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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CHILDREN'S GAMES                             507
eluded with " Thread the Needle," to which group it belongs. The other games, " Through the Needle Eye," have lost a portion of their play, which probably accounts for the mix­ture of name with the " Thread the Needle" games, because of both containing the arch form. " Namers and Guessers," "Fool, Fool, come to School," "Little Dog, I call you," practically versions of one and the same game, which I have classed in this type because of the " tug," have an additional element of guessing in them. The leader or namer on one side and the guesser on the other take sides. All the players have names given them, and it is the first business of the guesser to guess which of the players has taken a particular name. If he guesses correctly, he takes that player on his side; if incorrectly, he stays on the namer's side. After he has " guessed " at all the players, the " tug " follows, and the beaten side has further to run the gauntlet between two lines of the successful side. This game, having all its players chosen by guessing, by what might have been originally choos­ing by " lot" or by magical powers, may have an entirely different meaning, but it is clearly a contest game, although there is no indication as to the why or wherefore. The punishment of "running the gauntlet" is found in the game, which again indicates military fighting.
This group of games, though small, is perhaps one ot the most indicative of early custom, for beyond the custom which is enshrined in each game—foundation sacrifice, well worship, &c.—it will be noticed there is a common custom belonging to all the games of this group; this is the procession under the arch. The fact that this common custom can also be referred to primitive usage, confirms my view that the particular customs in each game owe their origin to primitive usage. Mr. W. Crooke has very kindly supplied me with some notes on this interesting subject, and I gladly avail myself of his research:—
" In Cairo, women walk under the stone on which criminals are decapitated, in the hope of curing ophthalmia and getting children. They must go in silence, and left foot foremost."—Lane, Modern Egyptians, i. p. 325 ; Hartland, Perseus, i. p. 163.

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