How to play Mumblety-peg Pocket Knife Game

Source of Photograph: Library of Congress. Boys playing ‘Mumble-the-Peg’ Peekskill NJ 1917 LOC 24912u

Moms, you want your son off video screens – right? One way is to give him something he can do with his hands. For boys who have learned to be responsible there is nothing like a nice pen knife to spend hours fiddling, making small lashed items and playing Mumblety-peg.

The game Mumblety-peg has nearly been lost. And I don’t mean the modern version which requires throwing a knife as close to his foot as possible, then stretching out his foot to touch the knife until one of the two contestants can’t stand anymore. And I certainly don’t mean the new game where a boy stabs the knife between his fingers, faster and faster until he stabs himself or chickens out or can’t go any faster. Instead, I am talking about the game from the 17th century.

Here is the description from Encyclopedia Britannica: Continue reading

Can a Boy Be Too Wild?


Wild at Heart is a book by John Eldredge in which he began a conversation about the role of masculinity in the Evangelical Church. It was needed in 2001, when the book was first published, and is still needed today.

If you know me or read this blog you know I strongly believe that we need to allow our boys to be “wild” and develop their masculine side. But can boys be too wild? Can wild go from “healthy” to “unhealthy?” Lets rephrase the question.

If you ask “can a boy be too masculine?” I say “no.”

But if you ask “can a boy be too macho?” I say “yes.”

Can a boy be too crude? I say “yes.”

It is time we begin to allow true masculinity to flourish, and separate it from crudeness and foolish macho behavior. I don’t believe for a moment that to be a true gentleman a boy has to give up his masculine side. ┬áHe has to be taught when and where certain behaviors are acceptable. He has to learn self control of his masculine side, not total denial. Continue reading