Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Mexican-American Great Grandmother Passes on Some Nursery Rhymes

By the time Ana arrived on Earth she had already taught herself passable English, and studied some Spanish, French, and other Indo-European languages, thanks to her years of study on the moon. She was lacking many of the fine points, of course, including the homey kinds of language characteristic of family life, with children. Fortunately, she was able to fill in many of those empty areas.

She learned a great deal of Spanish from her husband's grandmother, Reyes Méndez, including a number of nursery rhymes and simple poems. Ana found them useful language-learning devices, being easy to remember and full of good vocabulary words. She happily passed them along to her children!

The catchy verses below are among her favorites, for their cheery, humorous meaning and their rhyming patterns. If you read them out loud in reasonably accurate Spanish, you might enjoy their music too. Interlinear translations are provided for those whose Spanish may be a little rusty.

Ojos de sapo, patas de rana,
que tengas suerte toda la semana!

Toad's eyes, frog's feet,
May you have good luck all week!

¡Alas de murciélago, cola de lombriz,
que hoy y siempre seas muy feliz!

Bat's wings, earthworm's tail
May you be happy today and always!

¡Muelas de hipopótamo, cuernos de dragón,
que nunca nadie hiera tu corazón!

Hippopotamus molars, dragon's horns,
May no one break your heart!

¡Dientes de culebra, huesos de chucho,
NUNCA olvides que te quiero mucho!

Snake's fangs, hound's teeth
NEVER forget that I love you a lot!

¡Uñas de gato, plumas de gallina,
que siempre te lleves bien con la vecina!

Kitty's claws, rooster's feathers,
May you always get along well with the neighbor!


Escobita, escobita,
que cada año me ponga más bonita.
Sapo, sapito,
que este año me vaya mejorcito.
Caldero, calderito,
que me abunde el dinerito!


Little broom, little broom,
May each year make me more pretty.
Toad, little toad,
May this year go a little better.
Cauldron, little cauldron,
May I have an abundance of money!


There are more of Ana's favorite poems in the right column about halfway down, under the LOVE sculpture.

1 comment:

Mireille Noël said...

What a nice poem. I will use it all day. I must confess that ana have a very good taste. I have seen a lot of literature, cats and pizzas around this Carnet.

Thanks for this beautiful words.

I will be back for more readind.

Bonne journée!