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EL GATO Y EL RATON

Ahí viene el gato y el ratón,
a darle combate al tiburón.
Ratón, que te cojo,
que te cojí,
detrás de la mata de ajonjolí.

 

 

This is a “song-game” played by Puerto Rican children in school yards for centuries. Children hold hands and skip in a circle while singing the song over and over.

A child (the mouse) is inside the circle protected from a second child (the cat) who is running outside the circle trying to break in. The children holding hands try to prevent the cat from sneaking inside the circle and touching the mouse. Once the “cat” comes into the circle, the “mouse,” aided by the dancing children escapes outside. The cat then tries to sneak out of the circle to catch the mouse and so on. The “cat” is allowed to force his way in as long as he doesn’t hit or hurt anyone. Children scream instructions and warnings to the mouse. Sometimes the cat will run into the children holding hands so hard that he/she breaks in. There is a lot of running, giggling, singing and dancing in this game. Once the mouse is caught, a second set of children get to play cat and mouse.

 

"El Gato y el Ratón" midi courtesy of Rene Ramos