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“La Hormiguita (The Little Ant)”

by Traditional

All through the long, cold winter La Hormiguita,
the little ant, had to stay inside her underground
home because the ground was all covered with snow.
But now the snow was melted, so she went to the
door with her mother to see if spring had come.

“Look, Mama,” she said, “the snow has melted.
And the grass is turning green. It's springtime! May I
go outside and play?”

“No, Mi ’jita,” her mother said. “Don’t you see
those dark clouds? And can't you feel how cold it is? It
may still snow. You'd better stay inside.”

But La Hormiguita didn’t do as she was told.
When her mother was busy, she ran outside to play.
She climbed to the very tip of each green blade of
grass she came to. She ran upside down on low
branches of bushes and trees. She went a long way
from home.

But pretty soon La Hormiguita began to feel cold
“Mama was right,” she thought. “I’m going back
inside.”

But just as she started for home, big, papery
flakes of snow began to float down from the sky. And
one big snowflake landed right on La Hormiguita’s
little leg and stuck it fast to the ground.

La Hormiguita tugged and tugged at her little leg.
And she cried out to La Nieve, the snow, to let go of it so
she could go home. She said:

Nieve, suelta mi patita
pá que vaya a mi casita!

But the snow wouldn’t let go of her little leg. So
La Hormiguita called out to El Sol, the sun, to melt the
snow:

Sol, derrite Nieve.
Nieve, suelta mi patita
pá que vaya a mi casita
!

But the sun wouldn’t melt the snow. So La
Hormiguita called out to La Nube, the cloud, to cover
the sun:

Nube, tapa Sol.
Sol, derrita Nieve.
Nieve, suelta mi patita
pá que vaya a mi casita!

But the cloud wouldn’t cover the sun. So La
Hormiguita called out to El Viento, the wind, to scatter
the cloud:

Viento, desbarata Nube.
Nube, tapa Sol.
Sol, derrite Nieve.
Nieve, suelta mi patita
pá que vaya a mi casita!

But the wind wouldn’t scatter the cloud. So La
Hormiguita called out to La Pared, the wall, to block the
wind:

Pared, ataja Viento.
Viento, desbarata Nube.
Nube, tapa Sol.
Sol, derrite Nieve.
Nieve, suelta mi patita
pá que vaya a mi casita!

But the wall wouldn’t block the wind. So La
Hormiguita called out to El Ratón, the mouse, to gnaw
holes in the wall:

Ratón, agujerea Pared.
Pared, ataja Viento.
Viento, desbarata Nube.
Nube, tapa Sol.
Sol, derrite Nieve.
Nieve, suelta mi patita
pá que vaya a mi casita!

But the mouse wouldn’t gnaw holes in the wall.
So La Hormiguita called out to El Gato, the cat, to catch
the mouse:

Gata, coge Ratón.
Ratón agujerea Pared.
Pared, ataja Viento.
Viento, desbarata Nube.
Nube, tapa Sol.
Sol, derrite Nieve.
Nieve, suelta mi patita
pá que vaya a mi casita!

But the cat wouldn’t catch the mouse. So La
Hormiguita called out to El Perro, the dog, to chase the
cat:

Perro, persigue Gato.
Gato, coge Ratón.
Ratón agujerea Pared.
Pared, ataja Viento.
Viento, desbarata Nube
Nube, tapa Sol.
Sol, derrite Nieve.
Nieve, suelta mi patita
pá que vaya a mi casita!

But do you think the dog would chase the cat?
No! He wouldn’t do it. So La Hormiguita called out to
La Pulga, the little flea that lives on the dog, to bite the
dog:

Pulga, pica Perro.
Perro, persigue Gato.
Gato, cage Ratón.
Ratón, agujerea Pared.
Pared, ataja Viento.
Viento, desbarata Nube.
Nube, tapa Sol.
Sol, derrite Nieve.
NIEVE, SUELTA MI PATITA
PÁ QUE VAYA A MI CASITA!

Well! The flea is a cousin to the ant. And when
she heard La Hormiguita crying out for help:

The flea began to bite the dog.
The dog began to chase the cat.
The cat began to catch the mouse.
The mouse began to gnaw the wall.
The wall began to block the wind.
The wind began to scatter the cloud.
The cloud began to block the sun.
The sun began to melt the snow. . .

The snow let go of La Hormiguita’s little leg. And
she finally made it back home safely.
And she waited until her mother said that spring
had come for sure
before she went back outside to play.

~ ~ ~ ~

New Mexico storyteller Joe Hayes rewrites a traditional Hispanic folk tale.