Children's Games 171
One of the players is selected to be the Fox and another chosen for the Hen. The rest of the players are her chickens, who stand in a row behind her, holding each other by the waist.
The Fox then hides in his den—the most sequestered spot he can find—and a tract is set apart to represent the farm-yard, on reaching which the chickens are safe from the Fox, who must return to his den.
The venturesome Hen, followed by her brood, goes nearer and nearer the Fox's den, asking politely, " Please, Mr. Fox, can you tell me what time it is?"
If he, to disarm her fears, answers mildly, one, two or three, etc., they may go away without danger of pursuit, but if he replies "Twelve o'clock at night!" the Hen and her chicks must turn and fly, for he dashes out of the den and tries to seize one of them. If the Fox succeeds in catching the Hen, she must then become the Fox, and the game begins again. If one of the chicks is caught, it is carried to the den, but endeavours to escape the next time that the Fox is called out—which complicates the difficulties.
A sly Fox will delay the fateful and fearsome answer until the Hen has grown less cautious, or he may answer her question by "Twelve o'clock—noon !" during which the uncertainty is most exciting until it is known which division of the day is coming.
MY LADY'S TOILET
The players are all seated except one, who personates the "Lady's Maid"—and for whom no seat is provided. She goes about assigning to each child the name of some article of apparel, which must be carefully remembered.
The Maid then stands before them and says, "My lady is going to a ball and wants her fan." Whereupon the