Children’s Game – Italian

Children’s Game:

Il Pescatore

The Fisherman

Pescatore:  Io sono il pescatore

Con l’amo e con la rete.

O pesci dove siete?

Il Pescatore è qua!

Pesci:        Noi siamo in fondo al mare,

Su, vienici a pescare!

La rete è tutta a buchi;

Mai nessun ci prenderà!

Pescatore:  La rete l’ho aggiustata

E in fundo l’ho calata.

E se fortuna avrò

_______  io prenderò!


Fisherman: I am the fisherman

With the hook and the net.

Oh fish where are you?

The fisherman is here!

Fish:           We are down at the bottom

of the sea!

Sure, come here and fish us

The net is full of holes;

No one is ever going to catch us

Fisherman: I have fixed the net

And I cast the net down

And if I am lucky,

I will catch __________

Commonly Used Fish

(although anything works)

anchovy l’acciuga
shark lo squalo
cod il merluzzo
grouper la cernia
herring l’aringa
salmon il salmone
sea bass il branzino
sole la sogliola
sturgeon lo storione
swordfish il pesce spada
trout la trota
tuna il tonno

Antonio learned this game when he was growing up in Sardinia, Italy.  He was about 8 years old and at a large dinner with some family friends, and all of the children were playing games together.  He had never heard of this game before and never really encountered it again growing up.  Despite this, he said that he thought the game was a lot of fun at the time, and has fond memories from this game.

It is played with a group of kids, generally about 10 works best.  Someone volunteers to be the “fisherman” and the rest of the kids are fish.  The fisherman goes around and secretly tells each kid what kind of fish they are.  Then the “fish” all hold hands and walk in a circle and the fisherman walks in the opposite direction and they sing the corresponding parts of the song.  At the end of the fisherman’s song he or she say the name of the fish that he or she wants to catch. That person must then drop hands with their neighbors and run all the way around the outside of the circle and join back in their original spot in the circle without being tagged by the fisherman.  If they are tagged, they become the fisherman and the old fisherman becomes a fish.  If they are not tagged, the game repeats with the same fisherman.

This game is very reminiscent of the common American equivalent “Duck, Duck, Goose”, yet seems more creative as it has its own song.  It is unclear if one of the games originated first and influenced the other one, although it does seem possible.  I also would say that it is fair to assume that the game originated somewhere on the coast as it is about fish and fisherman.