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Children's Rhymes. Children's Games, Children's Songs, Children's Stories
Children's Rhyme-Games - The Wadds


"The Wadds" is another game in which grown folks no less than children may engage, and which, like "Bab at the Bowster," is essentially a house game. Its mode is for the players to he seated round the hearth, the lasses on one side and the lads on the other. One of the lads first chants:-

O, it's hame, and its hame, it's hame, hame, hame,
I think this nicht I maun gang hame.

To which one of the opposite party responds:-

Ye had better licht, and bide a' nicht,
And I'll choose ye a partner bonnie and bricht.

The first speaker again says:-

Then wha wad ye choose an' I wad bide?

Answer:-

The fairest and best in a' the countryside.

At the same time presenting a female and mentioning her name. If the choice is satisfactory, the finale player will say: --

I'll set her up on the bonnie pear tree,
It's straucht and tall and sae is she
I wad wauk a' nicht her love to be.

If, however, the choice is not satisfactory, he may reply:-

I'll set her up on the auld fael dyke,
Where she may rot ere I be ripe;
The corbies her auld banes wadna pyke.

Or (if the maiden be of surly temper):--

I'll set her up on the high crab-tree,
It's sour and dour, and sae is she;
She may gang to the mools unkissed for me.

But he may decline civilly, by saving:-

She's for another, she's no for me,
I thank ye for your courtesie.

A similar ritual is gone through with respect to one of the gentler sex, where such rhymes as the following are used. In the case of acceptance the lady will say:-

I'll set him up at my table-head,
and feed him there wi' milk and bread.

Whereas, if the proposal is not agreeable, her reply may be:-

I'll put him on a riddle, and blaw him owre the sea,
Wha will buy [Jamie Paterson] for me?

Or.

I'll set him up on a high lum-heid,
And blaw 'im in the air wi' poother and lead.

A refusal on either side must, of course, he atoned for by a "wadd," Or forfeit—which may consist of a piece of money, a knife, a thimble, or any little article which the owner finds convenient for the purpose. Then, when a sufficient number of persons have made forfeits, the business of redeeming them commences. which may afford any amount of amusement. He, or she, as the case happens, may be ordered to "kiss the four corners of the room;" "bite an inch off the poker;" "kneel to the prettiest, bow to the wittiest, and kiss the one he (or she)) loves best," or any one of a dozen similarly silly ordeals, as the doomster proposes, may have to be gone through. When the forfeits have all been redeemed the game is ended.


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