Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Nine: The Chinquapin Hunt >> Page 93

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription THE CHINQUAPIN HUNT 93
"March we away to Quebec town,
where the fifes are blown and the drums are beaten,
The Americans the day have won,
And the British are retreatin';
Let us turn back and open the ring,
To let the Broken hearted in! &c."
A gentleman takes his seat in the middle of the floor, at the begin-
ning of the game in which this is sung. Two persons, lady and gentle-
man, march arm in arm around the seated person, singing all the while
the above ballad with its score of verses. They are succeeded by others,
and the play resolves itself into a dance, managed in a circle, in which
one couple, continually changing, is featured through each several
movement of the dance. The penalty or privilege of kissing, or being
kissed, is here a consequence of blundering in position.
In the play of "Move House," or grind the Bottle there is a rude
triplet sung:
"Old Sister Phoebe,
How merrie were we,
The day we sat under the juniper tree!"
This forms a perpetually recurring refrain at certain turns in the
play. This is a Pawn Play, in which there must be one more player than
there are seats. The fun of the game consists in dispossessing, in the
course of its progress, all the seated parties, and thus bringing about a
general scramble for the attainment of the seats, leading to much pleas-
ant jostling and romping.
"The Whiffling Pin" is usually played with a plate. The persons pres-
ent are, each, named after some particular bird. One is a Blue Bird, one
a red, another a black bird; the sparrow, the jay, and lark, and wood-
pecker, the Hawk and Buzzard; &c. He who begins the game, spins the
plate, and while it spins, he calls, singing or saying,
"I, the Sparrow," his nom de plume (literally)
"I the Sparrow, turn the Sparrow; who turns Red Bird?"
Red Bird, thus called, must run up and seize upon the plate before
it falls; renew its evolutions, and sing out, "I the Red Bird, turn the Red
Bird, who turns Blue Bird?" Blue Bird must be quick of movement in
seizing the plate while it revolves. He or she who suffers the plate to fall,
lacking promptness, or from a forgetfulness of the name given, incurs
the usual penalty.