THE FIRST FRUIT TREES
Recipe at the end!
There were three sisters alone in the house, preparing drink; the men-folk were away at a party. Early in the afternoon a young man came along, bringing a powis with him. He was not what he appeared to be, a friend, but an Adda-kuyuha (Tree Spirit). The girls, however, did not know this.
They asked him inside and offered him pepper-pot and Cassiri. He refused the former, saying it did not agree with him, and putting to his mouth the calabash which contained the latter, he broke the vessel. This made the girl who handed it to him laugh. She was the youngest of the three; he told her on taking his departure that he would pay her another visit later in the evening.
The afternoon wore on, and night fell, when, sure enough, the young man appeared again, as arranged. The elder sister took a good look at him, and recognized that, though bearing a great resemblance, he was not identical with the person who had visited them in the afternoon. She went into the adjoining room and conveyed her suspicions to the second sister. They both kept watch.
He proceeded to get into the hammock where the youngest sister was lying, and began caressing her, whereupon she said she was displeased with his actions. But as he continued troubling her, she said, “What do you want with me?” With this, he slipped his arm round her neck, and broke her “neck-bone,” thus killing her.
He then began eating her body and finished all except the head, by early dawn. He belched and said: “Yes! I am indeed satisfied. My mother told me to bring her the head, so I must spare it for her.”
Holding up the head by its beautiful long hair, he carried it away. Now, the sisters who had been keeping their eyes on him all night, watched well where he carried it; they saw him bear it far away into the bush, where he disappeared with it in a hollow tree, of which they, following him, took note.
When they got back home again, their men-folk had returned from the party, and among them was a piai. They told these people exactly what had happened to their young sister, how she had laughed at the Tukuyuha, and how she had been killed and eaten by him.
The piai told them to collect plenty of firewood, and to bring it to the hollow tree, which the sisters were able to show them. This wood they piled up in plenty around the tree, and then started to fire it. It burned right merrily, and in amidst the din of the cracking timber, enveloped in smoke and flame, you could hear the whole Tukuyuha family screaming, and the old grandmother reviling her wicked grandson for having brought so much trouble on them.
It did not take very long for the hollow tree and the whole family of spirits to be reduced to ashes. From the ashes grew the first fruit trees of our forefathers—the plantain, the pineapple, and the cocoanut, with all the others. But the piai had to taste the fruit before the others were allowed to touch it.
Recorded on sacred-texts.com
Challenge: You usually hear my thoughts- I’d love to see your thoughts. What lessons can you take from this story?