During this time my father was in a labor camp, for the crime of wanting to leave the country. Alone, and with few provisions, as my mother struggled to care for us, she was struck with inspiration. One day she went out to the back patio to do the wash and saw a cute little frog sitting by the door to the kitchen. My mother has always liked frogs, and this little frog by the kitchen door gave her an idea...
My father and I were very close, but I did not always get along with my mother, so even though she was a marvelous cook, I had never been interested in learning her cooking secrets. However, after my father’s death, I witnessed my mother’s severe deterioration and overwhelming sadness. Looking for a way to engage her, I had the idea to ask her to teach me how to cook like her...
Mamina loved when her daughters sang her songs and games with her grandchildren. Now we sing them with OUR grandchildren, her great-grandchildren. I picture her smiling as we do so. I believe she is happy that we remember and are keeping the traditions going.
Here is a favorite of the little ones. It is done by placing the child on your lap, facing you. The rhyme is said as you lower the child back, away from you (while holding on to their hands or arms or even supporting their head, depending on the child's age). Then you pull the child towards you. The leaning back and forth is like a seasaw, or wood sawing motion.
Los Maderos de San Juan
Los de Juan piden pan
Los de Pedro piden queso
Los de Enrique, alfeñique
riqui, riqui, riqui….
Sawdust, sawing wood
The woodworks of St. John
Those who are John's ask for bread
Those of Peter ask for cheese
Those of Henry, little sugar figurines
(the riqui, riqui is the sound you make as you tickle them)
Here is a short video, so you can see it done. My little grandson, Link, loves Aserrin, Aserran! Towards the end we are playing another game, TOPI, TOPI, TOPI TO. No translation, just sounds as you touch heads together.
I don't know if there really are different versions of Aserrin, Aserran, or if Mamina sanitized it for her children's sake. Either way, this is my mother's version.
Anyone else remember it this way?