Classic Childhood Game of Uncle Wiggily
The game of Uncle Wiggily is based off the children’s bedtime stories written by Howard R. Garis. Uncle Wiggily’s full name is Uncle Wiggily Longears and is the main character in the popular stories. Garis began writing his enduring tales in 1910 and continued writing them for next 30 years. Their popularity resulted in creating the board game of Uncle Wiggily in 1916.
The game was first published by Milton Bradley. Today it is owned by Hasbro and is considered one of the classic childhood games of America. With its simple and adventurous path through the forest, the game board takes the players into the storybook land imagined and shared by Garis.
In the game Uncle Wiggily Longears is in need of help for his nagging illness of rheumatism. He must go visit Dr. Possum who lives on the other side of the woods. Each player is the character of Uncle Wiggily and tries to travel to Dr. Possum’s house safely. The winner of the game is the first player to reach the Doctors home at 151 Green Moss Avenue.
Players pick cards with instructions on how to move along the board. There are two different colors of cards in which the players pick; red and yellow. A player always picks a yellow card first. If the yellow card says to ‘pick a red card’ only then will the player pick a red one.
These cards have rhymes to read which usually provide the amount of hops Uncle Wiggily moves. They can be either forward or backward. The following are some examples found in the older version of the game.
Yellow cards (examples):
- ”I’m very glad you have drawn this card. You get ten hops. Now it isn’t so hard.”
- ”Uncle Wiggily now five hops doth go. You may make them fast or make them slow.”
- ”The bunny now gets twenty hops. While in the woods the ice cream pops.
Red cards (examples):
- “Jollie Longtail the Mouse boy takes Uncle Wiggily ahead for three hops. Mr. Longears once gave Jollie some toasted cheese.”
- “The Blue-Nosed Baboon took Uncle Wiggily’s silk hat and the bunny goes back one hop to get it.”
- “Charlie Chick the little rooster chap helps Uncle Wiggily along ten hops.”
Along with the cards there are spaces on the board which give the player instructions. A player will lose a turn or 2 turns depending on if they land on the spaces of the Alligator’s den, lost in the woods, the bad pipsisewahs’s cave, the traps, the fox’s den, or the skeezicks. If a player lands in the rabbit hole, they must return to space 13.
Some of the yellow cards will instruct a player to move to a space on the game board and from there they follow the directions. Like in the following card which says, “Mrs. Cluck-Cluck wants Uncle wiggily at the hen house and from there he hops to where ever it says.” Visiting Mrs. Cluck Cluck will move a player to space 100.
The other places on the board to visit are Bow Wow Dog House, Wibble Wobble Duck Pond, the 5 and 10 Cent Store, and the Bushytail Squirrel Tree.
All the places and characters found in the game were originally written about in the storybooks. Playing the board game of Uncle Wiggily brings to life the many delightful characters and the forest in which they lived.