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'La Vibora de la Mar'

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to see the other side of this gourd.

La Vibora de la Mar

Friends -
Last week I had an opportunity to attend a scientists meeting at UCDavis, where I was a student in the early 70's. It was a trip down memory lane for me, and I spent most of the lunch break wandering around areas that I frequented back then. One of these cherished memories was a summer job that I had in 1971 and 1972 - 'teaching' in the preschool at the government owned migrant camp in Dixon. Oh, man were those little portable classrooms cookers in the heat of the summer! But at least I was not in the tomato fields!

We spent a lot of time outside squirting the kids down with a hose and playing games to keep them occupied. One of those games was 'La Vibora de la Mar' - 'The Sea Snake'. Because of it's shape, this gourd reminded me of that game, which is kind of like London Bridges Falling Down, although the verse goes like this:

A La Vibora de la mar, de la mar
por aqui pueden pasar
los de adelante corren mucho
los de atras se quedaran

Una mexicana que fruta vendia
ciruela, chabacano, melon o sandia
verbena, verbena, jardin de matatena

Campanita de oro dejame pasar
con todos mis hijos menos el de atras,
tras, tras, tras, tras

Sera melon sera sandia
sera la vieja del otro dia
dia, dia, dia, dia

Lots of excited, wriggling, kids trying to get through the arch before the verse ends and they get trapped. Loosely speaking the first verse is about kids escaping the snake that might come around, the second verse serves to delay the drama and is about a fruit vendor, with the third verse the kids start rushing to get through the arch because it is about to fall on some hapless child! The wriggling excitement gets maximized at this point! Then with the last verse, the one that gets captured and has to decide if he goes with the watermelon group or the canteloupe group. It has just about as much relevance as London Bridges but it sure gets exciting if you are three, four or five years old! I loved those kids.

So, have fun. That is the message for the day!

Margie Lopez Read