The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #110753   Message #2618971
Posted By: GUEST
26-Apr-09 - 10:05 AM
Thread Name: kids' game: I'm goin' down town to smoke my pipe
Subject: RE: kids' game: I'm goin' down town to smoke my pipe
I googled I'm going downtown to smoke my pipe and found this site. In northern Indiana (Osceola) all the neighbor kids played this in the yard.
Two older kids would be witch and mother, and the rest were the children.
The witch would stand apart or go in the garage while the first scene took place.
The mother would say "I'm going downtown to smoke my pipe and I won't be back until Saturday night. If you let that old witch in, I'll spank you black and blue with my old rubber shoe."
Then she would look around at the children and point to one, saying "And YOU'RE IN CHARGE".
I don't remember that person being called "Sue".   That child would act scared knowing she/he was going to get spanked (fairly gently) with the "old rubber shoe".
The rest of the game is fairly blurred in my mind now, but involved the witch coming and stealing 1 child at a time and hiding them in her house (our neighbor's garage). Each of the children was given a pie name (ie apple, peach) secretly by the IN CHARGE sibling right before the witch took the child. Later the pie name was involved in the mother getting the child back.
I wondered for years where this game came from, and found a book of children's games of England at the Pratt Library in Baltimore Md. which described "Old Witch." with many of the motifs our our Indiana game.