This game is played with a penknife. A piece of turf is usually the

best place to play. Various positions for throwing the knife are tried

by each player, following a regular order of procedure, until he

misses, when the knife is surrendered to the next in turn. When he

receives the knife each player tries the feat at which he failed

before. The last player to accomplish all the feats has the pleasure

of "pulling the peg," The peg consists of a wedge-shaped piece of wood

the length of the knife blade which is driven into the ground by the

back of the knife and must be pulled by the teeth of the unfortunate

one who was last to complete the necessary feats. The winner has the

honour of driving the peg, usually three blows with his eyes open and

three with them closed. If he succeeds in driving it out of sight the

feat is considered especially creditable and the loser is greeted with

the cry, "Root! Root!" which means that he must remove the sod and

earth with his teeth before he can get a grip on the peg top. There

are about twenty-four feats or "figures" to be gone through in a game

of mumblety peg, throwing the knife from various positions both right

and left handed. In each feat the successful result is measured by

having the knife stick into the ground at such an angle so that there

is room for two fingers to be inserted under the end of the handle

without disturbing the knife.

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