The Game Of Dump

★ The Game Of Dump Story:

A boy’s amusement in Yorkshire, in vogue about half a century ago, but now, I believe, nearly obsolete. It is played in this manner. The lads crowd round, and place their fists endways the one on the other, till they form a high pile of hands. Then a boy who has one hand free, knocks the piled fists off one by one, saying to every boy, as he strikes his fist away, “What’s there, Dump?” He continues this process till he comes to the last fist, when he exclaims:

What’s there? Cheese and bread, and a mouldy halfpenny! Where’s my share? I put it on the shelf, and the cat got it. Where’s the cat? She’s run nine miles through the wood. Where’s the wood? T’ fire burnt it. Where’s the fire? T’ water sleckt (extinguished) it. Where’s the water? T’ oxen drunk it. Where’s the oxen? T’ butcher kill’d ’em. Where’s t’ butcher?

Upon the church-top cracking nuts, and you may go and eat the shells; and them as speak first shall have nine nips, nine scratches, and nine boxes over the lug!

Every one then endeavours to refrain from speaking, in spite of mutual nudges and grimaces, and he who first allows a word to escape is punished by the others in the various methods adopted by schoolboys. In some places the game is played differently. The children pile their fists in the manner described above; then one, or sometimes all of them sing,–

I’ve built my house, I’ve built my wall; I don’t care where my chimneys fall!

The merriment consists in the bustle and confusion occasioned by the rapid withdrawal of the hands.

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