The Bird-Snatcher

For this game, you need your audience in a close circle. One of the party must be the “Snatcher”; and it is best to choose him from the older ones, as a good deal depends on the story that he tells.
All the players in the circle take the name of a bird. This they must remember. The only name that may not be used is the Bat. All hands must be placed on knees. Should the “Snatcher” mention say a Blackbird, the player who has that name must at once place his right hand behind his back. If the” Snatcher” names a Bat, all hands must go behind the back and must remain there until another bird is mentioned. The object of the “Snatcher” is to capture a hand during the moving of hands. If he does so, the one caught must pay a forfeit and becomes the “Snatcher”.
The Snatcher begins in this fashion:
“The other day, as I was walking down a lane, the whole countryside seemed to be alive. Animals darted here and there, and bird and loud and sweetly. I came to a very tall tree an there was a beautiful “Thrush”. (Here he Snatcher makes a dive for the Thrush’s hand; but failing to secure it, he goes on).  In the hedge was a Robin.” (Again, a dive for the hand, which he misses; and thinking its time for a change, continues.) “But in an old, decayed oak tree, I saw a large Bat.” All hands attempt to fly behind backs, but he captures one. A forfeit is demanded, and this person must become the Snatcher. Every player failing to put both hands behind this back when the Bat is mentioned must pay a forfeit. 

 


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