Hunt the Squirrel
DESCRIPTION: "Hunt the squirrel through the wood, I lost him, I found him; I have a little dog at home, He won't bite you, He won't bite you, And he *will* bite you."
EARLIEST DATE: 1939 (Linscott-FolkSongsOfOldNewEngland)
KEYWORDS: playparty animal hunting dog
FOUND IN: US(NE) New Zealand
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Linscott-FolkSongsOfOldNewEngland, pp. 37-38, "Lucy Locket" (1 text, 1 tune, which has the "I Wrote a Letter" verse, the "Little dog" verse, and the "Lucy Locket" verse but which is said by Linscott to use the "Hunt the Squirrel" game)
Botkin-TreasuryOfAmericanFolklore, p. 806, "Hunt the Squirrel (Itisket, Itasket)" (1 text)
Newell-GamesAndSongsOfAmericanChildren, #117, "Hunt the Squirrel" (1 text, 1 tune, with the tune being "Itisket" but the game being "Hunt the Squirrel")
Stout-FolkloreFromIowa 104, p. 133, "Nursery Rhyme" (1 text of two verses, the first being "Yankee Doodle" and the second "Lucy Locket/Hunt the Squirrel")
Sutton-Smith-NZ-GamesOfNewZealandChilden/FolkgamesOfChildren, p. 30, ""I sent a letter to my love"; "I had a little dog"; "Lucy Locket" (3 texts, the first being of the "Atisket, Atasket (I Sent a Letter to My Love)" type, the second of the "Hunt the Squirrel" type, the third being "Lucy Locket," but all apparently used for the same game)
ST BAF806 (Full)
cf. "Atisket, Atasket (I Sent a Letter to My Love)" (floating lyrics, playparty form)
cf. "Lucy Locket" (floating lyrics)
NOTES [194 words]: Botkin, following Newell-GamesAndSongsOfAmericanChildren, lumps this with "Atisket, Atasket." There is, however, little contact in the lyrics; if they are connected, it is because both are used as platforms for the "drop glove" playparty game. For details, see the notes on "Atisket, Atasket (I Sent a Letter to My Love)."
Linscott-FolkSongsOfOldNewEngland has still a different version, opening with the verse "Lucy Locket lost her pocket, Kitty Fisher found it, There was not a penny in it, only ribbon 'round it." This also occurs in nursery rhymes (see Baring-Gould-AnnotatedMotherGoose #279, p. 165, "(Lucy Locket lost her pocket)"). But the second verse is the "I wrote a letter to my love," and the third is "I have a little dog at home" -- plus she says the game is "Hunt the Squirrel." So I file the piece here. Possibly it should be with "Atisket, Atasket (I Sent a Letter to My Love)." Or maybe the two should be lumped.... - RBW
Verse 1 of Linscott is the same as Opie/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes 312, "Lucy Locket" (earliest date in Opie/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes is 1842). - BS
This is also the name of an English country dance. - PJS
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