On Pie

Its Pi Day. March 14th, or 3/14 or 3.14. Pi!
Of course, for those that love wordplay, that also means its Pie day. When I poked my head into Dad's office this morning to inform him of the date, he inquired after the possibility of getting pie with dinner tonight. (I'm playing housekeeper for the week, as Mom is visiting Grandparents with the youngers.) I think I can manage that.
I stood at the kitchen sink washing up breakfast dishes, enjoying the feeling of aliveness that comes with hot water running over my hands (as well as the baseboard heater blowing warm air on my bare feet) and doing a mental inventory of what we might have in the house for making pies. My thoughts of "what should I make?" triggered a long forgotten memory of one of my favorite childhood games.

Witch and the Pie (sometimes known as Pieman, Pieman) is hardly the kind of game you'd expect a family like mine to be playing.*  But my mom played it when she was little, so therefore we played it.
The game has different rule and forms, but this is how we played it: One person is It, she (or he) being the Witch (or wizard) ,while the rest of the kids would be the Pies in the Bakery. The Pies all sat on the front steps, deciding which flavor they'd be--anything from traditional fruit and custard pies, to more... creative choices, like Mud (we thought we were so clever)--while the Witch waited, safely out of earshot. When everyone was set in their choices, the Witch would approach the Bakery, and knock. Here's the scripted dialogue--

W (with a crone-like voice): Knock knock!
P (in chorus): Who's There!
W: Do you have any pies? (The "ies" sound must be inflected upward with increasing pitch)
P: What kind do you want?

At this point the Witch would start naming off types of pie; when she hit upon one that had been selected by a Pie, the unfortunate thing would then take off running, frantically circling our little white World War II era house, with Witch in hot pursuit. The Pie was safe if she made it back to the Bakery un-touched, but if the Witch overtook and tagged the Pie, the Pie became the Witch for the next round. Simple, Sweet, Scary. We played it endlessly.
I decided on Apple Pie with a lattice crust, because food should be pretty, vanilla ice cream on the side.
Happy Pi(e) Day!

*I mean, we categorically rejected Harry Potter (until I was 18, but that's another story) and taped together the pages of a picture book that contained illustrations of a witch because it might scare and corrupt (we cut the tape one day when I was in highschool, because after Lord of the Rings, how scary could it possibly be?) By the way, this is not meant to be seen as casting aspersions on my family. These are the stories that, I feel, add character to my life, and I wouldn't change a thing. If you come to my house now, you can join the philosophical discussion on the virtues and vices of Harry Potter and cast your eyes upon the relic of that picture book. Its going on 23 years old. 

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