We continue to review children’s games from the USSR era, and in this article we’ll describe the boys’ game – “elephant”.

This is another very popular game that was played by boys during recess at school – in a school yard or even in the hallway of the school, and in their spare time from school and doing homework – in the backyards of their houses.

To play “elephant” you needed to have at least 5-6 participants.

Boys were divided into two teams. The first team created an “elephant” – the first player leaned forward, the second behind him, grasping the first by the waist and so on – like a snake.

The players from the second team at a run jumped on the “elephant”, while trying to destroy the formation with their weight.

Once all of the players from the second team were on the “elephant”, the “elephant” had to without getting disconnected walk 1-2 meters to the marked line on the ground or simply a laid down tree branch.

It was forbidden to jump while on top of the “elephant” to make the “elephant” disintegrate. Boys who were on the “elephant” team were also forbidden to throw off riders, it was said that “the elephant – is not a horse, it doesn’t kick.”

After the second member of the second team jumped on the “elephant”, no movements to change spots were allowed, that is, you couldn’t get more comfortable. And sometimes boys who landed badly fell off by themselves from the back of the “elephant” even before the “elephant” began moving, and even more so when it moved. Boys sometimes were literally hanging off the “elephant”.

Those who built an “elephant” had to protect their heads so they did not accidentally get kneed.

The tricks of playing the elephant game

Those players, who jumped up on the “elephant”, first discussed the strategy: they chose a weak link and tried to jump on top of that particular boy.

Those who were on the “elephant” team tried to put the tallest boys in the back of an elephant. This created difficulties in jumping on the “elephant”. And furthermore, some boy, who ran too fast could incidentally jump over an “elephant” the “back” of which was lower towards the head. And you were not allowed to jump again.

When constructing an “elephant” weak boys were alternated with stronger ones, so that such a chain could keep the “elephant” together.

See also: 3. Crocodile  >>>


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