“You’re running through the forest and you’re running and you hear someone is chasing you…so you run faster and faster and then…. there’s in a hole…AND YOU FALL….and you’re falling and falling.

One girl is standing still and two other girls are moving her arms and legs while she is sinning through the forest. And then when she falls, they suddenly stop moving her limbs. “


Joanna attended many sleepovers growing up, especially during grade school. There she would watch movies, do hair and makeup, and play hand motion story games. It involved two or three girls and the motions cause you to feel a certain way. The narrator or the girl who is telling the story gets to decide when the girl falls. She tries really hard to do it at an unexpected time. This was one of the more popular things to do at sleepover parties.

Using a paradigmatic analysis for this piece we question why this specific folklore is passed down? Why do the girls like doing this? The answer is simple. During a sleepover, girls usually stay in the house. It is different than baking cookies or watching movies. This type of play is a manner in which they can experience the sensations of doing something dangerous without really being in danger. It relates back to the idea that children have an innate urge to rebel. It produces different feeling and sensation in the body, which the girls find curious. It goes along the same principle for why children spin around in a circle really fast over and over until they’re dizzy. When they stop, everything is blurry and unclear. This new sensation makes them want to do it over and over again. Similarly, the hand motion story goes along the same lines.

Yet, why does the girl feel like she’s falling? When someone is moving really fast or is in constant motion, the body gains some momentum. When it suddenly stops, it’s like your body crashes into a wall. All the organs in your body react to this rapid deceleration. Moreover, A person’s muscles are limp when others are moving them, so when they stop, her arms and legs need time to readjust to equilibrium. These brief few seconds of reestablishment create the impression of falling down a hole.