Three Hundred Games & Pastimes - complete online book

A Book Of Suggestions For Children's Games And Employments.

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Nuts and blackberries.
168              What Shall We Do Now?
water-colour copies of all the flowers that you find : another good occupation for wet days in the country.
In nutting you want a hooked stick with which to pull down the branches. For blackberries a hooked stick is not so important, but it is well to have leather gloves. The blackberries ought to be dry when they are picked. Rain takes their flavour away ; so you should wait until the sun comes again and restores it. One thing that you quickly notice is that all blackberries are not after the same pattern. There are different kinds, just as there are different kinds of strawberry and raspberry. Some are hard and very closely built ; some are loosely built, with large cells which squash between the fingers ; some come between these two varieties ; and there are still others. For eating on the spot the softer ones are the best, but for cooking and for jam the harder ones are equally good.
In picking blackberries you soon find that it is better to have the sun at your back, because if it shines through the bush into your eyes you cannot distinguish clearly between the shades of blackness. An open basket full of blackberries is a radiant sight. Each of the little cells has a point of light, and thousands of these together are as gay as jewels.
No one need starve on the open road in September, for there is food on every hedge—two good courses. Nuts are there as the stand-by, the backbone of the meal, and after come black­berries, as pudding or dessert. To pick the two for an hour, and then, resting beneath a tree, to eat until all are gone—that is no bad way to have lunch. If you take advice in this matter, you will not crack the nuts with your teeth but between stones.
The time to hunt for mushrooms is before breakfast. They grow in the grass in damp meadows, and the best way to look for them is to walk up and down in straight lines until the whole field has been covered: just as one looks for plovers' nests. Before they are cooked it is almost certain that they will pass
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