JaniceHeck

Finding hope in a chaotic world…

T is for. . . Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo Needs a Pronoun

a-to-z-letters-2013Tuesday, April 23,  is T-Day in the A to Z Challenge.

For this day, I want to share a favorite childhood story, one that I have used many times in my teaching career.

Tikki Tikki Tembo, by Arlene Mosel and illustrated by Blair Lent

Tikki tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-cari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo has such a long name because he is most honored as the first-born child in this traditional Chinese family. Translated, his name means, “the most wonderful thing in the whole wide world.”

The second son in the family merited only a short name, Chang, meaning, “little or nothing.”

One day, while their mother washed their clothes in a nearby stream, first son, Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-cari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo, and second son, Chang, went up the hill to play.

tikki pic

Mother warned them not to play near the well, but did they listen? No.

Chang fell in the well, and Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-cari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo raced to tell his mother and the sleepy old man with the ladder. The sleepy old man with the ladder rescued Chang, and all was fine.

But did these boys learn their lesson? No.

Once again, first son, Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-cari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo, and second son, Chang, went up the hill to play near the well. But this time, Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-cari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo fell in the well, and Chang had to run to mother to get help. But he had to tell her what happened over and over again because she could not hear him over the noisy stream.

Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-cari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo fell into the well.
Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-cari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo fell into the well.

And Chang had to say it a third time because he hadn’t said his brother’s name honorably enough on the second try.

Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-cari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo

By then, some time had passed. And then he had to wake up the sleepy old man with the ladder and repeat his message three more times til the old man understood him.

Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-cari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo fell into the well.
Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-cari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo fell into the well.
Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-cari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo fell into the well.

At this point, quite a bit of time had passed. Eventually the sleepy old man with the ladder rescued Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-cari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo, and all was well again.

After that, Chinese family started to give their children shorter names.

***

Now wouldn’t it have been easier for Chang to simply use a pronoun instead of Tikki’s whole name?

He fell into the well.

Ah, but then the beauty of this story would be lost. Part of the enchantment is the rhythm and repetitiveness of the story. Children love to chant Tikki tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-cari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo as you read the story.

***

Click on the next link, and you can see and hear the complete version of Tikki Tikki Tembo narrated by Peter Thomas.

The Last Meowcat and tikki tikki

Not to be outdone by Tikki, our honorable Mr. Very Handsome White Cat has recited his own version of this story. Well, at least he tried. Better luck next time!

Hey can you say this three times without messing up?

Tikki tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-cari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo. . .

Meow for now. 

=[^;^}= 

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2 thoughts on “T is for. . . Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo Needs a Pronoun

  1. Oh this put a smile on my face! I especially like the white cat having the last word, or is its the tabby who speaks last?

  2. I laughed when I found this cat picture. How perfect for this blog post.

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