Jacks pigs in a pen CHECK
Braiding plastic lanyards CHECK
Folding paper fortune tellers CHECK
Jump rope rhymes CHECK
One potato two potato counting-out rhymes CHECK
Kick the can CHECK
Clothespin attaching playing card in bike spokes CHECK
Chinese jump rope CHECK
Twirling on the jungle gym CHECK
Hanging from knees on the jungle gym CHECK
Hula hoop SORTA
Jacob's ladder SERIOUSLY DEFICIENT
Cat's cradle SERIOUSLY DEFICIENT
NOTES: Study participant claims no previous knowledge of string games. Possible memory loss due to Red Rover playground trauma.
Maybe I blocked it out. Could be a repressed memory. Or maybe nobody at Eastridge Elementary played string games in the first half of the Sixties. Maybe we were watching Mercury and Gemini splash-downs on the black/white tv in Mrs. Kelleher's library. Did we prefer playing "Beatles' Stewardess Girlfriend"?
Maybe I was reclining on the school nurse's cot having a nosebleed when everyone else learned to make Jacob's Ladder and play Cat's Cradle. It was quiet there in the nurse's office. Sometimes surrounded by small children showing their string game accomplishments, I wish for one of those long ago moments removed from the chaos of "free play".
"Look! I made oliver," the first-grader announces while holding up stringy fingers. Please say it again. On top of my string failures, I seem to be going deaf. Oliver?
"Oliver, I made oliver. You know, Ms. Nancy, those pants with the tops attached!" Oliver? Oh, overalls.
Grandpa's overalls! If you drop a string on Jacob's Ladder you get a configuration resembling overalls.
Beam me up, Green Acres!
© 2009 Nancy L. Ruder