Hablando de lo que pica el gallo…formando un arroz con mango.
De niña, I was always pretty quiet and I kept to myself, mostly because I was incredibly timid. In fact, I’m still pretty much the same except now I’ve come out of that shell I was cooped up in for about the first 14 and a half years of my life. I’m probably the exception to the Cuban stereotype when it comes to being loud, except when angry. But anyway, needless to say, as a child I wasn’t one to speak back to my parents o meter me en lo que no me importaba. Pero algunas veces, cuando me entraba el genio y se me cruzaban los cables, I would meddle in the business of the adults and voice my opinion. And like children often do, I would interrupt the conversation, which always sounds more like an argument because us Cubans have to express our passionate emotions even when they aren’t directed to the person we are speaking to. In an overly executed Cuban tone (annoyed and piercing) I would hear “los niños hablan cuando las gallinas mean.”
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never really bothered to pay attention to what came out of a chicken besides their eggs. But because I heard el dicho every now and then while growing up, mostly when some other kid my age interrupted a grumpy Cuban, I learned chickens don’t really urinate and therefore, los niños nunca hablan. The saying is equivalent to the English proverb “children should be seen and not heard,” and might be categorized with the other sayings pertaining to barn yard animals like “when pigs fly,” which all boils down to the same answer: never. In a more grotest manner, el dicho is the same as saying “no te mete en lo que no te importa.”
Now I’m a young adult and it seems that although I’m still someones niña, las gallinas must be meando por donde sea because I’ve come up with this blog where I don’t seem to shut up and form my own opinion, while giving my two cents in adult conversations because, well, now I’m one of them. It seems funny that this blog just so happens to be conveniently named after a Cuban chicken proverb. It’s like las gallinas have it after me como alguna brujería or something and lately every where I go, there’s something said about un pollo o un gallo, followed by another dicho that I’ve probably heard during my early youth. De verdad, no se. But when it comes back down to the “las gallinas meando,” for the lack of a more polite way of saying it, I much rather have heard the incredibly rude saying about urinating chickens than being slapped upside the head for speaking out of turn. Un gaznatón por la cabeza o un chancletazo is nothing to mess with. I don’t doubt que cuando llegue el día que yo tenga hijos o nietos, if I hold on to the Cuban in me long enough, the deafening voice I hear saying absurd sayings about chickens and mangos that mean absolutely nothing in English, will be my very own.