The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Growing Up On Tuggles Creek - Games We Used To Play

By YKW © 1985

Issue: April, 1985

(Editor's Note: Tuggles Creek is located in the Heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, near the tiny mountain community of Meadows of Dan, Virginia. Meadows of Dan is a crossroads community where US Highway 58 Business and the Blue Ridge Parkway cross. Mabry Mill is north about 1.6 miles and Mayberry Trading Post is about 2.8 miles south on the Blue Ridge Parkway.)

I think we had a lot more games to play than kids do now a days. At school, there was: bull pen, running base, town ball, and "going to jail." When girls were involved, there were a lot of ring games like drop the handkerchief, Skip to my Lou, and Post Office.

I remember a few singing ring games which I hope will bring back pleasant memories to the few people still left who played them.

In all of them, there was a ring with one person in the middle who could come out only at the appropriate line in the song.

"The Dusty Old Miller"

The dusty old miller
All alone by himself
As the wheel rolls round
He gains his wealth.
One hand in the hopper
The other in sack
The ladies step forward
and the gents step back.

"Sad Station"

She sat down in her sad station
Mooning from the loss of her own true love.
Twas reported he got shot while fighting
In the war with General Scott.
Oh no it is not so
He'll return and marry you.
Seek, seek and you will find
Your true love to suit your mind.

"Marching Down To Old Quebec"

Marching down to old Quebec
The drums are loudly beating.
The Yankees they have gained today
And the Rebels are retreating.

Go to the ring and chose one in
For he (or she) is broken hearted
Miss (or Mr) So and So
How I do love you

No one on earth
Will I ever place above you.
Heart and hand I freely give you
One sweet kiss and then I must leave you.

(Needless to say, we usually reversed the roles of the Yankees and the Rebels, though how Quebec got in there, I'll never know.)

Editor's Note....I remembered chanting verses with jump-rope, but could only remember the words to one chant:

Cinderella, dressed in yellow
Went down town
To meet her fellow
On the way though
She meet her bow
Who took her to
A five cent show.
How many kisses did he give her?

As the two people holding the ends of the big rope turned it, the jumper tried her best to not miss a jump. It was your turn until you missed, then it was the next person's in line. All of us little girls would try our best to not miss for as long as possible. At the end of the "Cinderella" verse, everyone began counting, "1..2..3.." and so on until the jumper missed. The girl with the highest number of "kisses" was deemed to be the best.

If there was a boy you were "sweet" on, and he happened to be watching when you were jumping, of course you tried to be specially good, but were embarrassed also that he would think you meant the number of kisses for him.