What’s the Time Mr Wolf? – LM and SL
A long long time ago, in a land far far away, when dinosaurs frolicked in the meadows and unicorns gave rides to fairies, I was a kid.
And as a kid I played a game called “What’s the time Mr Wolf?”
The kid who is “the wolf” turns his face to the wall or garage door, and all the other kids stand behind a “line” say fifteen metres away. The kids start stepping slowly towards the wolf, chanting as they go, “What’s the time Mr Wolf?”
The wolf whips round and shouts “One o’clock!” and all the kids must freeze. If you are caught moving, then you become the wolf. No-one is moving? Then the wolf turns his back and the kids advance some more.
“What’s the time Mr Wolf?”
“Two o’clock!” Freeze, giggle. “Three o’clock!” etc
This proceeds until the kids have nearly reached the wolf. If one of the kids manages to touch the wolf while his back is turned then the kids win, and the wolf stays “on” being the wolf. A trick is sometimes to run full speed at the wolf and try to catch him unawares, but often this back-fires and you get caught moving. Besides, it is much more fun to creep slowly towards the wolf!
When a kid has nearly reached the wolf and they chant again, “What’s the time Mr Wolf?” the wolf spins round and shouts, “Dinner time!” Then the wolf chases all the kids back towards the line. If the wolf catches a kid before he has reached the line, then that kid is now the wolf.
This provided lots of fun as a kid!
So, why do I bring it up now? Well, Mr Spaghetti Legs plays this game with me every time we get back from our walk.
He and Little Monkey have to sit on the driveway (it is safe, the automatic gate is closed) and they have to Stay! I walk away and through the little side gate, then I call them.
LM does this exercise easily; thousands of days of training, and it is a game to her, because when I call her she flies past me into the garden to check if there are any squirrels or cats hiding in the corner tree.
Mr SL however, just wants to follow me and he wants his supper, so it is very hard for him to stay.
This is what happens. Stay – they stay – I turn round and start to walk, then like Mr Wolf, I suddenly turn round, to see – LM staying, but Mr SL has crept forward a step. He freezes when I turn round – as the game demands – and blinks his little eyes, and looks away, saying, “I wasn’t really following you, Mum.”
Stay again and if he has crept too far, take him back to square one. Turn round, walk away, turn back – Mr SL freeze – and so on.
It is hilarious! But he is getting much better at staying.
Why do I bother you ask? It is all part of discipline and respect. There may be a time when it saves a dog’s life, when your dog has got out, and is about to run across the road to you, and you bellow STAY! and it does stay, because it is programmed to.
It saved Sparky the squirrel once, but that is tomorrow’s story!