If you are on the beach at Dinas’ Aberbach or Aberfforest it won’t take you long to gather a handful of perfect ‘duck and drake’ slates from the high-tide line. While you are skimming them across the water, here is a rhyme to accompany your success:
A duck and a drake
And a halfpenny cake
With a penny to pay the old baker.
A hop and a scotch
Is another notch
Slitherum, slatherum, take her.
This rhyme, from ‘The Real Mother Goose” 1916 has many older versions and the Oxford English Dictionary’s first reference to the game dates back to 1583.
I think that the world record is somewhere around 50 skips, but that must have been reached on a lake. The waves on our beaches make achieving really high numbers more of a challenge. For inspiration, click here