The following nursery excerpts are from the book Mama Goose: A Latino Nursery Treasury by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, illustrated by Marible Suarez (New York: Hyperion Books, 2004). Lullabies, sayings, nursery rhymes, jump-rope songs, riddles, and much more can be found. Spanish and English versions are provided side by side.
As I read through them, they provoked associations to events in my life. For you, they will bring to mind other thoughts and memories.
".... Yo quiero dormirla,
Ella abre los ojos
y juega que juega."
KA: I'm a night owl, and the little girl's inside me. She wants to stay awake all night, but I keep looking at the clock because I have to get up tomorrow and go to work.
".... Mereces cuna de oro
y no la tengo
pero tienes, tesoro,
todos mis besos. ...."
KA: Some of us may not have a lot of cash in the bank, but there's always a gift of love or consideration we can pull out of our back pocket.
"Dos palomitas en un palomar
la una se fue, la otra tambien.
Dos palomitas en un palomar
una volvio, la otra tambien."
KA: The two doves are my heart and my physical body. My heart always yearns to fly off to exotic places that are calling my name. If the pull is strong enough, I soon find myself on the road again. Inevitably though, the comfort of familiar surroundings beckons the heart home.
"Al paso, al paso, al paso,
al trote, al trote, al trote,
al galope, al galope, al galope."
KA: Are your mornings like this?! Only a procrastinator would understand.
"Quien fue a Sevilla
perdio su silla."
KA: I've started over at the bottom so many times that I'm starting to forget what color the sky is. From the toad stuck in the mud up to her eyeballs. (Regular LatinoLA readers will recall my ongoing serial "Retail Hell" articles.)
"Doncella del prado
que al campo salis
a coger las flores
de mayo y abril. ...."
KA: The sight warms the eyeballs of old men. For middle-aged women, I suppose we feel a mixture of envy and sadness. You're only 21 once. Which reminds me, can someone come up with another metaphor for women besides flowers, something to grow into and feel proud of?
"Un cuento que no se acaba
ya lo veras.
El final es el principio
y el principio es el final.
Quieres que te lo cuente otra vez?"
KA: (singing) "In the circle, the circle of l-i-i-fe."