Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/281

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257
DORSETSHIRE CHILDREN’S GAMES, ETC.

Sometimes the nurse, having taken off the little one’s shoes and socks, would turn its feet to the fire and say:

“Shoe the little horse, and shoe the little mare,
 But let the Httle colt go bare, bare” (touching each foot).

Another well-known way of amusing a little child is to pat its hands or feet, and repeat:

“Pat a cëake, pat a cëake, bëaker’s man,
 Mëake me a cëake as fast as you can,
 Pat it and prick it, and mëark it with T,
 And put it in oven for [baby] and me.”

An equally popular amusement was to seat a child on your crossed foot, and repeat:

“This is the way the little girl walks,
         (Moving the foot gently.)
 This is the way the little boy trots,
         (A little faster.)
 This is the way the lady canters,
         (Faster still.)
 This is the way the gentleman gallops.”
         (As fast as possible, and ending by tilting
           off the rider.)

The following variant has a more rustic sound.

“Little boys and girls walk, walk, walk,
 Farmers go trit trot, trit trot, trit trot,
 Ladies go canter, and canter, and canter,
 Gentlemen go gallop, and gallop, and gallop,
 And then they fall off.”
   (Here the action being suited to the words the infantile
     rider invariably comes to the ground.)

(γ)—Counting-out, or “Lot” Rhymes.

“These rhymes were especially in vogue in those games, Mr. Gosse says, in which one lad was set in antagonism to the rest, or had to be “he” as it was termed, such as the game of “touch,” where the in-