Game name (and type): 'Queenie' (ball game)
Alternative type: guessing games, counting-out rhyme, language play

Handwritten description of the ball game 'Queenie' written for Dr Dorothy Howard by Mary Wallis, a student at Double View Government Primary School, presumably on 25 March 1955. Wallis describes 'Queenie' as a ball game requiring a large, open area and a minimum of four players. To play, she writes that a player is elected 'he' using a counting-out rhyme. Wallis transcribes her preferred rhyme: 'Your shoes need cleaning, with cherry blossom polish'. She states that children must retract their foot from the circle of players at the word 'polish'; the last to do so is pronounced 'he'. 'He' stands with his back to the players, throwing the ball over his shoulder before turning around to he say: 'Queenie, Queenie, who's got the ball?' 'He' must guess which player has hidden the ball behind their back.

One of a collection of letters describing a children's games written to children's Folklorist Dorothy Howard between 1954 and 1955. Dr Howard came to Australia in 1954-55 as an American Fulbright scholar to study Australian children's folklore. She travelled across Australia for 10 months collecting children's playground rhymes, games, play artefacts, etc. This letter, together with the other original fieldwork collected by Dr Howard during this period, is preserved in the Dorothy Howard Collection manuscript files, part of the Australian Children's Folklore Collection (ACFC), Archive Series 3. The ACFC is an extensive collection documenting children's folklore and related research.

Physical Description

Handwritten game description in pencil on lined paper. Features borders ruled in red pencil; text printed on one side only.

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