A few years back when l was still a little boy, hide-and-seek seemed to be the most enjoyable game there was.
My brother, two sisters and I would spend hours just playing this game almost every day. Hide-and-seek seems to hold a certain fascination for little children. Even today I still do play it with my youngest sister who is four years old. There is always the suspense of looking for someone hidden followed by the inevitable squeals of laughter at being discovered. It is pure clean fun.
We used to hide under beds, behind cupboards, up on trees and even inside drains. No place seemed too dirty. Sometimes we really soiled our clothes and thus received a scolding from our mother, but still, we persisted, much to her dismay.
In those younger days, when we grew tired of playing hide-and-seek, we would change to “catching”. This was a much more energetic game where my older brother usually caught the rest of us when it was his turn to do the catching. The youngest of my sisters at that time would have great difficulty trying to catch us. Owing to the discrepancy in size and speed, the quicker one always won, leaving the slower one disappointed. So this game was not very popular with us.
Other times we would play blindman’s buff. This game always produced hilarious moments when the blindfolded one invariably lost his or her sense of direction and became totally confused. It was not a pleasant thing to become disoriented
As we grew older we were allowed to play with the neighborhood children. The favorite game then was rounders. With an old tennis ball and a piece of wood that served as a bat, we would play for hours on end in an empty lot near our house. This game really developed our skills. It was not easy hitting a tennis ball coming towards one at speed. Neither was it easy fielding and catching a flying ball. Also, this game taught me the importance of strategy. The object of the game was to get as many runs as possible. So it was vital to know how to field the ball to prevent the opponent from making runs.
Those were some of the outdoor games I used to play. Usually in the evenings after dinner, we were not allowed to go outdoors. So we played indoor games like ludo, snakes and ladders and other board games. They were very much different from outdoor dames for they did not require much physical effort. Some strategy and a lot of luck are required. So it was. not surprising that My younger sister, who has a lot of luck, would win most of the time. ! did not seem to be very lucky in these games. So,l seldom win. Physical strength was useless in these games. So was temper and impatience.
Nowadays the games I play are no longer those I played as a child. Hide-and-seek, catching, and ludo do not have the great appeal they had before. However, I realize that these childhood games were necessary for me to develop my muscles and coordination before I could tackle more demanding games. For that, I am thankful that I had played them.
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