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SNÆ #3. 2014
papa westray
Then, at about eight or ten yards from our den there were two heavier stones laid, one on the top of the other, the heavier one being underneath. The boy for this " dicko " stone was chosen and then the game began in earnest. We had to throw our stone from the den and try to knock off the upper one (i.e., the " dicko " stone). This was rather difficult to do and intendedly so. After we had thrown our stone we had to go out beside it and wait there till we saw our chance of running to the den. That chance came when the " dicko " stone was knocked off the lower one, or when another boy's stone struck our one. But when the " Dicko " stone was knocked off it was up to each boy to lift his stone and run to the den with it, while the " dicko " boy was putting on the stone. If he then caught anyone before the latter reached the den, he had to run and turn off the "dicko" stone and betake himself to the "den." The boy he had caught had to be " dicko " then, and so on till another boy was caught.

But that game in my little school came to a rather bad ending. One day a boy who was over eager to get back to the den, rushed for his stone before the right time, and in so rushing he happened to go in the direct "line of fire," and so got the stone of another boy full on the head. Then you must remember he got the stone with all the force the boy could throw it, as the boy was trying to knock off the " dicko" stone, not this boy's head. Of course he fell down immediately and we ran for our teacher as we thought the boy was dead. We were all very much excited, and I think our teacher was the same. She saw that there was still life, and I imagine yet I see her going up the road with that boy. He was many weeks in bed, but after a time he got all right again. But that ended our " dicko" and I never played at it again, nor indeed saw it being played.

Then we had " Picko," and football at Christmas. We were wont each to contribute so much towards the buying of a football. This football was made by an islander who filled it with corks, etc., so you will know it was pretty hard. Then it went its rounds as one boy would take it home one evening, another, another. Of course we were very proud when we got the ball for a night.

Another game we were wont to play in going home from school was the getting out on the " pickies." These were just the rocks out in the water, around which the sea ebbed and flowed. The tide is very strong around our islands, and when the wave was out the channel between the " pickie " and the shore would be quite dry. Then we would rush out on to the " pickie " and wait there, just a group of us, till the water came sweeping in again. Not infrequently it came right up over the rock, but we did not care. We were quite delighted, just in our element. We thought it a very brave thing to do. We almost imagined when we got out there that we were on another island, and so away from home, seeing a bit of the world.
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written in 1921 and published in SNÆ #3. 2014
papa westray
papa westray

© LAND ART (papa westray) 2007