Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/56

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less time than it takes in the telling, he is bounding the sphere upon the ground. Down it goes; up it flies. Leaving the boy's hand, it strikes the ground, and, returning, is caught. In this completed act we have the first crude and elementary step in our National Game—with just a Boy and a Ball.

But the Boy, like other members of the human family, is a social creature. It is quite conceivable that the average boy, upon being presented with a Ball, would find immediate and pleasurable entertainment throwing it to the ground and catching it upon the rebound; but such pastime would be of temporary duration. The lad would soon tire of the monotony of the sport. Unselfish, he would want someone to share his fun—moreover, everybody recognizes that thing in human nature, in youth as well as maturity, which delights in the exploitation of ownership, possession. Given the boy's mother or sister in possession of a new gown, and it is immediately donned for exhibition before her less favored neighbor. The arrival of his new "Red Devil" sets the boy's dad rushing around town before he knows the first principles of the machine's construction, to the imminent danger all resident mankind and incidentally that of any animal that may happen to come in his way. He simply must show Jones the new flyer, even though it decimates the population.

"Like father, like son." Tom wants his schoolmate, Dick, to see the new ball. In a very few minutes they are together, playing throw and catch, in an interesting elementary game of ball. Tom throws; Dick catches. Dick