Follow Leader




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By Dan Beard

Beware of Air-Holes.  In every group of boys are a few hare-brained, foolish fellows who are continually getting themselves and their playfellows into trouble, often of a most serious nature.  A favorite method pursued by these would-be heroes is to start a game of "Follow the Leader," or "I Conquer," on the ice.  Of course the would-be brave boy elects him- self leader and the others must follow.  

The only difference between Follow the Leader and I Conquer is that when an act is performed by the leader in the first case he calls out, in a bantering tone, "Follow the leader!"  In the second he tosses his head with an impudent air and exclaims, "I conquer! "  This is meant as a challenge to the others, but the others must remember that the danger is apt to increase in proportion to the number of boys in turn. The leader skates along and jumps an air-hole, shouting, "I conquer!" The ice is weakened by his jump and it is more and more dangerous for each succeeding boy who jumps.

The Tickly-Bender, or Running Tommie.

The leader finds a weak place in the ice which is called a "Tickly-bender," and skating over it cries, "I conquer!" If the other boys are green they follow him.  With each succeeding boy the ice bends more and more until at last one boy breaks through, often with fatal results.  For the late leader, when confronted by real danger, cannot be depended upon to risk much in order to rescue his unfortunate follower. 

Skating over a "tickly-bender" in Yankeedom is called "Running Tommie."  If any of my readers like the excitement of " Running Tommie," let them choose ice where there is not more than one or two feet of water underneath, and even then the danger of wet feet, frozen clothes, a bad cold, and a well-deserved lecture at home ought to furnish excitement enough to satisfy them.  

The really brave lad does not advertise that quality by engaging his companions in a sport that brings all the danger to his followers, but he is first to act when a companion needs assistance; and it is to such-a boy's cool head and "nerve" that many a rattle-brained lad owes his life.







Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
[ Follow Leader ] Bull Frog ] Cutting a Circle ] Figure Skating ] Ice Boat ] Spread Eagle ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
Winter Games ] Snowball Warfare ] Skate Sailing ] Woods in Winter ] Snowmen ] Snow Statuary ] Ice Fishing ] Skating ] Evening Entertainment ] Winter Projects ] Advancement ] Polar Bear Swim ] Snow & Ice ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.