El Perrito Chiquitito

El Perrito Chiquitito

Short story in Spanish sung to the tune of ‘El Barquito Chiquitito’ about a little dog who wanted to escape.
The song uses the imperfect tense and modal verbs in Spanish, and finishes neatly with a statement in the perfect tense once the mission is accomplished!

Había una vez‘ is the Spanish equivalent of ‘Once upon a time there was.’  The exact translation is ‘There was once …’ (imperfect tense)
Había‘  = There was
Había una vez un perrito chiquitito
Once upon a time there was a little dog.

The little dog wanted to escape, but modal verbs, saber, poder and deber (in the imperfect tense) show that it had trouble.
Modal verbs always go with another verb in the infinitive, in this case ‘escapar(to escape):
No sabía escapar  –  it didn’t know how to escape
No podía escapar it couldn’t escape
No debía escapar –  it wasn’t supposed to escape!
The story ends in the perfect tense when the little dog is big enough, and strong enough to escape!

Watch the video and sing along.  The words are also printed below with the guitar chords:

A            E       A
Había una vez
.              E                   A
un perrito chiquitito,
(There was once a little puppy) x2
A            E       A

Había una vez
.             E                    A
un perrito chiquitito,

.           D
Que no sabía,
That didn’t know how to,
.          A
que no podía,
that couldn’t,
.         E                              A
que no debía escapar.
that wasn’t supposed to escape.

Hold up your hands and
 count to 6 on your fingers whilst singing:

.     A           E                A
Pasaron un, dos, tres,
.                 E                     A
cuatro, cinco, seis semanas
1 2 3 4 5 6 weeks went by(x2)
.     A          E                   A
Pasaron un, dos, tres,
.                E                      A
cuatro, cinco, seis semanas …

.        D
Y aquel perrito,
.         A
y aquel perrito,
.        E                                      A
y aquel perrito escapó.

(And that little puppy,
and that little puppy,
and that little puppy escaped.)


For more practice using Spanish Modal Verbs in the context of scoring goals on a Playstation this time, go to:
Modal Verbs in Spanish

perrito chiquitito

Index to all resources:

French for Children
Spanish for Children