Two children place their clenched fists one on the top of the other. The kid whose fist is on top is asked "What have you got there?"
He replies, "Apple pie" (or any other food). Then he's told, "Take it off or else I'll knock it off!" and the kid obeys; and so on till the last hand. Then the dialogue goes…

What Have You Got There? Bread and Cheese - English Children's Songs - England - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


*At the end, the players have to keep a straight face for as long as possible. The game ends when someone finally breaks into a laugh and receives a pinches from the other child.


There are variations of this game, please email me to share your version.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

A version of this rhyme can be found in "Shropshire Folk-Lore: A Sheaf of Gleanings" edited by Charlotte Sophia Burne (London, 1883) and "Nursery Rhymes and Tales, Their Origins and History" by Henry Bett (London, 1924).

Image: Image: Detail of "Still Life with Herring, Bread, and Cheese" (1858, Oil on Canvas) by Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps.