This story popped into my head one day, and I just had to write it down.

It took me about 5 months to get around to finishing it, and you are the ones  I present this to as my humble offering.

BANANA STORY

Once upon a time, far away, in a warm and tropical country where the sun was always shining warm and the rain, too, was warm, lived many banana trees, so many that no matter which way you turned, that’s all you could see.Each tree grew bunches of bananas, and our story is about a tiny baby banana on one of these trees.He was just a little green stub that was part of a bunch of many other little baby bananas, and they had just popped out of a flower that had finished blooming.They were all very dark green, and about the size of your finger.

This little banana was a curious baby banana.As soon as he could look around, he wondered where he was, and who he was.He asked the other bananas with him, “Hello, do you know what we are doing here?”They had no answer, but one of the bananas on an older stalk heard him and said, “We are bananas!Our job is to grow big so that the workers pick us!”And this seemed true: this older banana had heard the workers talking about how big they wanted the bananas to become so that they could all be picked and put into a truck.

So the little banana told his friends, and they all concentrated every day on growing bigger, so that they could be big enough to pick. But when they were still little, someone came and put a big plastic bag over them.They could no longer feel the wind and see the sun.Worse yet, they couldn’t see each other, but the older bananas said that the plastic protected them from the insects.They grew bigger every day, until one day a worker came by and stopped to measure one of the bananas.He must have decided that they were the right size, because soon another worker came with a big knife, and he cut down the whole bunch and put it into a truck with other bunches.The trucks moved down the road to a large shed where other workers carried the bunches from the trucks to the washing sinks, and the banana bunches were washed and stacked into cardboard boxes.The little banana had felt so proud of being big enough to pick, but now he realized that he didn’t know where they were all going, and what they were going to do.

“Hello,” he called to the other bananas in the other boxes.“Do you know where we are going?”

But all of them had been picked and boxed at the same time, and none seemed to have the answer.The boxes of bananas were picked up by the workers, and stacked on the truck beds.When the trucks were full, they started down the road, and continued moving for what seemed a long time, passing hundreds and hundreds of banana trees.Finally the road took the truck into a city, where strange sights and sounds made the bananas wonder even more.But the truck didn’t stop there.It continued until it reached the water, where big ships were waiting.All of the boxes were taken off the trucks and carried into the ships, down into a dark big room.The bananas were not very comfortable with this, but they did the best they could.They slept all the time and grew riper and softer as the ship carried them to another city.By the time the boxes were unloaded from the ship, these bananas had changed from dark green to light green and yellow-green.

They were quickly loaded into even more trucks, and carried to still another destination.There, they were unloaded and carried into a building.The little banana and his friends were carriedonto a table, surrounded by different kinds of fruits and vegetables. Again, the little banana (who was not so little anymore) began asking questions.What’s that?Who are you?He could see all shapes and colors of fruits nearby.Then he asked, “What are we supposed to be doing here?”One of the bananas lying on the table answered him.

“I think we wait to get picked.”


The little banana asked, “Do the workers pick us when we’re big enough?”

“No”,answered the older banana, “the customers come to pick bananas that are yellow enough.We’re already big enough. They want to eat us. A lot of people like to eat us as a snack food or a as part of a nutritious drink.”

Little banana looked over at him and said,“So we’re supposed to feed someone!That’s a nice job.I see that you’re pretty yellow already.I guess you’ll get eaten soon.”

The older banana frowned a little.“I hope so!I’ll get picked if I don’t develop too many brown spots.If I stay here too long, I’ll get softand sweet with brown spots, and the customers don’t like that.They like firm yellow bananas with hardly any spots at all.”

Little banana began to look worried.“But if no one picks you, what happens?”

The older banana looked sad.“The longer you sit here without getting picked, the older and softer and browner you get.Then no one wants you, and after a while the store workers sweep you off the table and toss you into the garbage.No one eats you.You get thrown away.”

“And then what happens after that?”

All the older bananas agreed:“That’s the end.You’re gone after that.”

“You don’t get to feed anyone?”The little banana asked.

“Not if they don’t want you.We’ve seen it happenlots of times here.You have to be just the right color, and not have many brown spots or bruises to get picked.”

All the young bananas knew that they were getting more and more yellow each day, and some of them even had a few small brown spots.But people came to the table and picked almost all of them.When a bunch had more bananas than they wanted, these people would break off the right amount and leave the rest on the table.The little banana got broken off one day and left on the table all by himself.He lay there all day, hoping that someone wanting just one banana would see him and pick him up, but it didn’t happen.He already had a few brown spots, but his skin was still very smooth and firm, and his yellow color was bright.

By the next day, however, he had three times as many brown spots, and the store workers put new bananas on the table next to him.Because the new bananas were hard, they bumped him as they were put down, and now he had a slight bruise on his side.The little banana began to feel very sad, because he thought now that no one would want to eat him.He could feel himself getting softer and browner with each passing hour that he lay on the table, waiting to be picked.He thought back to the days when he was a baby banana, and remembered how thrilling it had been to get picked and put into the trucks, how happy all the bananas had been that they had been picked.He felt sad that he wasn’t going to be able to finish his job, to feed someone.When the new bananas asked questions, he was able to answer most of them, because he had been on the table the longest.It was hardest to tell them about the end when you don’t get picked.

Somehow he made it through that night without getting swept off the table into the trash.When the store opened the next morning, there he was, lying on top of the fresh and young bananas, looking very soft and yellow-brown.That morning two people came to the table.It was a young girl and her grandmother.“What about these, Granny?” asked the girl, as she picked up a bunch of spotless, yellow new bananas.

Her grandmother picked up the little banana and showed it to the girl.“This is the kind we want, Dear.”

The little banana could hardly believe what he heard.Someone had picked him up and was saying that he was what they wanted.He felt himself being put into a sack, and then carried to the clerk, where he was paid for, then carried out to a car.

The little girl and her grandmother took their groceries into the kitchen.They put on aprons and laid out the banana and their other purchases onto the kitchen table.The banana looked around at his companions and asked again, as he had so many times before when he found himself in a new place: “I’m a banana.Who are you?”

He made many friends that morning: powdery cinnamon, and sugar.Walnuts and eggs.Five other old bananas who looked just like him but had come from other stores.Yummy-smelling vanilla.Grumpy sour cream.Tiny salt.Cups of flour.Baking powder.

“Granny,” the little girl asked.“How come you picked these soft and brown bananas instead of the yellow ones?”

“When you make banana bread, you have to use the older bananas because only the older ones have a flavor strong enough to taste in our nut bread.They get sweeter and soft enough to mash, just perfect for our bread!”

The little banana heard that, and smiled with joy.That evening, he fed a whole family as part of the banana nut bread served after dinner.

Banana Nut Bread Recipe: 2 loaves

a.Grease baking pans, dust with 1 tsp. cinnamon, ¼ tsp. dateor maple sugar

b.Cream ¾ c. butter, and 3 c. date or maple sugar till fluffy

c.Add 3 eggs, then 6 very ripe bananas

d.Add 2 tsp. cinnamon, 2 tsp. vanilla

e.Add 16 oz. sour cream

f.Add the dry: 4/5 c. flour, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp baking powder, 1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts

g.Spoon into 2 pans

h.Sprinkle w/ cinnamon, sugar and nuts

i.Bake 300’ 1 hour

j.Test with toothpick for doneness, let it cool before serving.

This story was posted on June 23 2008 by lumiel.
Tags: community

Comments

  • June 23 2008 at 3:47 PM
    Guest writes:

    Great story, Lumiel!

    To me it’s a great story about how we all have our purpose and how we are all part of community and interdependent - and that all of us are needed!

      0 likes
  • June 23 2008 at 5:14 PM
    Justine writes:

    I loved this story!

    It is amazing how emotional I can become when I get entangled in a banana story.  Yay for happy endings!  smile

      0 likes
  • June 24 2008 at 11:16 PM
    Lisafer writes:

    It’s not like you don’t have plenty to do…

    but have you thought about turning this into a children’s book? Lulu.com is really good for things like this, it’s really easy. Even if you only wanted to make a few copies for your grandchildren or other people you know, I think it’d be great. There are some adorable banana illustrations just waiting to be drawn, I can feel it.

      0 likes
  • June 24 2008 at 11:23 PM
    lumiel writes:

    Actually,

    I would love to do that.  I also feel the illustrations need to come, first, but I haven’t the time to do that.  Besides, I’ve been away from art so long, I’ve lost whatever touch I think I had.  I wonder if someone in CAN would be interested?  A cover illustration, and maybe 3 or 4 more within the story.  Or even more, to make the book longer!  (It has to be someone who loves the story.  Is Justine an artist?)

      0 likes
  • June 25 2008 at 1:30 AM
    Guest writes:

    If you want it to be fluffy

    If you want it to be fluffy use oat flour! smile

      0 likes
  • June 25 2008 at 1:31 PM
    Justine writes:

    Sorry… my banana drawings

    Sorry… my banana drawings are about as good as a 10 year old’s!

      0 likes

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