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duck on a rock

  1. (sometimes hyphenated) A longstanding children's game in which multiple players stand behind a throwing line and each takes a turn throwing a stone (sometimes called a "duck") at a target rock (sometimes called the "drake") that is guarded by another player, such that when a player's thrown stone dislodges the target rock all the players run to retrieve their thrown stones, while the guard replaces the target and then attempts to tag a player before he or she can return to the throwing line. If the guard successfully tags a player, then the guard and player swap roles.
    • 1884, William Wells Newell, Games and Songs of American Children, page 189:
      No. 146. Duck on a Rock.
    • 1911, Boy Scouts Handbook 1st edition, p. 304:
      Duck-on-a-Rock: This is a good old grandfather game.
    • 1919, Arthur Scott Bailey, chapter 13, in The Tale of Major Monkey:
      And then he looked on while they played games—hide-and-seek, and duck-on-the-rock, and follow-my-leader, and ever so many others.
    • 2012 July 5, Sam Anderson, "LeBron James Is a Sack of Melons," New York Times (retrieved 8 Sep 2015):
      [B]asketball . . . is . . . cobbled together out of irreconcilable parts: James Naismith invented it, out of desperation, with a peach basket and a football and the rules of an old children’s game called Duck on a Rock.

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