scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: Marble Games (Was: I'm Discouraged!)
Rick Seymour (Rick@KUDU.NET
Thu Feb 03 2000 - 17:12:07 CST
Heather Price Wrote:
> My husband is dealing with the same problems right now.
> ... He's stopping trying to do anything "worthwhile"
>The 2nd year Webelos have been playing lots of games like
> marbles...and have stopped doing crafts, etc....(Oh, and
> the marbles were the hit of the last few months!)
Dan Beard, the first BSA National Commissioner, might have thought marbles
to be more "worthwhile" than doing typical Cub Scout crafts, judging by the
affection with which he writes:
"How my knuckles used to smart where the cold wind had chapped them and
"knuckling down" had ground the mud into the raw places. But, pshaw! What
did I care for raw knuckles, as with a pocketful of assorted varieties of
marbles I watched eagerly for a playmate, and as soon as one appeared,
shouted, 'First for keeps!'"
In his history of marbles he writes:
"While the terrible fires from the bowels of the earth were sprouting their
ashes and lava over towns and cities, Pompeii was buried with all its
streets and houses and with some of its people and dogs. Among the many
curious things found in the ruins by the antiquarians who have unearthed
the old cities were--what? Marbles left by the boys in their flight from
the doomed city, and, I think, if the truth were known, some of the little
rascals delayed their departure long enough to secure and carry away with
them their "megs," as the New York boys would call the ancient marbles."
You can now find what I believe to be everything that Dan Beard wrote about
marbles at the Boys' Inquiry Net:
Included are all of the classic marble games, such as: Stand-Up Marbles,
"Follerings" or Followings, Knucks, Patterson, The Bull Ring,
Duck-in-a-Hole, Meg-in-a-Hole, Meg-on-a-String, and Block, or Square Ring.
Other topics include Beard's Marble Philosophy for Boys, as well as
practical advice on how to shoot. Included here are the kinds of things
boys need to know, such as diagrams that show how "sissy-boys" like "Little
Lord Fauntleroy" would shoot ("He would hold his hand vertically...The
thumb would flip out weakly (Fig. 5), and the marble would roll on its
way"), contrasted with diagrams of how "Tom Sawyer" would shoot (Beard was
an illustrator for Mark Twain).
There are a number of humorous digressions, such as Beard's rants against
adults who dress their sons in clothes that no boy would allow himself to
be caught in. I can assure you that our Uniform Police here will not be
amused by the Boys' Inquiry Net!
Hope this helps!
Yours in Scouting,