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Lao Folktales : The Mango Tree


Dohn121 is a freelance writer who currently resides in the foothills of the Shawangunk Mountains of New York's famed Hudson Valley.

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

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

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A Refreshing Mango Smoothie

A Refreshing Mango Smoothie

Photo courtesy of Ian Maguire

Photo courtesy of Ian Maguire


STAN BARTON on April 26, 2018:

My daughter is well-respected doctor in the US. She could work at any hospital, She chose to go to Laos and work in a village hospital for free, as she wanted to help children to begin with. The children keep taking mangos from the tree in her yard, and she is bothered by that, as she loves mangos and can hardly get any before they are taken, green.. Do you think they are living out this story? what should she do?

Brian on July 26, 2013:

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 on February 11, 2013:

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 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on July 30, 2012:

Thanks davis. Much appreciated!

davis on June 26, 2012:

A very nice Work

dohn121 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on March 22, 2012:

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.

Anna from Orange County, California on January 23, 2012:

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 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on November 22, 2011:

Thanks lilly_dens! I appreciate it.

lilly_dens on July 13, 2010:

thumbs up!:)

dohn121 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on May 12, 2010:

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!!!

Bengali Bratisha from Italy on May 10, 2010:

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 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on April 29, 2010:

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 from Philippines on April 23, 2010:

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 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on March 10, 2010:

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

AdamGee on March 10, 2010:

Great story, Dohn! Thanks for sharing it :)

dohn121 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on February 16, 2010:

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 from Caracas-Venezuela on February 15, 2010:

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,


dohn121 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on January 12, 2010:

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."

Gous Ahmed from Muslim Nation on January 12, 2010:

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 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on December 27, 2009:

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

tnderhrt23 on December 27, 2009:

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

dohn121 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on December 21, 2009:

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 from England on December 21, 2009:

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 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on December 04, 2009:

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 on December 04, 2009:

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

dohn121 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on November 08, 2009:

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 from US on November 08, 2009:

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 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on September 29, 2009:

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 from Canada's 'California' on September 29, 2009:

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

thanglynn07 from Long Beach, CA on September 16, 2009:

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 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on September 16, 2009:

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 from Long Beach, CA on September 16, 2009:

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 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on September 16, 2009:

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 from Long Beach, CA on September 16, 2009:

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 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on September 09, 2009:

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 from Brooklyn, New York City on September 09, 2009:

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 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on September 03, 2009:

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!

DOKDUMDUAN on September 03, 2009:

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

dohn121 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on August 29, 2009:

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 from New York on August 29, 2009:

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 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on August 12, 2009:

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 from Nigeria on August 12, 2009:

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

dohn121 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on August 11, 2009:

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

sleepyhallow2009 on August 11, 2009:

Awsome story!!

dohn121 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on August 11, 2009:

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 on August 11, 2009:

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 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on August 11, 2009:

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 from United States on August 10, 2009:

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!

rogue ant on August 10, 2009:

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

dohn121 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on August 10, 2009:

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!

Susan Keeping from Kitchener, Ontario on August 10, 2009:

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

dohn121 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on August 10, 2009:

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!

pgrundy on August 10, 2009:

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 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on August 10, 2009:

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.

Larry Conners from Northern Arizona on August 10, 2009:

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 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on August 10, 2009:

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 on August 10, 2009:

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

dohn121 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on August 10, 2009:

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

Shalini Kagal from India on August 10, 2009:

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

dohn121 (author) from Hudson Valley, New York on August 10, 2009:

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 from India on August 10, 2009:

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

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