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"Ring Around the Rosie" was a game and song played by young children, that originated on Earth around the 19th century. A simple game, "Ring Around the Rosie" was played when any number of children joined hands and formed a circle around an object. They would then circle while singing a nursery rhyme, and at the conclusion of the final verse, the children collectively drop to the ground, after which, they could stand up and repeat the process.
- Ring around the rosy,
- Pocket full of posy;
- Ashes! Ashes!
- We all fall down!
The children of the Starnes Exploration Party, consisting of Tommy Starnes, Don Linden, Mary Janowski, Ray Tsing Tao, and Steve O'Connel, asked Captain Kirk to play with them following their discovery and introduction to the USS Enterprise landing party on Triacus in 2268. They all joined hands and circled Kirk as they sang the accompanying verses.
This event came to be much of a shock to Kirk, Spock, and Doctor Leonard McCoy, who watched this game being played while the lifeless bodies of their parents lay nearby. McCoy later attributed their odd behavior to lacunar amnesia. (TOS: "And the Children Shall Lead")