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Ka oreore ngā kiore (The mice are stirring)


The children and the teachers have all gone home from school. A wee mouse enters one of the classrooms, darting all over the place until he chances upon a cupboard of musical instruments. Inside that cupboard are two other mice, one “playing” a rubber band like a double bass, and the other tapping a couple of pencils on a tambourine. Our wee mouse taps a microphone and begins to rap. The subject of this rap is a caution about the school cat!

Language Focus

In this reomation you’ll notice the word ‘Ka’ at the beginning of many sentences. It is a verbal particle that is very handy when telling stories, for example. There are also some directional phrases included here, for example, ‘ki raro i ngā tūru' (under the chairs), ‘ki roto i te kāpata’ (inside the cupboard).


In the rap, we hear about the mice working together (mahi tahi) and cooperating. This is an important aspect of Māoridom – in that everyone, the lowly and the highborn (te iti me te rahi), has roles and responsibilities.

Transcript and Translation

Speaker Māori English
Rōpū tamariki (off-screen) Ka oreore ngā kiore The mice are stirring
Rōpū tamariki (off-screen) Ka kuhu te kiore ki te rūma. Ka peke. Ka āta haere ia. Ka oma ki raro i ngā tūru. Ka tae ki ngā pukapuka. Ka piki ki runga. Ka peke ki te tēpu. Ka takahurihuri haere. Ka ohorere. Ka oma, ka heke ki raro. Ka kuhu ki roto i te kāpata. The mouse enters the room. It jumps. It moves slowly. It runs under the chairs. It arrives at the books. It climbs on top. It jumps to the table. It turns around. It darts off. It runs and goes down. It goes into the cupboard.
Kiore Ka oreore ko ngā kiore Ka oho, ka korikori e Kei te mahi tahi, te iti me te rahi Mai te ahiahi, ki te weherua pō! Āta nekeneke, āta nukunuku Kia tūpato, kia mataara Ki te ngeru weriweri O te kura nei!! The mice are stirring. They wake up and move. They work together – the small ones and the big ones. From afternoon, to midnight! Moving slowly, moving carefully Be careful, keep watch For the awful cat Of this school!



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