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BS: Children's games with plants

MBSLynne 06 Jul 05 - 03:06 AM
Kaleea 06 Jul 05 - 03:46 AM
Metchosin 06 Jul 05 - 03:56 AM
GUEST, Topsie 06 Jul 05 - 05:00 AM
Liz the Squeak 06 Jul 05 - 05:30 AM
MBSLynne 06 Jul 05 - 05:34 AM
Jeanie 06 Jul 05 - 05:42 AM
Mary in Kentucky 06 Jul 05 - 07:06 AM
GUEST, Topsie 06 Jul 05 - 09:35 AM
catspaw49 06 Jul 05 - 10:00 AM
GUEST,MMario 06 Jul 05 - 10:08 AM
GUEST,MMario 06 Jul 05 - 10:09 AM
ranger1 06 Jul 05 - 10:39 AM
Metchosin 06 Jul 05 - 11:30 AM
GUEST,MMario 06 Jul 05 - 11:40 AM
GUEST,leeneia 06 Jul 05 - 11:52 AM
Metchosin 06 Jul 05 - 11:53 AM
Metchosin 06 Jul 05 - 12:13 PM
SINSULL 06 Jul 05 - 12:21 PM
TheBigPinkLad 06 Jul 05 - 12:35 PM
dianavan 06 Jul 05 - 12:37 PM
Grab 06 Jul 05 - 01:20 PM
TheBigPinkLad 06 Jul 05 - 01:40 PM
GUEST 06 Jul 05 - 02:30 PM
Mrs.Duck 06 Jul 05 - 03:49 PM
Mrs.Duck 06 Jul 05 - 04:14 PM
MBSLynne 06 Jul 05 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 06 Jul 05 - 08:56 PM
Donuel 07 Jul 05 - 12:32 AM
dianavan 07 Jul 05 - 02:43 AM
Liz the Squeak 07 Jul 05 - 09:46 AM
Margaret V 07 Jul 05 - 09:24 PM
Metchosin 07 Jul 05 - 11:35 PM
alison 07 Jul 05 - 11:45 PM
dianavan 07 Jul 05 - 11:47 PM
dianavan 07 Jul 05 - 11:48 PM
Metchosin 08 Jul 05 - 12:00 AM
Liz the Squeak 08 Jul 05 - 03:59 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 08 Jul 05 - 04:28 AM
GUEST, Topsie 08 Jul 05 - 06:37 AM
MBSLynne 08 Jul 05 - 07:03 AM

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Subject: BS: Children's games with plants
From: MBSLynne
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 03:06 AM

I've just been involved in a discussion on the "Herb Society" forum, to which I belong. The discussion started about how ignorant most people are about the plants that grow wild all around them. I give guided walks talking about the plants found growing along the way and what they can be used for. We thought that it would be a good idea to teach children a bit more about this sort of thing by taking it into schools. In my Mother's childhood, and to a lesser extent mine, there were a lot of ordinary plants which were used for games and toys, most of which don't seem to be known any more. Conkers remain but not much else. I know kids used to make whistles out of elder and to play a game a bit like conkers with plantain, but I don't know how it was done. Does anyone know
A Any games with plants, or toys made with plants in the past
B How?

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: Kaleea
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 03:46 AM

How about adapting singing games? "Button you must wander" could use a little flower or leaf instead of a button.
Rarely does anyone, adult or child, these days know what a "paw paw" is, but I used the song my mother taught me in my teaching days; "Way out yonder in the Paw Paw patch." The younger children loved to act this one out.
I always enjoy teaching kids (of all ages) how to make Musical Instruments out of gourds: Shakers & rattles, beaded rattles. This is one of the easiest projects, and they can be easily painted, & yarn of various colors wrapped around the "handle" part.
   Seed pods from trees: I have some dried seed pods about 6 inches long in my "bag of tricks" for storytelling & performances with kids. They are wonderful lightweight shakers or rattles which can be held by little ones or the very elderly or folks who cannot manipulate well with their hands, & when shaken lightly make a quieter rattle.
   I also have a pair of sticks @ 6-10 inches long which I picked up off the ground under a tree outside the Music Dept. where I went to college. I have found plenty of others over the years. It's interesting to see the differences in the wood.
   There is a patch of bamboo-like reeds in my back yard which comes up every year. After it dries in the fall, I brought some in at the request of a young guitar student & he & his elderly neighbor experimented with making flutes, using some of my flutes/whistles from various parts of the globe. We found that after alot of practice, one can come up with a workable vertical flute. If you don't mind not-quite-accurate tuning. It's still fun to play, but the reeds are not as thick & hard as bamboo.
   Try clicking on the link Mudcat for kids or kidstuff for instructions for making instruments. One can use a dried large gourd cut down the middle longways to make a uke/mando-like stringed instrument such as a "canjo". After all, before the factories, people made instruments out of what they had.
We don't need no stinking store bought rhythm instruments & such!
   Good luck!


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: Metchosin
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 03:56 AM

We used to used to shoot waxberries or snowberries (Symphoricapos albus) at each other by catapulting them from the ends of small pliable twigs and you could pepper someone with dry plantain seeds by stripping them from the stem rapidly with your fingers.

If you were really mean, you could get some unsuspecting individual to hold two pieces of hay, in opposing directions, tightly between their lips, then pull the ends of the hay in opposite directions and leave them with a mouthful of seeds.

Also, you could write your name or draw pictures on bear's paw fungus (a large bracket fungus common here) by scratching the surface with a sharp object.

A blade a grass could be used as a reed whistle, when stretched vertically and held between your thumbs. We told the time by blowing on dandelions and one could tell if someone liked butter by holding a buttercup under another's chin and looking for the reflection.


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: GUEST, Topsie
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 05:00 AM

What about daisy chains?

And if you don't mind destroying a flower, look right in the very centre of a periwinkle and you will find i teeny-tiny fairy broomstick.


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 05:30 AM

I once attended an art lesson where the pigments we were given to use that day were made entirely from things found in the college gardens. We rubbed rose and geranium petals on paper to make colour, we juiced fresh cut grass to make coloured 'ink', we even boiled onion skins to make a yellow dye. We didn't get as far as woad, but we did make some amazing colours.

Limpit has learned a lot by reading the 'Flower Fairy' book.... the pictures are fairly accurate (meaning you can identify the flower involved) and some of the rhymes give alternate names and uses. I try not to encourage playing games with plants as it's too easy to forget or muddle the poisonous ones with the pretty ones, and most wild flowers are now protected.

One thing I did learn recently though, was never believe a townie when he says he found an orchid.....

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: MBSLynne
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 05:34 AM

Thanks for those suggestions. I should have mentioned, though, that I am in England, so gourds, bamboo and things are not a possibility.

I'm fascinated by the fairy broomstick in the periwinkle and can't wait to go and find one!

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: Jeanie
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 05:42 AM

As well as the dandelion clocks, grass blade whistles and buttercup "test" mentioned by Metchosin, my friends and I used to make snapdragons have "conversations" by squeezing them so that their "jaws" moved up and down. We also used to put any bell-shaped flowers upturned over our fingers to play:
"Two little dickie birds sitting on a wall,
One named Peter, one named Paul.
Fly away, Peter; fly away, Paul.
Come back, Peter; come back, Paul."

(on "fly away..." you put your hands behind your back and bring them out again with different fingers visible, so that it looks as though the birds have gone, then on "come back", your hands go behind your back again and return with the fingers which have the "birds" on them).

It is sad to think that some of these games are dying out. (Though I was glad to hear children at the school where I am currently working saying "Zero the hero, first the worst, second the best, third the one with the hairy chest, etc. etc." when queuing up. - Not flower/plant-related, I know. Sorry for thread drift).

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 07:06 AM

"Loves me loves me not" pulling petals off a daisy.

There is some kind of woodland plant, similar to the lambs ear perennial, where you press the leaf down toward your boyfriend's house, and if it stays down, he loves you.

We always used clover to make chains.

Then there is the four leaf clover for good luck.

We used various galls to make drumsticks.

We painted our faces with the pollen from daylilies.

The best was to "ride a sappling"...climb a young tree and make it bend over, then straighten up, alternating.

Also swing on grapevines, or make grapevine wreaths.

Drink the nectar from a honeysuckle blossom.


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: GUEST, Topsie
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 09:35 AM

Pea-shooters from hollow stems (preferably not poisonous ones).

Take a smooth oval leaf with a stalk, bend the stalk over and poke it through the leaf about half way down, place the 'boat' gently on the surface of a pond and the breeze will blow it along.

And for people you really DON'T like - rose hips are just FULL of itching powder.


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: catspaw49
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 10:00 AM

Well I don't think this is a game exactly, but I had a good time playing. I don't think the kids did.

Two of our girls, Ashley and Brittney, were out back playing and when I went out I found they had ripped and torn through a patch of day lillies. It was senseless and a dumb thing to do, but kids are often senseless and dumb. So are a lot of adults come to think of it.

I confronted them with the evidence and after several stabs at explanations they settled on one as senseless and dumb as the act itself: "We thought they were onions and we could eat them."

Now neither of them would touch a raw onion on a bet but since they seemed so hungry for them we went inside and I had them sit at the kitchen table. I then chopped an onion in half and put each half on plate. I sad that since they were hungry for onions I was happy to fix them up! I then said, "You may not leave the table until you're done with your onions.........unless you decide you have something else to tell me."

It took about an hour.............

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 10:08 AM

well - if you mean hemoracallis when you say daylily - the roots, leaves, buds and flowers are all edible - so you could have served THOSE up to them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 10:09 AM

we used to have skunk cabbage smashing contests - and used Japenese Knotweed for sword fights - until they were shredded - then we would use them as cat-o-nine tails.


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: ranger1
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 10:39 AM

We used to see how many jewelweed pods we could hold before they all exploded. And I once had someone offer to show me something really cool and they stripped a blade of Timothy grass in my face. Not funny if you're on the receiving end.


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: Metchosin
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 11:30 AM

We also made beautiful Chinese ladies with my grandmother's poppies by carefully inverting the petals to form a cloak and a drawing face on the exposed fused carple and ovary. I think they may have been opium poppies, because I haven't noticed a proliferation of those very large bright orange flowers in gardens around here for years. But if by chance, you can get your hands on a few opium poppies, its a good way to teach a bit of beginners botany. BG


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 11:40 AM

we also used to make "whirly copters" from maple seeds and see how far we could get them to go.


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 11:52 AM

Why must it be an activity from the past?

Once my newphew came for a visit, and he mentioned that he had seen a neat craft on TV - collect leaves, put paper over them, and rub crayon or chalk on the paper to make an impression. So we did it, with me supervising to make sure he didn't pick the wrong leaves.

A person could make pictures, note paper and table linens this way, given the right materials. This is something you could use all your life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: Metchosin
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 11:53 AM

and although it might not be of too much use in the UK, we used to point out to children the little mouse tail and feet that stick out of Douglas fir cones that make up the seed scales, as a means of identification.


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: Metchosin
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 12:13 PM

Most of our games with plants as children involved using the imagination. Unmowed fields of clover or hay were dangerous savannahs that we would crawl through on our bellies in search of lions and other wild beasts, the asparagus patch, when it had gone to seed, was the high canopy of the south American rain forest and lush moss on the ground were minature forests where fairies and gnomes lived. Life was great when you didn't have to concern yourself about keeping your clothes clean.


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: SINSULL
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 12:21 PM

We made helicopters from maple seeds too. We also broke them in half, pealed them back and stuck them on our noses - not sure why but we did.

Hold a buttercup under your chin and if it reflects yellow, you are as sweet as butter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 12:35 PM

On my last visit to England I was delighted to show my son how we used to make a peashooters out of cow-parsley stalks. He loved it. Pelted me with rice at every opportunity. You could use indiginous seeds, but according to my Aunti Molly, it's only funny till someone loses an eye ;o)

We used to dye Easter eggs with leaves (onion skins too). And the girls used to use dandelion stalks to tatoo themselves (the milk stains brown just like henna).

Good thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: dianavan
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 12:37 PM

Bleeding hearts - We used to call them 'lady in the bathtub' because if you carefully pull them apart without breaking them, a lady will rise up in her tub.

We also spent hours collecting seeds in the fall and pretending to make a variety of cakes, breads and porridge for our dolls.

Use pinecones and pipecleaners to make adorable little turkeys.

Throwing burrs to stick in someone's hair is also great fun.

At school, my students collected seed pods and glued them on small pieces of mat board for lovely little fridge magnets (use magnetic tape on the back).

Don't forget to introduce them to Sweey Cicely as an old fashioned way to brush your teeth.

Please keep this thread going because at our school we have an outdoor classroom planted with Native trees and bushes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: Grab
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 01:20 PM

There's that stuff we used to call "arrow grass". Don't know the real name, but it grows long, stiff straight heads of seeds, so you can use them like darts to throw at each other. They fly pretty well and stick in pullovers (or hair). Burrs are also another popular one on the same lines! And rosehip itching powder, definitely.

Lady-pop-out-of-bed, or bindweed as it's better known. Squeeze the base of the flower just right, and the whole flower jumps off. Not hugely entertaining, but fun nonetheless.


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 01:40 PM

dianavan ... have the kids discovered the effects of cascara yet? ;o)


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 02:30 PM

oh, the pleasure to be had from popping the seed pods of stitchwort.


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 03:49 PM

Not sure of the plant name but we used to sing 'Granny' granny pop out of bed' with the white clinging vine type flowers by squeezing them at the base.


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 04:14 PM

Wild Morning Glory - convulvulus sepium - bindweed.
picture


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: MBSLynne
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 05:24 PM

Some of these are great! Though there are rather a lot I don't think I could actually go into school and tell them!

I'd avoid the pea-shooters from cow-parsely though....cow-parsely and hemlock are very difficult to tell apart, even by the experts....

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 08:56 PM

Done so many of these fun things (love pea shooters)- good thread (deffinately FOLK and not BS)

Some not mentioned:
DOLLS from two Hollyhock bloosems
Homemade paper (from lots of things) with leaves/flowers sandwhiched inbetween two dippings in the slurry.
Picking, washing, and scattering violet, pansy, hollyhock, nasturium petals into a green salid for confetti color.
Potato Shuttle Relay

From Bancroft (1916)

LEAF BY LEAF A basket of leaves is proved, no two of the leaves being alike. (trees, shrubs, flowers)
The players are each proved with a card or slip of paper and a pencil, and are seated. One leaf is handed to the first player, who passes it on to the next, and so on until it has made the round of the group. Each player, in turn, if he can identify the leaf writes the name of it on a card. Player wins who has the laargest number correct.

PLANTING A GARDEN
(5 to 30 players)
Each player is proved with a sheet of paper and a pencil. The game consists i8n one player writing down something that he has planted and the next player stating what came up. Anything may be planted, though the questioner must have in mind something that could come up from what he writes. He must sign his initials.

For example, a player writes, "I planted a kitten; what came up?" The paper is handed to the next player who writes, "Pussy willows."

After the questions are written, the papers are collected and redistrubuted, and each writes an answer the question he has drawn. Thare then collected again, and hostess reads the questions and answers. Any question not answered must be replied to by the player who wrote it. I.E:

1. Plant an angry wise man; what will come up? - Scarlet Sage
2. Plant a stale box of candy; what will come up? - Candytuft
3. Cupid's arrow - Bleeding Heart
4. Some steps - Hops
5. Days, month, and years - Thyme
6. Cristmas Eve - Star of Bethlehem
7. A sermon - Jack in the Pulpit
8. Grief - Weeping Willow
9. Cinderella at midnight - Lady's Slipper
10. A ship that goes no where - Portulaca
11. Claws and a roar - Tiger Lily
12. Labyrinth - Maize

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: Donuel
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 12:32 AM

There are such things as plant clocks. Different flowers open at different hours.

Making vine houses for kids is fun.


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: dianavan
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 02:43 AM

Four o'clocks (I think they're Peruvian) stay closed until 4:00 - or at least late afternoon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 09:46 AM

Take a grass flower stem and pinch below the seeds with finger and thumb. Run the finger & thumb up the stem, removing the seeds. Present the seeds (which should now be bunched between finger and thumb) and then flick your thumb causing the seeds to fly up in a shower... Suit the actions to go with this rhyme:

Here's a tree in summer,
Here's a tree in winter (strip)
Here's a bunch of flowers (present)
Here's the April showers! (flick - preferably over the audience)

We used to make poppy ladies too... I was always disappointed at how quickly they lost their lustre and wilted.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: Margaret V
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 09:24 PM

We always used to pop the unopened purple flowers of, I think, some kind of hosta. And my grandparents showed me how to use bladder campion (Silene vulgaris) as a kind of popper by picking off a flower by the fine stem, gathering up the edges of the blossom's open end between your thumb and first two fingers so that it becomes like a little balloon (or, well, bladder...) and then popping it against the back of your other hand. This is amusing for the kind of person who likes popping bubble-wrap (me, for example), though I'll admit to having some qualms about the thoughtless destruction of life for mindless fun. In the U.S. it's alien and considered invasive; do remember to check on the population status of wild plants before playing with them.
Sinsull, we stuck the maple things on our noses too, and my dad always called them Pinocchi-oaks, as in the long nose of Pinocchio (we knew they weren't oaks, but the tree reference/word-play was okay with us!).
Cheers, Margaret


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: Metchosin
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 11:35 PM

which reminds me, I remember sticking rose thorns on our noses and pretending we were rinos.


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: alison
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 11:45 PM

goose grass (UK &Ireland not sure where else) grew everywhere... great for sticking onto people's clothes

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: dianavan
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 11:47 PM

Yes, Metchosin! I remember that! What fun. I used to scare my little brother that way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: dianavan
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 11:48 PM

One of our teachers helped her students make compositions of items found in nature and then they photographed and put it to music. It was beautiful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: Metchosin
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 12:00 AM

And I also remember a kind of grass that had alternating small spikes on it and we would fortell who we would marry by plucking off a spike to the following:

Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor,
Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief,
Doctor, lawyer, Indian chief.

We used the same rhyme when skipping "pepper".


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 03:59 AM

Goose grass is also known as cleavers - covered in little tiny hooks so the whole plant, not just the seeds, can be transferred across the meadow by any passing animal.

It's good for nasty wounds when mashed up into a paste and applied to them. Helps them heal.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 04:28 AM

Well - what the F--k!



If we are moving on into eating them....one of my all time favorites (because of its effect becoming apparent within two minutes) is YARROW.



Dig up the root - chew on it near the tip of the tongue - and you can feel a "novacain" type numbness spread.



The American Indians have used its root for "tooth-ache."



Sincerely,

Gargoyle



I'd suggest smoking indian tobacco - but no one should be encouraged towards a vice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: GUEST, Topsie
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 06:37 AM

When people had goosegrass stuck to their clothes we used to say it meant they were in love (presumably having been dallying in the hedgerows and lying in the long grass).


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Subject: RE: BS: Children's games with plants
From: MBSLynne
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 07:03 AM

We used to throw the seeds of goosegrass, and lots of other burrs, seeds etc too, at people then count how many had stuck. That was supposed to tell how many boyfriends/girlfriends you had.

Love Lynne


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