Spanish Fly




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Spanish Fly
Bad Names

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By Dan Beard

After settling who is to be leader the boys start the game as in the preceding by the leader placing his hands on the shoulders of First Back and leaping over. As the boys go over in turn some good player, desiring to win glory for himself and to increase the fun, shouts " Spanish fly !" before he touches.

Up to the moment that the player makes this announcement it is supposed to be an ordinary game of Leap-frog or Foot-an'-Half. But now all realize that excitement and difficult feats are ahead of them. The next time the self-appointed leader goes over First Back he cries


and jumps with only one hand on First Back's shoulders, while with the other he waves his cap for a torch. All the other players follow suit, and encouraged by their applause the leader selects more difficult feats to perform.

"Hats on Deck!"

he now shouts, and placing his hat or cap on First Back's shoulders he leaps over without disturbing his head-gear. The next player places his cup on top of the leader's and leaps over it. The last boy in " Hats on deck!" or " Hats in a pile," as some call it, has the most difficult part to perform, often having five or six hats to jump over. Now the last boy makes another jump and takes his hat off the back without disturbing the others, and all the other players follow suit.

If none fail the leader next cries

"Hats Full of Water!"

and picking his hat up he balances it upside down on his head and makes the jump without jostling it off his head. This act being performed by all the players, the leader next cries

"Hats in the Water!"

and jumping over First Back he deftly shakes off his hat on the other side. Each player following must do likewise, without touching another hat with his feet or with Iris own hat.

When the hats are all in the water the leader must jump over First Back and slight on one foot without touching any of the hats scattered around; and still without coming in contact with bat or cap, or touching his uplifted foot to the ground, he must manage to hop to his own hat, kneel down and pick it tip with his teeth, and hop back to First Back, turn his back to taw and First Back, and with a toss of his head send his cap backward over his own head and clear First Back, toward taw. The touching of another hat or of the uplifted foot to the ground before the last feat is performed, will bring the leader down, or if he touches his own cap with his hands, or if his cap strikes First Back in going over, the leader "comes down, that is, cakes First Back's place."

Each of the players must perform the same feat in turn. A failure to perform the part in accordance with the prescribed rules brings the player down and the game begins over. Generally some one fails before the hats reach the water. If not the leader taxes his memory and invention to its utmost for difficult acts to perform, until some one fails, and the game starts afresh.

Spanish Fly is a jolly game, full of fun and noise, two elements that seem inseparably connected ; but sometimes the rougher boys introduce rowdyism into the game that eventually results in doubled fists, blows, or bad names. This is the invariable result of such deportment wherever it may be found, and all such acts as "spurings," "knucks " and "ramming the cannon" are to be tolerated only by toughs.







Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Foot-an'-Half ] Hatband ] [ Spanish Fly ] Bad Names ]

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Games of Ball ] Bee Messengers ] Boat Plans ] Dead Bugs ] Choosing Up ] Counting Out ] Leap Frog ] Swimming ] Tag ] Water Periscope ] Circus in the Woods ] Boys' Vaulting-Poles ] Woodcraft Camps ] Deaf Scout Jamboree 2006 ] Do It Yourself Camps ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.