Game type: 'Donkey's Tail' (party game), 'Butcher, Milkman, Grocer' (games with music)
Alternative types: blindfold games, elimination games, circle games, games with shapes, play with props/equipment

Typed descriptions of the party game 'Donkey's Tail' written by Brian Hussey and the game with music 'Butcher, Milkman, Grocer' composed by Beverley Sinclair, students at Errol Street Primary School, for Dr Dorothy Howard in August 1954. It has been assumed that Dr Howard typed these versions of the original descriptions at a later date. To play 'Donkey's Tail', Hussey explains that each player is blindfolded and given a pin with a tail attached. He writes that players are spun around five times before they attempt to correctly place the tail on an illustration of a donkey placed on a wall, providing a handdrawn diagram to illustrate his description. Hussey states that this continues until a child successfully places the tail.

Sinclair describes 'Butcher, Milkman, and Grocer' as a game suitable for girls and boys, which she plays at the Salvation Army Hall all year round. To play, she explains that three rings featuring the first letter of either butcher, milkman or grocer are drawn on the ground around which the players form a circle. The players march around the rings to music. When the music stops, Sinclair states that players must run and stand inside one of the rings. Another child, who sits with eyes closed on the game's side, calls out the name of one ring, whose occupants are eliminated from the game. Sinclair notes that the last child remaining is declared the winner.

One of a collection of letters describing a children's game 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

Typed game descriptions in black ink on paper. Features text on one side of page only.

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