Grandma and Grandpa’s house didn’t have much in the way of entertainment for kids. There was never anything worth watching on a Sunday afternoon (this was before I found M*A*S*H* entertaining). There were no toys, no video games, and the only jigsaw puzzles Grandma owned were those really tough 500-piece puzzles.
Despite all this, I was never bored, especially when all my cousins were around. Tía Lupe and her five sons — all older than me — lived directly across the street. Tía Lucy and tía Mary also lived nearby. Together they could add nine kids to the mix. Tío Johnny lived further away, but he’d often visit on Sundays too. And of course, my siblings and I were down for games. We’d easily have a group of a dozen kids ready for a game. [Note: my dad’s younger siblings’ children were too young to play or not born yet.]
We played freeze tag and other variations on tag. When we tired, we’d sit on the broad porch and play war or old maid with a deck of cards (but hiding them from Grandpa who didn’t approve). My favorite game was Colored Eggs.
First we’d ask who was in an who was just a spectator. The spectator cousins — usually the younger ones — would be forced to sit up at the top of the porch out of the way of those in the game. Next, all cousins would put in a single foot to choose a Wolf via the “eeny, meeny, miny, mo” method.
Once the Wolf was chosen, the remaining players would take seats on the porch and silently choose a color for his/her egg. The Wolf would stand out in the middle of the front yard and eye his cousins on the porch steps suspiciously.
Wolf: knock, knock.
Kids (I think we were supposed to be chicks): what do you want?
Wolf: an egg!
Kids: what color?
Wolf: [chooses color] purple!
Kids: we don’t have that color!
Wolf: [chooses another color] sky blue!
At that moment, the cousin who chose sky blue would jump down the steps and begin running around the house in the counter clockwise direction as the Wolf gave chase to get his egg. The rest of us would get up to see from the edge of the porch was our cousin dodged plants, stray cats and parked cars in the driveway and tried to make it back to the porch safe. If the Wolf caught her, then she’d have to trade places and become the wolf. If not, the game would continue with the same Wolf. (Bea, if I have any of the details wrong, please correct me. My guess is your memory about this game would be more accurate.)
I hated being chased or being the Wolf as most of my other cousins were older and could run faster. It was still fun, even if I did end up scraping my knee or dirtying my dress.
La Pregunta: What was your favorite game as a kid?
I’m defining game as an indoor or outdoor competitive activity without any props that required electricity or batteries. The only energy you needed was the kind you get with a large group of kids.