Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/249

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225
DORSETSHIRE CHILDREN’S GAMES, ETC.

stand opposite one another, and the one on the right-hand side, joining hands, advances up to the line and retires again, singing:

“Here we come gathering nuts away—
 Nuts away—nuts away;
 Here we come gathering nuts away,
 On a bright and sunny morning.”

On the conclusion of this verse, the opposite party, which had been standing, hand in hand, perfectly still and silent, now advances in turn to the boundary line and retires again, singing:

“Pray, who will you send to fetch them away—
 To fetch them away—fetch them away?
 Pray, who will you send to fetch them away,
 On a cold and sunny morning?”

The first party, who in the meanwhile had remained quiet and silent in its turn, now advances again as before, singing:

“I’ll send Miss Bishop to fetch them away—
 To fetch them away—fetch them away;
 I’ll send Miss Bishop to fetch them away,
 On a bright and sunny morning.”

As soon as this verse is finished the other party says, “Will you come?” and on their opponents replying “Yes,” the first girls on either side stand up to the boundary line, and taking each other’s right hand commence to pull against each other, assisted by those behind, much in the same way as in “Oranges and Lemons” (ante), and the side which succeeds in pulling the other over the mark wins the game.

(ix.)—A variant of this game, called “Here we come gathering Nuts to-day,” in which two children named in the verse are deputed to pull each over instead of the whole sides contending, is played by the school children at Symondsbury, in West Dorset, and as there are other interesting variations in it, I give it in full.

Two leaders are chosen, who proceed to pick their sides by alternately selecting them from the group of children till all have been chosen. Then the two parties, with their leaders at the end, each holding hands, stand in a line facing each other, with a distance of