Baste the Bear

Many Strange Games' readers write to me and say, "Montegue, this year my son wants a medieval themed birthday party. Have you any suggestions for games to play?" To which I usually reply, "Baste the Bear".
Also known as Bear Keeper, Baste the Bear reached its peak of popularity in medieval times and is even featured in Brueghel's painting 'Children's Games'. One player is the bear and is tied at the waist with a rope and then gets down on his knees. The bear-keeper holds the bear on the rope and in his other hand holds a rolled up newspaper. All the other players then taunt the bear, attempting to get close enough to slap or punch him. It is the job of the bear and bear-keeper to fight back. If the bear catches a player or if the bear-keeper manages a direct hit with his newspaper then roles reverse and that player becomes the new bear.

Obviously some roles in this game are better than others.

strange games no:127

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