Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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Did you play Beetle when you were a child?

Last Wednesday I went to the Merched y Wawr meeting.[1] It was a special social evening for Welsh learners so instead of the usual talk, we were to play the game "Beetle".

I haven't played Beetle for years, but we used to play both as a family and at "Beetle Drives" held as part of the local Methodist church's social evenings.

Some of you will have played Beetle, I'm sure, but if you haven't, it's a simple game. All you need is paper, pen or pencil and a dice[2]. Any number can play, but for this kind of organised game you arrange four people per table. The first person throws the dice and if they get a six, they begin by drawing the beetle's body. If it's any other number, the dice is passed to the next person who throws the dice in turn. As soon as your beetle has a body, you can add a leg (by throwing a 3) or a wing (a 4). When you've added a head (5), you can also give your beetle eyes (1) and feelers (2). These numbers may vary depending on where you play the game and our beetles didn't have wings and instead had a tail, but the principle is the same. The first person to complete their beetle with body, head, six legs, two wings, two eyes and two feelers is the winner.[3] Everyone then adds up their score and (if it's an organised event), the winner and next highest scorer move to the next table so people get to move around and meet and chat with others.

Below you can see my beetles and my score. As you can see, I won all three games. This is a bit embarrassing because in previous months I've won the raffle twice. As I've only attended four meetings in total and I normally never win this sort of thing, it is somewhat puzzling as to how the rules of probability seem to favour me just in this location. If only you could buy lottery tickets in the hall where we meet. I'd be tempted to break the rule of a lifetime and actually buy one!

Chwilen / Beetle

It was a rather silly evening, but fun and a good icebreaker for the Welsh learners who came to join us.

[1] Merched y Wawr being the Welsh equivalent of the Women's Institute in England.

[2] Or, if you want to be pedantic and/or you're a statistician, a "die".

[3] Beetles should not have more than these, but when we were kids, we sometimes amused ourselves by adding whatever we threw to the beetle and ended up with some truly terrifying creatures sporting a myriad of legs, multiple eyes and feelers and several tails!

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