Una tardecita Canutito came home con un big smile. Grama Cuca was en la cocina pelando una pancita de borrega in order to make menudo. The minute que Canutito entered and smelled the sheep’s stomach that Grama Cuca was peeling, he held his nose. Seeing him deteniéndose la nariz, grama smiled and said, “Buenas tardes, m’hijo. ¿Cómo te fue at school today?” She pretended que she didn’t notice him holding his nose shut.

Instead de responderle a Grama Cuca right away, Canutito ran to the sink y se hizo splash water en la nariz, trying to wash away el smell de la pancita. He wasn’t looking forward to comer menudo para la cena and having to put up con el olor as it was cooking. He kept whispering “Yuck! Yuck!” por debajo; under his breath.

“¿Qué pasó con el big smile que tenías when you walked into the house, m’hijo?” grama asked. I wanted to know por qué tenías esa sonrisa.”

Canutito came away del fregadero, wiping his nose con el estropajo. “Sorry grama,” he began. “I forgot lo que estaba pensando when I walked in y me dio el tufo de la pancita that you were cleaning.” He cut un pedacito de la planta de mint que grama had on the window sill and he held that piece of yerba buena up to his nose.

“You still haven’t told me, por qué you were smiling cuando entrates,” grama said, cortando la pancita into bite-sized pieces en la tablita.

“Today, la mestra was trying to teach us unos tongue-twisters, grama,” Canutito said. “She thought que las traba-lenguas might be a fun way de enseñarnos English.”

Me puedes dar un example de un tongue-twister? Grama Cuca asked.

“Sí, grama,” Canutito replied: “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickle peppers. A peck of pickle peppers, Peter Piper picked. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickle peppers, where’s the peck of pickle peppers, Peter Piper picked?”

Grama repeated the tongue twister, pero en español: “Pedro Pitero pepenó un paque de pepinos pimentados. Un paque de pepinos pimentados, Pedro Pitero pepenó. Si Pedro Pitero pepenó un paque de pepinos pimentados, ¿dónde está el paque de pepinos pimentados que Pedro Pitero pepenó?”

“That is soooo cool, grama,” Canutito smiled. “Do you know otros traba-lenguas en español that you can tell me?”

“Sí m’hijo,” Grama Cuca replied. “Mi mamá taught me un tongue-twister en español that goes like this: Una pera en un peral, mientras no se cae, espera, pero vale más desesperar que estar espera y espera.”

“What does ese traba-lenguas mean, grama?” Canutito asked her.

“In English it might sound algo así, m’hijo,” grama said: “A pear with no pair does not often despair, but repairs to the pear tree to perish right there.”

“That one is fun, grama,” Canutito said pero no pudo repetir either one of them.

“Do you want to hear uno que es bien difícil, m’hijo?” Grama Cuca asked him. “This one will prove just how good you are: “Pájaros pintos, peludos pipiri-panzudos que paren a sus hijos. Pájaros pintos, peludos pipiri-panzudos”

“What does that mean, grama?” Canutito asked her, todo confuso.

“I’m not quite sure, m’hijo,” grama replied, “pero cuando yo era una little girl, mi Tío Juan used to ask us to say it bien rápido. I think que dice something like: ‘Pretty birdies with flurry bellies bear baby birdies. Pretty birdies with flurry bellies’. It sounds más weird in English que en español.”

Canutito just looked at grama con los ojos cruzãos. He just couldn’t even image cómo grama was able to say tongue-twisters tan commplicãos.

He went into his room repitiendo: “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickle peppers…

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