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Written by Hunter   
Tuesday, 14 October 2008 12:44

10 to 30 or more players.

Indoors; out of doors.

All of the players but one stand in a circle. The odd player runs around on the outside of the circle, carrying a handkerchief, which he drops behind one of the circle players. The main idea of the game is to take the circle players unaware with this. Those who form the ring must look toward the center, and are not allowed to turn their heads as the runner passes them. The one who runs around with the handkerchief will resort to various devices for misleading the others as to where he drops it. For instance, he may sometimes quicken his pace suddenly after dropping the handkerchief, or at other times maintain a steady pace which gives no clew.

As soon as a player in the circle discovers that the handkerchief has been dropped behind him, he must pick it up and as rapidly as possible chase the one who dropped it, who may run around the outside of the circle or at any point through or across the circle, his object being to reach the vacant place left by the one who is chasing him. The circle players should lift their hands to allow both runners to pass freely through the circle. Whichever player reaches the vacant place first stands there, the one left out taking the handkerchief for the next game.

This is one of the oldest known games and is found throughout the world. The writer has heard it described by Cossacks, Japanese, Italians, and people of many other nationalities.

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