Photo of doll from Cuba

Multicultural Story: Cuba

Flag from Cuba

La Cucarchita Martina        

Anita was playing in the sand on the beach in Cuba. It was a hot day, but a breeze was coming in from the sea. The palm trees were swaying as the waves hit the shore. Suddenly, Anita's mama laughed and said, "You look like La Cucarachita Martina!" Anita was hurt, "Why are you calling me a cockroach?" Mama giggled, "It's because you have sand all over your face, and it looks like powder. Let me tell you the story about La Cucarchita Martina..."

Once upon a time, there was a cucarachita named Martina. One day she was sweeping the floor of her house and she found a coin. She started to think about what she would do with the coin. She said to herself: “If I spend it on candy, I’ll eat it, and then it will be all gone, and I’ll have nothing.”

So she decided she would spend the money on face powder to make herself look beautiful. She really wanted to find someone so she could get married.

After Martina bought the face powder, she went home, and got dressed in her best outfit. Then she sat on her porch and waited for someone to come by.

Her first visitor was Mr. Goat.  “How beautiful you are, Cucarachita Martina! Will you marry me?" he asked. “Maybe," she answered, "but you must tell me what sound you make at night.”

“Well I say bah, bah, bah! ”Mr. Goat answered. “Oh no, you frighten me!” said Cucarachita Martina, "Please go away."

A short time later, Mr. Cat passed by her house. “How beautiful you are, Cucarachita Martina! Will you marry me?” he asked. “Yes,” she said, “but you must tell me what sound you make at night.”

“I will meow and hiss all night." Mr. Cat answered. “Oh no, you will keep me awake all night!” said Cucarachita Martina. "Please go away."

Soon Mr. Dog went by Cucarachita Martina’s door and said: “How beautiful you are, Cucarachita Martina! Will you marry me?” She answered, “Yes, but you must tell me what sound you make at night.”

“Well, I say bow-wow, bow-wow” Mr. Dog answered. “Oh no, you frighten me!” said Cucarachita Martina. "Please go away."

Later, the Little Mouse Perez passed by and said: “How beautiful you are, Cucarachita Martina! Will you marry me?” Once again, Martina said “Yes, but you must tell me what sound you make at night.”

“Oh, I say squeak, squeak” Mr. Mouse answered in a soft voice. “Oh, how wonderful!” said Cucarachita Martina, “I will marry you.”

One day Cucarachita Martina was going shopping, so she asked her husband, Mr. Mouse to watch the food cooking on the stove. She warned him not to look inside the pot because he might fall in.

But Mr. Mouse could not resist the delicious smell of what was cooking and decided to try some of the stew. His curiosity got the best of him, and he climbed up on the pot. Just as he was ready to taste the stew, he fell into the pot and died!

When Cucarachita Martina returned home she could not find Little Mouse Perez. She called, but no one answered. She became very frightened and worried. Then she remembered the pot that she had asked him to watch and thought that he might have fallen in. And so she looked in the pot and found poor Mr. Mouse Perez dead. After crying with sorrow for the Little Mouse Perez, she went outside to the door of her house and sat in a chair and began to sing:

Poor Little Mouse Perez

he fell into the pot

for a taste of food

that he never got.

Map of Cuba. Havana is the Capital.

Map of Cuba. Havana is the Capital.

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