Tag Archive | childhood games

Dark Age

My dark age years began one evening when I was about six years old and fresh from the bathtub. I’m sure Mom didn’t expect me to slip outdoors and timidly join the game my big brothers and sisters were playing. I was afraid of the dark and had never done it before.

My siblings called the game “seven steps around the house.” They didn’t stop to explain the rules of the game to me, but I quickly gathered that a player was not to be seen by the person who was IT taking more than seven steps. The overall goal for each player to run around the farmhouse, starting at the back door and ending there. The person who was IT couldn’t stay at the back door to tag players as they ran away and returned from their run. He or she had to run around the house, too.

Bushes in the flowerbeds beside the house quivered as giggling siblings hid behind them in the darkening yard. I heard scampering footsteps pounding the dewy grass when players thought the coast was clear. What fun I had! My clean, bare feet turned muddy. My fresh nighty picked-up a grass stain. Continue reading

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Mouse, Mouse, RAT

My cousins and I stood at the backdoor of their house admiring the pristine white blanket of snow covering their back lawn. Barb said, “Let’s play duck-duck-goose.” The four of us were ages nine through eleven.

Plowing into the unsullied expanse, Donna called out, “I’ll make the circle.”

We fell in line behind her and all went around three times for good measure. Our tracks were wide and easy to see. A weak January sun cast blue shadows in the ruts we’d trampled. Alice, the youngest, complained, “When we play this game in the snow, our tracks show if we cut across the circle!”

Big sister Barb chuckled, “That’s a good thing, because cutting across the circle is cheating!” Continue reading