There’s a goose roast going on in Minnesota and the whole world is invited. Not a real goose of course, it’s totally figurative. For we, as a people, are undertaking the prolonged and laborious effort of explaining what seems like common sense to us, but comprises a mind-blowing revelation for those outside our borders. What revelation you ask? That the game “Duck, Duck, Gray (or Grey) Duck” is decidedly more awesome (and beneficial) than “Duck, Duck, Goose.”
Though sweeping statements have been issued (like You’ve Been Playing “Duck, Duck, Goose” Wrong Your Whole Life) and clever conjectures made (like 5 Reasons Why Duck Duck Gray Duck Is Infinitely Superior To Duck Duck Goose), nobody has plucked and examined the finer feathers of the game. Until now…
#6 Gray Duck is More Interesting for a Wider Array of Ages
Got a group with kindergartners, sixth graders and adults? With Duck, Duck, Goose, only the kindergartners will find a speck of amusement (and probably a lot of displeasure too if they’ve been spoiled with Duck, Duck, Gray Duck). The sixth graders are going to be bored, too aggressive or uncooperative. The adults will pretend they like playing, but they won’t (and they definitely won’t let the kids catch them, because they want to be seated and acting like they aren’t there).
What difference does Duck, Duck, Gray Duck make? A world of it! Yes, the kindergartners will probably not be able to get beyond saying much more than “duck” and “gray duck,” but a few of the bright ones can start using adjectives: like “red duck” and “pretty duck.” The sixth graders can then start making subtle remarks with their adjectives, and we all know how much middle schoolers love making subtle remarks about each other. The adults will have to try and be good examples with their choice of words. Suddenly, the simple game has gained complex dynamics!
#5 Gray Duck’s Rules are More Flexible
Somebody just wants to say “duck” and “gray duck?” That’s fine. Somebody wants to say their classmate’s name (like “Mark duck” and “Susan duck”) until they get to the gray? Go for it! Can you let a kid who’s a bit different use words that don’t make sense (like “happily duck” and “hot-wheels duck”)? You betcha’! That’s way better than being constrained to two monosyllabic types of waterfowl.
#4 Gray Duck Encourages Full-Time Participation and Listening
If there are some really awesome and funny adjectives being thrown around by veteran gray-duckers, then group members will be eagerly waiting to hear how their friends and themselves are described. It’s not just a matter of holding for the trigger word(s), it’s also about learning to listen to ideas!
#3 Gray Duck Teaches Patience
Veteran gray-duckers know how to lay down a good trick on their hair-trigger friends. A solid way is to pull the “grrr- een duck” or the even more sinister “grrr-ea-t duck!” When you get duped by these you soon learn, from pure embarrassment, to use a bit more patience (which for some kids is a really good thing). In Duck, Duck, Goose as soon as a kid hears “goo” they’re up and running; no wonder non-Minnesotans are so prone to interrupting!
#2 Gray Duck is Fun for Competitive Kids and Creative Kids
Some individuals are not competitive nor will they ever learn to be that way. Many games (like Duck, Duck, Goose) are a real drag for these people because the only interesting part is the competitive aspect. Not so for Duck, Duck, Gray Duck! Little Robert might want to get chosen so he can start labeling people as novel forms of duck. He gets a chance to come up with cool concepts. He doesn’t enjoy the chasing and getting caught aspect, and that’s okay! Or at least… until it gets boring at which point his peers will urge him to select a gray duck.
#1 Gray Duck Encourages Individuality
If you are among a group of talented gray-duckers you might learn something about yourself. It’s a chance for us to describe each other with a unique grouping of adjectives. Some are good, some are not. A few might be meaningful, many won’t.
But there is more than this: I would argue the words “duck, duck, goose” might as well be replaced by “you’re okay, you’re okay, you’re not;” whereas “orange duck, silly duck, gray duck” could easily stand for “you’re special, you’re special, you’re very special!”
I hope this further nails Duck, Duck, Goose’s figurative coffin shut and serves to prove that Minnesota had the better game all along. Other states are free to use it now, but remember who gave it to you!
Photos via: ChristopherPollard.com — Google
The personal views expressed in this post are the writers’ own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Minnesota Connected or its sponsors.