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We had two mango trees in our yard up in Manoa Valley. We wen call um Da Top Mango Tree and Da Bottom Mango Tree. How original! Us keeds would climb da trees way up high into da top branches. We could spy on peepo around or ack like da big branches was horses dat we could ride. Sometimes I wen climb up high an jass sit dea, enjoying da soft makani blowing ova me, gently rocking da branch I was sitting on. I specially love doing dat wen da trees stay full of da yellow blossoms.

Befoa da mangos wen get fully ripe, we wen pick some an eat um wit shoyu, sliced up. Ho da ono! Of course, a wen ripe da mango, us keeds was da mango raiders. Den we would climb da trees and pick all we could, den stuff ourselves wit da sweet fruit, da juice dripping down our chins an all ova our clothes. My maddah wen get aftah us, cuz she like use da mangos foah chutney and salads an stuffs mostly jass sliced up in one big bowl.

But suddenly, every year, seemed like we no could keep up wit da mangos. Had way too many! So some of dem, mostly da ones from da tops of da trees wea we no could reach, wen drop onto da grass. By da time dey wen drop, dey was choke ripe; sometimes dey wen pop open ontop da grass, making one icky mess.

About dat time, my papa-san wen tell us keeds was time foa pick up da squishy mangos cuz he like cut da grass. Since Manoa Valley gets ovah 100 inches of rain a yea, da times he could cut da grass on Sunday wen he pau hana wasn't frequent. So we no could waste time picking up dem mangos.

But ho, how we wen whine! Aww, Daddy, we no like pick up da mangos! Da buggahs stay all squishy an yukky! But our whining wen fall on deaf ear. He wen tell us get busy.

U shoulda seen us! Us girls had da two-finga pick-up. Touch as litto of da mango as possible. Pick um up, an hope da buggah no broke befoa we wen poot um insai da rubbish bag. Cuz if broke, den all da squishy going land on our bare feets. Eewwwww! My braddah, he no care. He wen pick up da squishy mango any kine way, an wen pretend he stay going chrow um on us girls. Den my faddah wen yell, ÈEh u keeds! I need foa cut da grass! Nemmine dat kine!
Sometimes da grass stay long enuf dat we no could see da squishy mangos, and ick! Down wen come our bare feets ontop all dat squishyness. Den we wen do dis hop-run to da hose so can wash off our feets.

Finally we stay all pau, at least foa anoddah week, an my faddah could cut da grass.

Today, here on da mainland, I buy mangos from da stoa, wea dey stay all stacked in nice, neat rows. Dey come from South America, were probably picked green, and oni have half da flavah of da ones I wen grow up with. But if I like foa eat mangos, dis is my oni choice. I look at dem, pick up a few ripe ones (for one exorbitant price) an put dem in my cart. I would give anyting foa mangos grown where da Hawaiian trade winds blow, whose flavor stay unmatched, and come from da tree wea underneath, squishy mangos litter da ground.

About Author


I was brought up in Manoa Valley on O'ahu. I wen grad University High School. Married one mainland haole boy and da rest is history. We live in da country and have sheep and llamas. I'm on staff at Alohaworld and love writing on my blog, playing 'ukulele and guitar, handspinning, knitting and talking stories in pidgin. My husband Nolemana and I have a real estate appraisal business and live in Damascus, Oregon.

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