Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sticks and Stones and Alligators

When we were little kids we would play "Pat-A-Cake" to this song:

Miss Lucy had a baby
She named him Tiny Tim
She put him in the bathtub
To see if he could swim.
He drank up all the water
He ate up all the soap
He tried to eat the bathtub
But it wouldn't fit
Down his throat.
Miss Lucy called the doctor
The Doctor call the nurse
The Nurse called the lady
With the alligator purse.
In walked the doctor.
In walked the nurse
In walked the lady
With the alligator purse.
"Measles," said the doctor.
"Mumps," said the nurse.
"Nothing," said the lady
With the alligator purse.

Now - I always visualized this lady with a real alligator that she used as a purse! In my imagination the alligator had a pouch to keep the lady's stuff - but it's mouth was kept tightly belted up. (I know --- I know I should have been certified long ago). I always imagined how the lady had to be careful not to get the alligator near the baby...

For some strange reason we never sang the last part of the song - I just found it today when I googled for the song...

Miss Lucy kicked the doctor.
Miss Lucy kicked the nurse.
Miss Lucy paid the lady
With the alligator purse!

Another game we played was "Five Stones". You had five small smooth pebbles. They were scattered on the ground, then you picked up one pebble. That pebble was thrown in the air and you simultaneously picked up another pebble from the ground and then caught the pebble you had thrown in the air. You repeated this. There were a lot of additional complications as the game progressed. I was very bad at this game and always admired J as she deftly threw and caught the pebbles. Years later J tells me that she used to envy watching my "long, artistic fingers"!!

The boys on the other hand used to play "gilli-danda" - it's a wonder that no-one sustained any injuries - especially getting hit in the eye - with these lethal, sharpened sticks.

Another favourite - was "Seven Seas". A tennis ball was thrown against the wall and you caught it when it bounced back. You had to do this seven times. Six times- but allow the ball to bounce on the ground first, five bounces on the ground, four times with a clap, three times with a clap both in front and behind you, twice with touching the ground and once where you turned a full circle before catching the ball. I always fumbled with "5".

Now a days I see kids with all the professional equipment (basket ball hoops to name one) - or hunched over their I-pods or in front of the X-Box/Nintendo - and wonder... sure they are having fun ... but somehow not with quite the same magic...