In this version of the game, as described by the British folklorist Alice Gomme in 1894, the picker touches the shoulder of each person in the ring with a handkerchief saying “not you”, “not you”, until the picker reaches the desired chaser, places the handkerchief on the person’s shoulder, and says “but you”. The picker then runs around the outside of the circle pursued by the chaser. Once the chaser catches the picker, the chaser is entitled to lead the picker into the centre of the ring and claim a kiss. The original picker then takes the chaser’s place in the ring and the chaser becomes the picker for the next round. Gomme describes various regional variations: In Shropshire, the two players run in opposite directions and compete to be first to reach the starting point; around London, the chase weaves in and out under the clasped hands of the other people in the ring. Gomme describes Drop Handkerchief as a variant in which there is no kissing. She also connects it to similar games such as French Jackie and Cat after Mouse.

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