We visited a preschool and were serenaded by approximately forty of the sweetest three to five-years-olds I’ve ever encounter. As with all of our excursions I did my best to sing and dance along. What we were singing in one case was what sounded like a good old-fashioned playground song, but since we were singing in Chichewa, I had no idea what the lyrics were so afterwards I asked our interpreter to translate the lyrics for me. This is what he said, There is a frog in the swamp. Why do you tell me about it? I don’t want any frogs. I thought he was putting me on so I asked another Malawian member of our party and he corroborated. I asked, Is this a typical song that most Malawian children are familiar with? Absolutely they said. While I had them together I asked if there were any other songs they could sing for me, so they launched into one that translated as, Whose dog is this? He ate my little fish. Let’s cut him open to see if the fish is there. Swish, swish, swish, they said and made a sawing motion with their hands. Hmmmm . . .
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