Tales From Earth:Childrens Games
Children's Games of Earth
Children of Perplex City, hi! My name is Katie and if you are as interested in Earth as I am in Perplex City, then you are probably dying to know about some of the children's games we play here on Earth! My school has done a project on playground games and I have chosen some of my favourite ones to share with you - here they are
Oranges and Lemons
We start off by singing
"Oranges and Lemons Say the bells of St Clement's I owe you five farthings Say the bells of St Martin's When will you pay me? Say the bells of Old Bailey When I grow rich Say the bells of Shoreditch When will that be? Say the bells of Stepney I'm sure I don't know Says the great bell at Bow - Here comes the candle To light you to bed Here comes the chopper To chop off your head Chip, chop, chip, chop The last one's DEAD"
and when we are singing the rhyme, two people hold both hands and lift their arms up to make an arch. The other players take turns to go through the arch while the song is being sung. One of the people making the arch is a lemon and the other one is an orange. When we get to the part of the song where it goes...
"Here comes the chopper to chop off your head",
the two people making the arch make their arms go down to capture a player in the middle. they are secretly asked if they want to be an orange or a lemon, and they will go behind the orange or lemon leader and hold on to their waist. When the last player gets caught he or she is "dead" and then there is a tug of war between oranges and lemons to see which is the winning team.
(note by Katie's mum - Perplex City residents may be interested to know that the bells referred to in this children's rhyme belong to various churches in London, an Earth city we have recently moved from. The variation of the rhyme above and its accompanying game is from Lincoln, where we have moved to, and is slightly different to the version we Londoners knew. This sort of regional difference is very common in our traditional games & rhymes, as well as wider Earth culture)
I Sent a Letter to my Love
Decide which person is "on" - he or she has something to be the "letter". Everybody else forms a circle and sits down. Then everybody starts singing this song
"A tisket a tasket A green and yellow basket I wrote a letter to my love But on the way I dropped it I dropped it, I dropped it One of you has picked it up And put it in your pocket"
While the song is sung, the person who is "on" goes round the circle and he or she drops the letter behind a player. Whoever the letter drops behind has to get up and chase the person who dropped the letter when the song finishes. The person who is "on" has to quickly run to his or her place and sit in it! The new person with the letter is now "on". The game carries on until everybody has been "on".
A person is "on". Everybody else holds one of he or she who is on's fingers. The person who is "on" asks the other players "do you like..." choosing something beginning with P, for example - pickle, pepsi, pennychew, penguin, pot noodle, pink pigs etc., until the person who is "on" says "...POISON!"
Everybody else runs away to a safe place and tries not to be "poisoned" by the person who is "on" touching them. Anyone who is poisoned becomes the new chaser (person who is "on"). At the start of the game, you have three "lives" (chances), before you are "out". If a player lets go of a finger when the person who is "on" hasn't said poison, they lose a "life". In each game a player is "out" (has to stop playing) when the have lost all of their "lives".
(note from Katie's mum - don't worry, no-one is ever actually killed in Earth children's games)