Cootie Catcher by GennaRose Nethercott

Regardless of its title, chances are you’ve used the cootie catcher just the way I did: as a two-person game designed to tell brief, randomized fortunes. Like most folk traditions, evolving and adapting under the influence of many thinkers and makers throughout time, the catcher’s true origins are unclear, with some accounts tracking them all the way back to 17th-century Europe. We do know that the device was popularized in the United States during the 1950s. From there, it bloomed into one of the nation’s most popular children’s folk traditions, right up there with Bloody Mary in the mirror and “light as a feather, stiff as a board.” Traveling onwards between friendship-braceleted hands, stuffed into pockets, and torn from diary pages, the cootie catcher spread across the world.

Editor’s note–I really enjoyed this! Hope you do too. It’s worth reading all of it.

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About Miriam Sagan

I'm blogging about poetry, land art, haiku, women artists, road trips, and Baba Yaga at Miriam's Well ( The well is ALWAYS looking to publish poetry on our themes, sudden fiction, and guest bloggers and musers.

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