Barley-Bright is an old game that's most fun played at night.

Choose two children to be the Witch and the Witch's Helper. Create 3 bases in a long line. 1st base is Home base, where the players are safe. 2nd base should be between 1st base and 3rd base. The Witch's Helper stands on 2nd base. 3rd base is called Barley-Bright.

The players cover their eyes while the Witch hides. Meanwhile, the Witch's Helper counts to 100. After counting, the players and the Witch's Helper chant the following lines to each other....

How Many Miles to Barley Bright? - American Children's Songs - The USA - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


Then the players run and try to reach 3rd base (Barley-Bright) and then back to Home base again without getting caught. When they pass 2nd base the Witch's Helper can try to tag them out. Note that they have to touch 3rd base before returning to Home base. Meanwhile, the Witch who was hiding, can jump out from anywhere trying to tag the players out.

The players keep racing from Home to 3rd base and back again as many times as there are players - so if there are 5 players they go from Home to 3rd base and back again 5 times.

If the Witch and her Helper can tag out half the players in that amount of time, they win and the first two players who were tagged are the new Witch and Witch's Helper.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Image from The Little Colonel's Holidays (1901) by Annie Fellows Johnston.