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Goose V. Gray Duck

February 25, 2009 |

Post to the Host:
Were you aware that in most of the country children play 'Duck duck goose' but that in Minnesota they play 'Duck duck gray duck'? I discovered this almost 20 years ago and have always wondered how this great schism came about. Any insights?

Shannon W.


I grew up with "Duck, Duck, Gray Duck" but I've heard my daughter play "Duck, Duck, Goose" and wonder if maybe the Goose version isn't the book version and maybe Montessori teachers learn that one and that's become the official one for daycare usage, and the Gray Duck was the folk version passed from one generation of children to another.

Children these days are much more under adult influence than we were back in the day, Shannon. We played games that our elders were barely aware of and passed on childlore that today, I'm afraid, are no longer part of childhood. But who knows? My daughter goes off upstairs with her friends and I can hear them laughing up there and then suddenly there is quiet, intense silence, and time passes, and when they come down, I say, "What were you doing?" And the answer, as it always used to be and always will be, is "Nothing."

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