Goose Hangs High




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By Dan Beard

This game is called "the goose hangs high," because to make a goal the player must have the goose in the crotch of the gander stick. This game is also played with a canvas or leather goose, and by players on skates or horseback.

tbp365.gif (3980 bytes)
Fig. 365

"The Goose Hangs High"

Erect two gander poles, one at each end of the field. The posts must have two forks, either made by natural branches on the stick or suitable branches cut from other wood and nailed fast to the poles, as shown by A B C (Fig. 365).

You will notice that in the diagrams the angles of the crotches are very sharp or acute. In case you are in a city or town where you are limited to the use of milled lumber, you may purchase screw-hooks at the hardware shop a s substitutes for the natural crotches. 

The goose for this game needs no skeleton, neck-bone, or legs; it is simply a bag in the form of a ham-cover with the neck and head, the only requisite being a recognizable likeness to a goose and sufficient strength to stand the rough usage for which it was made. Midway between the gander posts mark the throw-ring on the ice or ground; next make a circle six feet in diameter around each gander pole to mark the safety limit shown in the plans and pictures (Figs. 366 and 367). To start the game let the two teams, with the men placed alternately, gather at the throw-ring around the gander-man. 

tbp366.gif (6607 bytes)
Fig. 366. 
Field Plan

The gander-man stands in the center of the circle with the goose in hand, grasped by the neck. The gander-man cries:

"One for the money!
Two for the show, 
Three to make ready, 
And FOUR to GO!"

With the last word he swings around and tosses the goose in the air to be received into the arms of some lucky player, who immediately dashes away with it for the goal. just as the goose mounts the air the goal judges speed for their positions at their respective gander poles, and the rest of the game is like cross-tag, with this difference, that when a player is liable to lose the goose he tosses it to one of his own side if he can, and the man who catches the bird is IT until he gives it up or reaches the goal and swings it safely into the crotch. Each goal counts one goose, and five geese make a gander or game.

Rules of the Game

The gander-man is field umpire, and the other judges keep order at the goals and decide disputes arising at their posts. The instant a player's two feet are inside the safety circle he must not be molested unless he fails to hang the goose or allows it to slip from his hands, then any one of the opposing team may seize the bird and dash away with it or toss it to one of his own side. 

There must be no scrimmage over the possession of the goose, for as soon as an opponent gets hold of the bird in your hands you must let go your hold. One must not trip an opponent nor interfere by body, arm, or leg contact without forfeiting one "honk"; three honks count one goose (or goal) for the opposite side. 

After the games are over, gather around your camp-fire, roast some potatoes and apples in the ashes, cook some simple food over the hot coals, and pass around refreshments; then, as you break up, give three cheers for your officers, then the club yell, shake hands all around, and start home.

tbp367.gif (15561 bytes)
Fig. 367.
The Grand Rush for Home Stake 

See Also:

Gander Pulling

Winter Games

Scout Games

The Boy Pioneers






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B-P Snow Games ] Camp Games ] Contests ] Indoor Games ] Nature Games ] Snow Tag ] Vigorous Games ] Animal Tracking Game ] Game of Big Foot ] Gander-Pulling ] [ Goose Hangs High ] Raccoon Jumping ] Running the Gauntlet ] Running Indian Scouts ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.