Pulling the Goose
Another amusement, but not for the faint-of-heart, was the racing of horse and sleighs along what would one day be Washington Avenue. There have been rumors that wagers were placed on these races although no confirming evidence can be found, possibly because horse racing was banned in most of the Dutch colonies, not that that ever stopped anyone. And then there was a game called "Pulling the Goose". Pulling the Goose was a year-round game, played on the river in boats in Summer and on skates in Winter. Here is an excerpt from our book "A Dutch Christmas in Old Second River 1697", that describes the game -
"A popular pastime, though outlawed in New Amsterdam and either forbidden or frowned upon elsewhere in the colonies, but practiced everywhere, was called ‘pulling the goose’. An unfortunate bird would have it’s head heavily greased and be hung by it’s feet across the stream or, any available icy lane would do. Skaters would rush past, grabbing at the greasy head. The winner was he who could pull the goose free. His prize was generally the goose. Those who failed would often find themselves in a most uncomplimentary posture on the ice and be subjected to the laughter of the others."
Try out the new feature we have added to the Blog. Over in the right side frame is a "Word of the Day in Italian" where you can learn the language a word or phrase at a time, just in case you are planning a trip to Rome. There is a full sized graphic version of it on our website at the bottom of the Home page. There, you can click on the large speaker icon and the word will be pronounced correctly. Click on the small speaker icon and the sample sentence using the word will be spoken. This is an experimental feature, let us know if you like it and we will keep it. Don't forget our new eMail address for the Blog is firstname.lastname@example.org .