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Grandma's Bananas
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Grandma's Bananas
Writer: Ursula Nafula
Illustration: Catherine Groenewald
African Storybook Initiative, 2014
Grandma's Bananas
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Grandma's garden was wonderful -|| full of sorghum, millet, and cassava.| But best of all were the bananas.
Although Grandma had many grandchildren,| I secretly knew that I was her favourite.
She invited me often to her house.|| She also told me little secrets.
But there was one secret she did not share with me:|| where she ripened bananas.
Grandma's Bananas
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One day| I saw a big straw basket| placed in the sun outside Grandma's house.
When I asked what it was for, the only answer I got was,| "It's my magic basket."
Next to the basket,| there were several banana leaves that Grandma turned from time to time.
I was curious.|| "What are the leaves for,| Grandma?" I asked.
The only answer I got was,| "They are my magic leaves."
Grandma's Bananas
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It was so interesting watching Grandma,| the bananas,| the banana leaves and the big straw basket.
But Grandma sent me off to my mother on an errand.
"Grandma,| please let me watch as you prepare..."| "Don't be stubborn child, do as you are told,"| she insisted.
I took off running.
Grandma's Bananas
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When I returned,| Grandma was sitting outside but neither the basket nor the bananas.
"Grandma,| where is the basket,| where are all the bananas, and where...".
But the only answer I got was,| "They are in my magic place."
It was so disappointing!
Grandma's Bananas
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Two days later,| Grandma sent me to fetch her walking stick from her bedroom.
As soon as I opened the door,| I was welcomed by the strong smell of ripening bananas.
In the inner room was grandma's big magic straw basket.| It was well hidden by an old blanket.
I lifted it and sniffed that glorious smell.
Grandma's Bananas
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Grandma's voice startled me when she called,| "What are you doing?| Hurry up and bring me the stick."
I hurried out with her walking stick.|| "What are you smiling about?|" Grandma asked.
Her question made me realise that I was still smiling at the discovery of her magic place.
Grandma's Bananas
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The following day when grandma came to visit my mother,| I rushed to her house to check the bananas once more.
There was a bunch of very ripe ones.|| I picked one and hid it in my dress.
After covering the basket again,| I went behind the house and quickly ate it.|| It was the sweetest banana I had ever tasted.
Grandma's Bananas
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The following day when grandma was in the garden picking vegetables,| I sneaked in and peered at the bananas.|| Nearly all were ripe.
I couldn't help taking a bunch of four.|| As I tiptoed towards the door,| I heard grandma coughing outside.
I just managed to hide the bananas under my dress as I walked past her.
Grandma's Bananas
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The following day was market day.| Grandma woke up early.
She always took ripe bananas and the cassava to sell at the market.
I did not hurry to visit her that day.|| But I could not avoid her for long.
Grandma's Bananas
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Later that evening I was called by my mother and father,| and Grandma.|| I knew why.
That night as I lay down to sleep,| I knew I could never steal again,|| not from grandma,| not from my parents,| and certainly not from anyone else.
Grandma's Bananas
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Grandma's Bananas.
Writer: Ursula Nafula.
Illustration: Catherine Groenewald.
Language: English.
Audio: Hyeon Shaw
VT Software: AJR, NJA, TLG
African Storybook Initiative, 2014.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution
(CC-BY) Version 3.0 Unported Licence
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