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Four Samoan Children's Poems

Mrs Crab is crawling by,
There's only me, there's only I,
Click click click and toodle-oo
I think she's gone to Upolu.

Mrs Crab is crawling by,
There's only me and Malaki;
Is she plums or is she peas?
We're walking in the Sugar Trees.


When it rains like fizzy flies,
I want to swim with Octopies.

When it rains like Koko beads,
I go and swim with centipedes.

When it rains like cookie dough,
Mr Christian says Hello.

When it rains like peas and plums,
Mr Missionary comes.


Oh Mr Octopus, I think
you sleep too long, I saw you sink
and smile and snore
on the soft sea shore.

But now I think you are awake,
and make the waves and water shake,
and splash and spray,
and swim my way!

Oh Mr Octopus, I see
you swoshing up to Savai'i:
I think you might be
mad at me.

So Mr Rat will keep his paws
and keep his tail and keep his claws
entirely dry
and say goodbye.


One, One, the Checker-Chocks,
Two, Two, the Water-Box,
Three-Three, the Make-Me-Fast,
Four-Four, the Palmtree Mast,
Five, the Arm, Six, the Sail,
Seven, the Top and Eight, the Tail.
Now my boat is Made and Manned:
Woodchips scatter on the sand.

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About the translation:
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Samoan Folk-Songs
John Gallas
Original language:
2015 Number 2 - I WISH...

About the author


John Gallas

JOHN GALLAS was born in Wellington, New Zealand. He has published ten collections of poetry with Carcanet Press and edited the...

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