Puss in the Corner

  • Puss in the corner is a centuries-old game for five players, which is usually played on a square area.
  • The game is first recorded in early 18th century, in the work of William King, poet/writer. According to a source dated 1813, the game was intended to ridicule the scrambling for places and was particularly popular in the aftermath of the 1688 Glorious Revolution, marking a shift to constitutional monarchy in England.
  • A yard, court, room, or other square area with four corners, posts, or trees equidistant from one another is chosen as the playing arena.
  • One player is nominated "Puss" and takes his place in the center of the arena. Each of the other four players selects one of the corners and takes their place there.
  • Play begins with the four corner players attempting to exchange places with each other in any direction. "Puss" attempts to gain a corner during the exchange. Should he succeed, the player left without a corner becomes "Puss" and takes the place in the center of the arena. Play resumes in a similar manner.
  • Obviously the gist of the game is whirling around the corners, trying dodging the puss, rather than sticking to a corner; and occasionally finding yourself in the middle of everything with no base to hold. Hence it is good advice to keep attempting exchanging corners; otherwise it may feel like a mere scrambling for places.