Mother Goose in love | Comunidad-hispana

There used to be an old New Mexico poem that said: “Roses are red. Chile is green. Our love will never vanish, just like tortillas and beans.”

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Besides eating and drinking, the human being’s favorite hobby is love. We make such a fuss in honor of this simple biological function, and we tend to mark the occasion by spending much money, showing our love with candy, flowers and little gifts. In northern places of the world, some people believe that Saint Valentine is the patron saint of love. In Mediterranean places, though, they believe that Saint Anthony is the patron saint of lovers, and they mark the feast of love, not on the fourteenth day of February but rather on the thirteenth of June.

Some people may wonder why Saint Anthony is the patron saint of lovers, being that he is already patron saint of animals. There is a traditional story that recounts the tale of a single girl who lived alone, and who desperately hoped that one day she might have a boyfriend. Every day, she would get on her knees before her table statue of Saint Anthony, pleading for him to send her a young man who might want to be her true love. Well, the months and years went by, with no response to her daily prayers. One morning, though, she was so frustrated with the lazy saint that she seized his statue in her hands and hurled him out through an open window.

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It just so happened that a handsome youth was passing in front of her window when the statuette of Saint Anthony whacked him on the crown of his head. He let out such a cry of pain as he massaged his head. The young girl inside the house heard him and she ran outside to see what had happened. She found the handsome youth groaning and she hastened to help him. She took him inside her kitchen and rubbed his bump until it went down. The youth fell in love with her, and they got married. Who says that Saint Anthony doesn’t answer prayers for love?                                                      

Many people believe that they cannot be happy without someone to love. This English nursery rhyme points this out: “When I was a bachelor, I lived by myself, and all the meat I got I put upon a shelf. The rats and mice did lead me such a life, that I went to London to get myself a wife. The streets were so broad, and the lanes were so narrow, I could not get my wife home without a wheelbarrow. The wheelbarrow broke, and my wife got a fall, down tumbled wheelbarrow, my little wife and all.”

Love is much more than a process. It is a lifelong journey that matures from simple attraction to puppy-love, to infatuation to total commitment. Americans have songs for all kinds of love. Take, for example, one wherein the lover promises something better to the beloved in due time but for the present, their love will carry them through the hard times. “Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer true. I’m half-crazy all for the love of you. It won’t be a stylish marriage; I can’t afford a carriage, but you’ll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two.”

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Just because we get wrinkled and old doesn’t mean that love begins to dwindle. True love becomes not so much a physical attraction as it is an appreciation for having spent a life together despite problems, anguishes, sufferings, hunger and sadness. In this nursery rhyme, an old man invites an old lady to go a-shearing with him, but she doesn’t seem to hear him. However, whenever the old man speaks to her of love, she perks up her ears and right away she knows what he is saying: “Old woman, old woman, shall we go a-shearing? ‘Speak a little louder, sir, I am very thick of hearing.’ Ole woman, old woman, shall I kiss you dearly? ‘Thank you, kind sir, I hear you very clearly.'”

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