Our economy isn't the greatest right now for spending our savings on costly video games; and now when not only can we not afford health insurance but get fined by the government for not affording it, it's all the more important to try to maintain our good health, with exercise and fresh air. The answer? STICKERCHIEF.
The article below is taken from the excellent 1941 edition of Grolier's Book of Knowledge. I am reading the entire 19 volumes of this set (20th volume is the Index) cover to cover, and today, in volume 12, pages 4501 to 4502, was delighted by STICKERCHIEF. My worry is that most kids today don't know how to have a stick without hurting others or themselves with it. Plastic controls stuck snuggly in their hands for many hours each day inside the house are thought to be safer. But not wanting to hear others say, "Get a life," might inspire us actually to step outside and be with other human beings for a time, despite the dangers. So, enjoy.
"A splendid game that can be played by any number of children is stickerchief. It is quite as exciting as hockey or tennis and it has the advantage of not requiring expensive balls, racquets or sticks.
"Stickerchief is played with a handkerchief and some short pieces of bamboo, of the sort used by gardeners to hold up tall flowers. A dozen of these bamboos can be bought at any florist's for a small sum.
"The game can be played on a lawn of any size. Two goals, one at each end of the lawn, are required and these will be formed by the flower-sticks stuck into the grass about four feet apart. When two sticks have been placed at each end of the lawn in this way you can begin.
"It is best to make the first attempt with only two players. Each must have one of the light bamboo sticks, and they must stand in the center of the lawn between the two goals. Now they must place a handkerchief on the ground, and stand on opposite sides of it with the ends of the sticks just touching the ground, about a foot away from the handkerchief.
"Then one player must count 'One--two--three--go!' and at the word 'go' both must try to pick up the handkerchief on the sticks. This is much more difficult than it looks. Each player tries to knock his opponent's stick away.
"Presently one manages to pick up the handkerchief, and then runs as fast as he can toward the opponent's goal. Of course, the other player follows, and tries to get the handkerchief off the stick. If he manages to get it on his own stick he rushes with it to the other goal.
"Sometimes the handkerchief flies off the stick while the player is running with it, and then the other player can often catch it before it reaches the ground. Sometimes it is skillfully knocked off, and sometimes neatly lifted off. Any way is considered fair; the game is simply to get the handkerchief through the opponent's goal and to prevent him from scoring. A game is finished when a goal is scored. A match consists of five games, and the player who wins the most games is the victor.
"After a little practice any number of children can play together. Two captains are chosen, and these captains pick the players who are to form the teams. Four, six or even ten players may be in each team; in fact, the only limit is the size of the lawn that you use as a playing field.
"When all are ready, and have been provided with the sticks, the captains tell the players where they are to stand--some close to the goal, and others near the middle of the lawn. Then the captains take their places by the handkerchief, and start the game at the word 'go.' Of course, the game becomes much more exciting when a number are playing, and often it is quite a long time before either side can score a goal.
"If there are many players on each side, they ought to be distinguished in some way, so that they can be recognized at once as friends or foes. It is a good plan to tie little bows of ribbon in the middle of each stick. One side can have green bows and the other red. These are very easily seen.
"The game is a splendid one for a children's party, as boys and girls can play together. It has all the fascination and excitement of hockey, without the danger of bruises that are too often caused by hard balls and heavy sticks. The light bamboos used for stickerchief cannot hurt anybody."
To see a video of us playing Stickerchief, click HERE.
For the complete contents of the Butter Rum Cartoon, click here.