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Lao Folktales : The Mango Tree

Updated on December 25, 2016
A real mango tree!
A real mango tree!

Mango with Coconut Rice Dessert

Easy to make and very flavorful
Easy to make and very flavorful

The Mango Tree


There once was a beautiful mango tree that grew in the jungle near a village. Each and every year when its fruit was in season, the children from the village would run into the jungle and harvest its delicious fruit.

However, one particular day when the children went to the tree, they were surprised to find a fence encircling the popular tree. Inside the perimeter of the fence were two mean looking dogs that watched warily their every move. A stranger who the children had not seen before came out of the jungle and approached them.

“Get out of here!” the stranger shouted loudly. “This tree belongs to me now!”

“No it doesn't!” The children cried. “You don’t own the jungle! This tree belongs to everyone. Anyone can pick fruit from this tree!”

The children were right. They were telling the truth but the stranger paid no attention to them. He made his dogs chase the children who retreated back to the village from whence they came. Upon returning, the children went immediately to the village headman. They told him about the stranger and about what happened. The village headman was very wise and very clever. After some time, he came up with an idea.

The next day, one of the girls from the village went to the mango tree again. She threw two morsels of meat to the dogs and climbed over the fence. She then took a mango from the tree and began eating. Again, the stranger ran over from the jungle and into the clearing.

“Stop!” He shouted. “You cannot take my mangoes! Go away!”

Ignoring the stranger, the girl took another bite from the mango. Suddenly she screamed out loud and fell to the ground and lay still. At that moment, the headman came by and walked up to the stranger.

“What have you done to this poor girl?” The headman asked him.

“Nothing!” The stranger replied. “She took one of my mangoes and fell to the ground."

The headman knelt before the girl and felt her forehead. “I’m afraid she has mango sickness,” the headman said shaking his head. “You see, once every ten years, poisonous mangoes will grow from this tree…You must not eat any mangoes from this tree this year.” The headman then picked up the girl and carried her back to the village.

The next morning, the children from the village followed the headman into the jungle to the mango tree. Looking around, they saw that the stranger was gone and took with him the fence along with his two fearsome dogs. Once again, the children began climbing up the mango tree to harvest its delicious fruit. When they returned to their village, the children laughed and sang songs in their happiness while carrying their mangoes. They shared their bounty with everyone.

(From left to right) Popular porcupine method of eating a mango, some different shapes of mangoes, cross-section of a mango
(From left to right) Popular porcupine method of eating a mango, some different shapes of mangoes, cross-section of a mango

Click to enlarge

Diagram of a drupe fruit
Diagram of a drupe fruit
Blackened Halibut with Mango Salsa
Blackened Halibut with Mango Salsa
Fresh Ripened Mango
Fresh Ripened Mango

Fun and Useful Facts About Mangoes

  • Mangoes make up about half of the world's most produced tropical fruit
  • Over 23 million tons of mangoes are produced annually according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2001
  • India is the world's largest producer of mangoes, producing over 12 million tons annually or about one-half of the world's supply of mangoes
  • Categorized as a drupe fruit, mangoes have fleshy skin that surrounds a callous endocarp and pit that houses a seed
  • In Chinese medical practices, mangoes are used to treat dysentery
  • Other notable drupe fruit include olives, plums, peaches, pistachios, nectarines, cherries, coconut, coffee and dates
  • Mangoes are loaded with Vitamins A and C and are a rich source of potassium and and iron
  • Mangoes have been known to be used as contraceptives
  • Mango trees can grow up to 60 feet tall
  • Orangutans love mango
  • Buddha was given a mango grove as a gift

The Mango Roundabout in Rajshahi City, Bangladesh
The Mango Roundabout in Rajshahi City, Bangladesh

I'm Not Done Yet! (Hub 13/30)

A Refreshing Mango Smoothie
A Refreshing Mango Smoothie
Photo courtesy of Ian Maguire
Photo courtesy of Ian Maguire

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    • profile image

      Brian 4 years ago

      Bev,I am sorry to tell you that your 4'6 flat bed-spring has little or no moneatry value or a market place. They were an inexpensive widely sold type of spring popular between the two great wars and for a few years into the fifties. They are not more than a metal hammock with no support in the middle, but they do last forever, and maybe, just maybe, provide a less hospitable home to vermin than an upholstered box spring.Marshall Coyle

    • rexy profile image

      rexy 4 years ago

      Very nice story... enjoyed reading it .... love Mangoes wish they would grow here.. but the weather is not right for them this end... but even so we do get the in the stores...

    • dohn121 profile image
      Author

      dohn121 5 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Thanks davis. Much appreciated!

    • profile image

      davis 5 years ago

      A very nice Work

    • dohn121 profile image
      Author

      dohn121 5 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Yes! That's one of my favorites too! And of course the mango has to be over ripened to the point where the meat just slides off of the pit. I gotta ask my pop about scary stories. He knows a ton of them. Thanks, atlovesbm.

    • atlovesbm profile image

      Anna 5 years ago from Orange County, California

      Mmmm.. that picture you have of the mango & rice looks so good! I haven't had that in years.. You should write

      scary folktales :)

    • dohn121 profile image
      Author

      dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Thanks lilly_dens! I appreciate it.

    • lilly_dens profile image

      lilly_dens 7 years ago

      thumbs up!:)

    • dohn121 profile image
      Author

      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      There she is! How are you? It's great to hear from you. I've been meaning to add a few more here, but have been swamped with work and my pathetic attempt to have a social life :P To paraphrase one of my friends, there are a couple of those jerks right here in the States! Don't you hate greedy people?

      Yes, the hiatus was good, but due to time restraints, I can't at this time be as active as I once was, but will do my best to keep and touch and write more hubs. I'd love to bring you some mangoes in exchange for one of your FAMOUS pies!!!

    • apricot profile image

      apricot 7 years ago from Italy

      I looove mangoes!! I love your Lao folk tales - I really can't get enough of them. The village people are very tolerant - I thought they would have set their dogs on the stranger or chucked a particulary hard mango at him.

      Hope your hiatus was good, Dohn (I've finally looked the word up and can now impress you, hurray!) Ah, your story has made me hungry - where did I leave that mango again...?

    • dohn121 profile image
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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Oohhh Jill. I'm so jealous now! I'd love it if I could enjoy the very same amenities as you! Maybe you could ship me a couple? ;)

      Thanks for the comment Jill. I'm glad you like the story!

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines

      I enjoyed that mango story.

      I love mangoes! Would you believe I have 2 trees in my yard and another one just outside?

      It's now fruit-bearing time so I harvest some fruits every so often and give some away to my neighbors.

      Thanks for this hub Dohn!

    • dohn121 profile image
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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Thanks for the feedback and thanks for reading it, AdamGee.

    • AdamGee profile image

      AdamGee 7 years ago

      Great story, Dohn! Thanks for sharing it :)

    • dohn121 profile image
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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Ha! Thanks, Al. I had a lot of fun writing this one. Being that the story was so short, I thought to add some fun and interesting facts about mangoes. I wish I had mangoes growing everywhere here :( Consider yourself lucky my friend! Thanks again and blessings to you!

    • Mystique1957 profile image

      Mystique1957 7 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

      Hey, Bro...It`s a nice folk tale! I enjoy mango very much. They are everywhere here in my country. Excellent Hub! Imagine, kids being forbidden to climb up a mango tree and eat the fruit...Hehehe!

      Two mangoes up!

      warm regards and blessings,

      Al

    • dohn121 profile image
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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Thanks, G Miah! I'm not sure when that roundabout was put in, but I'm guessing that it was after you had immigrated to the the UK. Thanks for the comment. I heard this story years ago when I was a kid and it just "stuck."

    • G Miah profile image

      Gous Ahmed 7 years ago from Muslim Nation

      I like the picture of the Mangoes in the roundabout in Bangladesh! Didn't know there was one like that, and i'm from Bangladesh aswell! Nice story, good for the children.

    • dohn121 profile image
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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Thank you, tnderhrt23! I'm glad that you do ;)

    • tnderhrt23 profile image

      tnderhrt23 7 years ago

      I do love your folklore stories, dohn121! and mangoes are one of my favorites, as well!

    • dohn121 profile image
      Author

      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Thanks, hotspur. I hope you read all of them. I do have a few more that I want to publish here, but in my opinion, they're not as good. I'll do my best to tell them the only way I know how! Fresh mangoes are awesome, aren't they? Thanks again.

    • hotspur profile image

      hotspur 7 years ago from England

      Love folk tales and you've given us a small gold mine, will wander my way through them. Thanks. Love mangoes, had the good fortune to pick fresh ripe ones from a tree once - better than the supermarket!

    • dohn121 profile image
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      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Ha! Yes, we do, but unfortunately I've not tasted it as I was practically a baby when my family immigrated from Laos. I do plan to go back there soon however. I can't wait! Thanks again, my friend.

    • Bbudoyono profile image

      Bbudoyono 8 years ago

      Another great hub! I really enjoyed it. Dohn, do you have red mango in Laos?

    • dohn121 profile image
      Author

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Yes, I was at the Asian food store just the other day and they were selling unripened mango for $2.99 a pound which I thought was a complete rip-off. I really do like them but not for that much. I can't see myself spending more than $1 each for a mango, sorry! Thank you, Pretty!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      wow, I miss that kind of mango in the first picture, there are some of it in Asian store though, but they are over ripe already, hmmm, I might go to Asian store later and check, ,,,,they are very nutritious indeed..

    • dohn121 profile image
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      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Thank you Enelle! I'm actually considering writing a hub on sticky rice! I'll have to employ the help of my mom before I do. There's a couple of things about making it that I'm perfectly clear about.

    • Enelle Lamb profile image

      Enelle Lamb 8 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      Great hub dohn - now you have to give us the recipe for the mango and sticky rice :P

    • thanglynn07 profile image

      thanglynn07 8 years ago from Long Beach, CA

      Aw...I'm sorry it didn't work out...I know how parents get too though lol. My mom adores my bf! Surprisingly a lot of lao people here speak cambodian. Not fair cuz most of us don't speak lao!

    • dohn121 profile image
      Author

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      That's wonderful to hear, thanglynn07. You guys are both lucky to have found one another. Everyone of us should all be so lucky. My oldest brother once dated a Cambodian girl for almost 2 years when he was practically a teenager. Unfortunately, it didn't work out. I think my dad loved her more than my brother, LOL.

    • thanglynn07 profile image

      thanglynn07 8 years ago from Long Beach, CA

      Thanks! I'm going to try and remember it! Not only is he my best friend but he's been my boyfriend for over 2yrs. He is the greatest. He's my angel. He has helped me through difficult times with his love, understanding and patience. I am very grateful and blessed to have him. He keeps me thinking positive...keeps me sane...Helps me look forward to a brighter tomorrow.

    • dohn121 profile image
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      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      That's great to hear that your best friend is Lao, as it makes sense! Laos and Cambodia seem to have a decent historical relationship with one another, unlike Vietnam and Thailand (to name a few!) I would really like to hear some Cambodian folk tales if you're up to it. I love to hear just about any stories period! Here's some Lao for you:

      Korp jai lai lai (thank you very much).

      Hope you like it!

    • thanglynn07 profile image

      thanglynn07 8 years ago from Long Beach, CA

      I enjoyed the mango story! Teaches that sometimes we don't have the best judgement and that some things are for our own good. Even if we can't see passed our logic. I'm glad that you passed on Lao folktales to others. My mom tells me stories of Cambodian folktales and I love it. They seem to have an explanation (in its own significance)of certain unexplained things. I'm going to tell my bf this story and see if his parents told him. Lol. His family is from Laos as well, I've been begging him to teach me a few words but he prefers to just speak in english to me. Lol I speak to him in Cambodian all the time! And he's starting to pick up alot of the repeative words.

    • dohn121 profile image
      Author

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Hey, BkCreative. Thank you so much for reading me. Hopefully, I'll have more Lao folktales to add. It's great to hear that you enjoyed this story and the info on mangoes, arguably my favorite fruit! I hope to hear from you again! Thank you.

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Love the folktale. This was how children learned. Not by fighting but by learning to think and using their wits.

      Then you ended with great mango information.

      Great hub! I will read more of your folk tales.

      Thanks a lot!

    • dohn121 profile image
      Author

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Yes! I'm familiar with that! My mouth is watering! I have not eaten that in about 3 years for some reason. Thank you again!

    • profile image

      DOKDUMDUAN 8 years ago

      i like green mango. with sweet sauce fish( jew pa daek).

    • dohn121 profile image
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      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      I love mangoes too. One of my favorite ways to enjoy it is with coconut sticky rice. I like the mango at the very height of its ripeness, where its meat is orange but extremely soft and super sweet.

    • NaomiR profile image

      NaomiR 8 years ago from New York

      Great story! I love mangos, especially mago lassis. I didn't realize that so many were produced, though; I always thought they were rather rare.

    • dohn121 profile image
      Author

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Ha! I wish I could give out one free mango with every comment! Thank you again Philipo. I had fun learning about mangoes while researching.

    • Philipo profile image

      Philipo 8 years ago from Nigeria

      This is nice. Infact I was carried away with the beautiful pictures. It was as if i have not seen mango before. Thanks.

    • dohn121 profile image
      Author

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you so much for commenting.

    • profile image

      sleepyhallow2009 8 years ago

      Awsome story!!

    • dohn121 profile image
      Author

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Hahaha! I'd send you one, but the shipping cost would probably exceed the cost of the mangoes themselves! Thanks again for the hub love, buddy.

    • fierycj profile image

      fierycj 8 years ago from The Fiery Heart of Africa

      I love mangoes - full and juicy. Now I want one! Lol. Hey, nice folk tale. We've got plenty of those types of stories here, too. And the moral is - eat your fruit in its season. Brilliant!

    • dohn121 profile image
      Author

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Thank you, rougue ant for your commment. Me too. You gotta like the smoothie!

      Thank you Marie. You are certainly very lucky to have such a luxury to have a mango tree. I hope you share those with everyone! Just kidding!

    • MarieDance profile image

      MarieDance 8 years ago from United States

      Very unique story. I love mangos. I have a tree in my back yard. We make mango milkshakes all the time; they're to die for!

    • profile image

      rogue ant 8 years ago

      I enjoyed this story and those delicious pictures. I especially like the smoothie...now I have to go buy some mangoes. mmm

    • dohn121 profile image
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      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Thanks, UW. I love mango too, especially when they're free! I was told that we used to have a mango tree back home (in Viang Chan, Laos). But I was too young to remember...And yes we shared diplomatically!

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      What a great story, thanks for sharing. I love mango

    • dohn121 profile image
      Author

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      I appreciate the comment, Pam. The only think that I can think of is the early explorers and settlers (sad and ironic as that may be), as the Native Americans were here first and the word "land ownership" did not exist in their oral vocabulary. But don't fret--they have a casino coming to a neighborhood near you! Thanks!

    • profile image

      pgrundy 8 years ago

      I think we have a bunch of those guys with the dogs and the fences here in the U.S.! lol! I wracked my brain trying to apply this story to us and the fence guys, but I'm not that smart. Well, it's still a great story and now I'm hungry for mangoes. Thanks dohn!

    • dohn121 profile image
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      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Thank you, Larry. Can you ship me some of that jam? Just kidding! It does sound great however. I like the pineapple stuff you get in the store, but find that they make it so darn sweet. Polaner's my favorite however...Haven't tried it on Belgium waffles, however. I'll give it a try.

    • maven101 profile image

      maven101 8 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Interesting and informative Hub, dohn...Thanks

      We make a mango/pineapple jam that goes great on Belgium waffles...and, yes, let them get real ripe and juicy first...Larry

    • dohn121 profile image
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      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Thanks for your comment Invictus. I sure could go for a smoothie right now! It's hot over here!

    • I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s profile image

      I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s 8 years ago

      I enjoyed this story and the mango facts as well! oh...mango smoothies and mango salsa..YUM! :)

    • dohn121 profile image
      Author

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      You should definitely try it! The riper the mango, the better!

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Oh - and I forgot to add - that mango with sticky rice looks yummy!

    • dohn121 profile image
      Author

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Hahaha! Sorry guys! I goofed! The pic should be okay now...I guess I got some free publicity! Thanks for the comments! Thank you, Shalini! Coming from the largest producers in the world, it's no surprise that you picked that up! I'm in your debt!

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Lovely story - and great facts about the mango Dohn! I just love 'em!