It doesn't matter your age, or where you may have grown up, chances are pretty good you played hide and seek as a child. Hide and seek is a game as popular as it is old, which has the simplest of rules. The game can be played indoors or outdoors, and depending on the size of your playing area, the seeker (also known as "it") can count to 10 or 100, while the other players hide. The player that gets found first will be "it" for the next round, and once all players are found the game will be over.
Of course like any game, there are variations of the rules. One such variation is a game is called "Sardines", where only one person hides and the others must find them, hiding with them when they find them. A common variation is where the hiders who are found help the "it" locate the other hiders, but the first person to be found still becomes "it" for the next round.
You may have heard, or used yourself, the phrase "ollie ollie oxen free" while playing tag, but whether that's the original phase or not is uncertain, as there are many versions of that also. It's thought the original may have been something like “all in free” for “all who are out can come in free”, to tell the bidding players that “it” has caught somebody to become the new “it”, and so everybody else can come out of hiding without risking getting caught.
There are cultural and demographical variations of hide and seek as well. In Australia, the game is often called "44 Homes." In India, if any of the 'hiders' touch the seeker and says 'Dhappa', then the seeker has to count again. In Brazil and Russia when "it" finds someone, they race to the spot where the "it" was counting. Whoever touches that spot first, wins the round.
This weekend, there's a good chance many of you will play a seasonal variation of hide and seek, aka an Easter egg hunt. Egg hunts can be done indoors or out, and some people choose to use real hard-boiled, decorated eggs, while others hide plastic eggs stuffed with candy. If your hunt is anything like our traditional hunt, we always count the eggs before we hide them, so we know how many eggs each kid can find, then chaos ensues until all the kids except one has their pre-determined number of eggs. Then, for the next hour, the adults who hid the eggs wander around looking for that last elusive egg, while all the kids have disappeared to check out the contents of their eggs. Fun times.
Hide and Seek is on the list of 150 things to do in Lethbridge, as part of #YQLChallenge. If you haven't joined the challenge it's FREE and it's easy to get involved. All you need to do is register yourself, your family, or perhaps a group of friends, coworkers etc. Check out the #YQLChallenge list of things to do in Lethbridge. Challenge yourself to try as many as you can, then check in online once in a while to tell us how you are doing, and keep track on your Challenge Passport.
You can visit www.lethbridge2017.ca (sorry, website no longer available) for more information and to register.
Originally published in the Lethbridge Herald on April 14th, 2017