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.

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
516                  MEMOIR ON THE STUDY OF
in the chair (if a special chair is used by the father to sit in when at home) is the foundation and most important part of the imitation. Other men of the child's acquaintance read papers, smoke, wear glasses, &c, but father sits in that chair; therefore to be father, sitting in the chair is absolutely neces­sary, and is sufficient of itself to indicate to others that " father" is being personified, and not another person. To be "mother" a child will pretend to pour out tea, or sew, or do some act of household work, the doing of which is associated with " mother," while a lady visitor or a relative would be indicated by wearing hat or bonnet or silk dress, carrying a parasol, saying, "How do you do?" and carrying on conversation. Again, too, it is noticeable how a child realises a hurt if blood and swelling ensues after a knock. This is something that can be seen and shown.
When wishing to be an animal, a child fixes at once on some characteristic of that animal which is special to it, and separates it from other animals similar in other ways. Children never personate horses and cows, for instance, in the same manner. Horses toss their heads, shake their manes, paw the ground, prance, and are restless when standing still, gallop and trot, wear harness, and their drivers have reins and a whip. When a child is a cow he does none of these things; he walks in a slower, heavier way, lowers the head, and stares about as he moves his head from side to side, lies down on the ground and munches; he has horns, and rubs these against a tree or a fence.
A child of mine, when told that he must not run in the gutter when out of doors, because that was not the place for little boys, replied, " I am not a little boy now, I am a dog, so I may run in the gutter." When he came into the path again he became a boy.
Again the same child, when called by his name and told to come out from under a table, a round one, under which he was lying rubbing his head against the pedestal centre, because under the table was not the place for little boys, said, " But I'm not [                ], I'm a cow, and it's not a table, it's a tree,
and I'm rubbing my horns."

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III