May's Game of the Month:
"Je Vous Prends Sans Vert"

by Dagonell the Juggler

"Je vous prends sans vert" [I am caught without green] is not a game in the traditional sense of the word, but it was played during the month of May in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries in France, which is why I'm mentioning it in this month's column. Members of the "Sans-Vert" (Without Green) society pledge on May 1st to have a green bough with them at all times during the entire month of May. Any member can challenge any other member of the society to show his bough at any time and any place at any hour of the day or night. If a member cannot produce his bough, he must hold still while his challenger empties a pail of water over his head, and then he must pay a fine to the society's treasury. At the end of May, the money is used to pay for a feast for the society's members.