This is originally a nursery rhyme from England, though the last two lines may be unique to Cameroon...


Ms. Melissa Nambangi wrote this, "It is actually a game where children practice sleight of hand - when we played it as children, we had a piece of white paper stuck to the top of one finger on each hand and then we showed four fingers to the other kids while singing this song. We used our desks and put two fingers of each hand on the desk, close to the edge. As we say, "fly away, Peter", we lift one hand up in the air in a flying motion and in bringing it down bend the finger with the paper stuck to it behind the desk (and the rest are impressed that the paper is gone). Same deal with "fly away Paul". Then when we say, "come back Peter", we put the finger with the paper stuck to it back on the desk. And so on. It works only with the littlest ones who cannot see how fast you are at hiding that finger with the paper!"

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Ango Fomuso Ekellem for contributing this rhyme and to Ms. Melissa Nambangi of the Minnesota African Women's Association for teaching us about the game and for the extra last two lines to this rhyme.

Thanks so much!