied a piece of cord between two and three yards long. It is then rapidly swung round, so as to produce a buzzing sound. The more rapidly it is swung, the louder is the noise. It was believed that the use of this instrument during a thunder-storm saved one from being struck with " the thun'er bolt." I have used it with this intention (Keith). In other places it is used merely to make a noise. It is commonly deeply notched all round the edges to increase the noise.
Some years ago a herd boy was observed making one in a farm-kitchen (Udny). It was discovered that when he was sent to bring the cows from the fields to the farmyard to be milked, he used it to frighten them, and they ran frantically to their stalls. The noise made the animals dread the bot-fly or "cleg." This torment makes them throw their tails up, and rush with fury through the fields or to the byres to shelter themselves from its attacks. A formula to effect the same purpose, and which I have many and many a time used when herding, was : Cock tail! cock tail! cock tail! >\zz-zz-zz ! V>\zz-zz-zz. —Keith (Rev. W. Gregor).
Dr. Gregor secured one of these that was in use in Pitsligo, and sent it to the Pitt-Rivers Museum at Oxford, where it now lies. Professor Haddon has made a collection of these toys, and has written on their connection with the Australian boomerang.
They are still occasionally to be met with in country districts, but are used simply for the purpose of making a noise.
See " Bummers."
A game mentioned by Drayton, and still played in Warwickshire.—Halliwell's Dictionary. The same game as "Touch."
Tickle me Quickly
An old game (undescribed) mentioned in Taylor's Motto, 1622, sig. D, iv.