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By Dan Beard

The following game is the same as the game of "Pull Away" except in the words used to set the boys running.

"What Are You Doing in My Vineyard?" or Black Man

"What are you doing in my vineyard?" "Stealing grapes!" "What will you do when the black man comes?" "Rush right through like we always do!"

This is the whole of the game of the Black Man. Yet I have had as much fun playing this simple game as any sport of my boyhood that I can recall. We always played t at dusk, and Black Man on one side of the street calls out the first question. The boys upon the opposite side give the answer as above; then the Black Man threateningly asks what the boys will do when he comes, and the boys bravely respond with the boast that they will "rush right through like they always do," which, strictly speaking, is not the truth, because it often happens that one of the vineyard robbers is caught half way by the Black Man, and is then compelled to give up his pilfering and become a Black Man himself and help guard the vineyard. (See Fig. 256).

ohb256.gif (5447 bytes)
Fig. 256

So the game goes on until all are Black Men. Then the boy first caught is " It" for the next game. The rules of the game are simple. The two curbs form the home lines and the sidewalk is home, or two lines are drawn for home lines. If a boy is on this goal, that is, if his feet are on the home side of the curb or line, the Black Man cannot touch him, but between the goals if the Black Man catches him, the boy caught joins this vineyard guardian in chasing his late comrades. (See Fig. 256).

The simplicity of this last game you will find upon trial in no way detracts from its enjoyment, but on the contrary adds zest to the sport, as the mind being unencumbered with tiresome rules is free to devote its whole attention to the swiftness of the heels.

OHB

 

 

   

 

 


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Last modified: October 15, 2016.