98 What Shall We Do Now?
crying, " Here we are on Tom Tiddler's ground, picking up gold and silver." As Tom still sleeps they grow bolder and bolder until he suddenly awakens and dashes for them. The one that is caught becomes Tom Tiddler. Tom may not cross the boundary-line.
Another " Tom Tiddler's Ground." One player crouches down pretending to be a stone. The others run round about her, gradually, as she shows no sign of life, getting nearer and more bold. The stone suddenly leaps up and begins to chase them, and the one caught is the old stone.
Even more exciting than " Tom Tiddler's Ground " is " Hen and Chickens." In this game one player represents a fox and sits on the ground looking sly and hungry. The others, who are the hen and chickens, form a procession, holding each other's skirts or coats by both hands, and march past the fox, saying in turn—
Chickany, chickany, crany crow,
I went to the well to wash my toe,
And when I came back a chicken was dead.
Then they leave go of each other and stand round the fox, and the leader, the hen, says, " What are you doing, old fox ? " The fox replies, " Making a fire" ; and the conversation goes on like this :—
The Hen : What for ?
The Fox : To boil some water.
The Hen : What is the water for ?
The Fox : To scald a chicken.
The Hen : Where will you get it ?
The Fox : Out of your flock.
With these words the fox springs up and the hen and chickens run in all directions. The chicken that is caught becomes the new fox, and the old fox is the new hen, the leader of the procession.
Hen and chickens.