Various games are in vogue among boys, in which hopping on one foot is the principal object.
Among these is one which not only assists in strengthening the limbs, but also teaches the performers the useful art of balancing themselves upon a movable substance.
A wooden bottle, a round wooden log, or something of that description, is laid upon the ground, a mark is made at a certain distance, and the players have to hop from the mark upon the bottle, and retain their possession while they count a number agreed upon. In the olden times of Greece, this was considered an exercise of sufficient importance to give it a place at the public games.
The performer in this case had to hop upon inflated leather bags, carefully greased, and of course, by their inevitable upsettings and floundering, caused great amusement to the spectators.
The sports took place on the Dionysia, or festivals of Bacchus, when the vintage was gathered in, and the victor was appropriately rewarded with a cask of wine. The rustics in many parts of England introduce a modification of this game in their rural festivals.
Two men place themselves opposite to each other, the right knee of each being supported on a wooden cylinder, while the remaining foot is totally unsupported. When they are fairly balanced, they grasp each other by the shoulders, and endeavour to cast their opponent to the ground, while themselves retain their position upon their fickle support.
Excerpt from the book:
EVERY BOY’S BOOK: A COMPLETE ENCYCLOPÆDIA OF SPORTS AND AMUSEMENTS.
EDITED BY EDMUND ROUTLEDGE.
With more than Six Hundred Illustrations
FROM ORIGINAL DESIGNS.
LONDON: GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS,
THE BROADWAY, LUDGATE.
NEW YORK: 416, BROOME STREET.