The actions to this finger play are similar to the English rhyme "This little piggy went to market"!

Varila myšička kašičku - Slovak Children's Songs - Slovakia - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


*Jana Olejnikova wrote, "Some people say this line instead:

'Tomu malemu nič nedala lebo už nič nemala a poslala ho do nebička k anjeličkom'
'She did not give him any and sent him to heaven between the angels.'

Which I found very old fashioned, the one about the jam sounds funnier..." -Jana Olejnikova

Later Jana added, "I was just reading with kids the other day and found another three versions of this nursery rhyme. There are little differencies like:"

1. Instead of: "To this one she gave some on the wooden spoon" = "TOMU DALA NA VAREŠKU"

There is actually: "To this one she gave some on a fork" = "TOMU DALA NA VIDLIČKU"

And instead of: "She gave the smallest one none cause there wasn't any left so she sent him to the pantry to eat jam" = "TOMU MALÉMU NIČ NEDALA LEBO UŽ NIČ NEMALA A POSLALA HO DO KOMôRKY NA LEKVÁR"

There is actually: "Only to that small one she gave nothing because the cat ate his bit and ran and ran and ran and she hid here under his arm" = "IBA TOMU MALIČKÉMU NIČ NEDALA LEBO MU TO MAČKA SPAPALA A BEŽALA A BEŽALA A BEŽALA A TUTO POD PAZUŠKOU SA SCHOVALA"

2. Instead of: "To the smallest one she gave nothing..." = "TOMU MALÉMU UŽ NIČ NEDALA"

There is actually: "And that smallest one, he is ill he quickly slipped through to the pantry and there he bites, because he's a mouse" = "A NAJMENŠÍ VRAJ JE CHORÝ RÝCHLO ŠMYKOL DO KOMORY A TAM HRYZKÁ, VEĎ JE MYŠKA"

3. Instead of: "To the small one she didn´t give any and she sent him to the pantry..." = "TOMU MALÉMU UŽ NIČ NEDALA... A POSLALA HO DO KOMôRKY..."

There is actually: "To the small one she didn´t give any she only put the spell on the piggie" = "TOMU MALÉMU NIČ NEDALA IBA MU PRASIATKO ZAKLIALA"

Game Instructions

The actions to this nursery rhyme are similar to the English rhyme "This little piggy went to market"! You hold the child's hand with open palm upwards and you go round and round in circles on it. Then you prick the thumb, saying... "tomu dala"... "to this one she gave"... same with the index finger, middle finger, ring finger... and when you touch the little finger saying ..."tomu malemu nic nedala"... "she did not give any", then you go up the child's hand and arm with your index and middle finger to tickle her/him under his arm...


There are many variations of this rhyme.


Steve wrote: "While scanning the Slovak poems I found a finger play rhyme my mother used to say for us and later our children. The ditty was called 'Varila Mysicka Kaskisku', or 'Mamma Was Cooking in the Kitchen'. Forty years ago I made a tape of her reciting it and your work inspired me to digitize for posterity. First she says the words in Slovak and then translates them. As you may be able to tell from her grandchildren's reactions, it does not sound as sweet in English."

Here's the version in the recording:

Varila kašičku varila,
Varila, varila, varila.
Tomuto dala na tanierik,
na lyžičku, na kastrolik, na myštičku
a tomuto hlavičku odtala.
Potom párala, párala, párala, párala
Šmik do bruška!

English Translation:

(Mama) cooked, porridge she cooked
And cooked and cooked and cooked.
For this one she put it on the plate,
(For this one) on a spoon, (for this one) in a small pot, (for this one) in a little bowl.
As for this one, the little head she cut off!
Then snip, snip, snip, snip--
A cut down to the belly!


Many thanks to Steve Pribish from Flying Brick Video Productions for sharing the recording of his Mom saying this rhyme.

Please let us know if you think this video has been taken down by YouTube.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Jana Olejnikova for contributing this rhyme, for the commentary and game instructions.