Why Mango?/The Beginning of the Raccoon Chronicles

20 Oct

Why, besides the obvious fact that I love mangoes and all other Cuban fruits, the Mango Archives?  Many reasons, but here is the one that started it all:

There is a mango tree in my yard.  It’s a must in a Cuban household.  Otherwise, your tias and tios won’t be able to come by and see your mangoes—I mean you.  And your dad wouldn’t be able to brag to all his coworkers and extended family that his daughter bought a house—with a mango tree.  It’s pretty common down here to have a mango tree, unless you live in the burbs (i.e., Kendall, Doral, etc.) with their developed houses and prepackaged tiny yards.  When the house was being shown to us for the first time, it was the mango tree in full bloom that caught my eye, not because I was swooning over the house and the yard, although I was, but because all those mangoes were going to waste since no one lived in the house.  Read: Hmmmmm, I wonder if anyone will mind if I come by and borrow them?  But, my readers, the story does not end here.  Once we bought the Mango House and moved in I keenly stalked my mango tree and its coveted mangoes out my bedroom window until a little problem arose. 

FACT: I love mangoes; I always have and always will. 

PROBLEM: Raccoon also likes mangoes.  Probably always has and always will.

PROBLEM: I am too nice and too much of an animal/nature lover to call animal control on him. 

Got it yet?  Yes, the raccoon ate my mangoes.  He and I first met one dark night when Molly was but a wee tiny puppy.  I saw something lurking around in the shadows and low and behold there he was.  So, I bravely scared him away while my lion-dog howled at him.  In reality, I quietly and slowly picked up Molly (no sudden movements or he will notice the puppy and eat him!) and bolted for the door while he stared me down.  That’s when I knew I was being intimidated.  Pocahontas’s raccoon was nice, but not this guy.  It was like he was telling me: “This is my neighborhood and don’t you forget it, punk.”  Then, on one happy morning I noticed all of my ten mangoes had been eaten.  You, like my mom, might think that it was a bird, but you would be wrong.  The evidence lay on the floor on one side of the yard, mango peels.  On the other side of the yard was a nice little stack of mango seeds.  Can you believe the little jerk piled up all the seeds on one side of the yard and peels on another?  Maybe the raccoons up in Ocala told him I needed to be put in line, but, that’s a story for another day.  Now, normal people might have cleaned the mess up, but I was too upset to even look at my bare mango tree for the next few weeks. 

Fast forward a few months and guess what the little pile of mango seeds spit out:

 That’s right, a baby mango tree.  My husband must think I’m crazy.  I literally put a little rock fortress around it so the lawn guy wouldn’t take it apart and ran/dragged Molly back inside from her potty time to tell Mr. Mango of my find. 

Mr. Mango (not-so-amused): “How do you know it’s a mango tree?”

Mrs. Mango: “I’m Cuban.  We are born with the ability to know what the leaf of a mango looks like.  It’s a superhuman power.”

Ok, I added that last sentence after the fact, but it was needed as it further clarifies the point that I am a superhuman mango lover.  Okay, maybe just a mango lover.  The moral of the story, kids, is be nice to raccoons and they will produce mango trees.

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2 Responses to “Why Mango?/The Beginning of the Raccoon Chronicles”

  1. Teresa Marshall October 22, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    I think this story was too cute. And it makes it perfectly clear that you are a Cuban and I think its even more hilarious that you dub our Ubiquitous Mango a Cuban fruit (even though its a known fact the tree has its origins in the Indian peninsula)…I was reading this thinking…dude, she’s like the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, only instead of Greek, its Cuban!!! I could see it now, “The mango is a super fruit, because no other fruit is so delicious and nutritious…it is native to Cuba of course. Only the greatest fruits are from Cuba…” LMBO

  2. The Mango Archives October 22, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    You’re right! I do sound like that. Actually I sound more like my dad who is the Cuban version of the guy from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Mangoes tipically grow in tropical surroundings and is the national fruit of India, the Phillistines and Pakistan. However, it is the third largest fruit export of Cuba. But, the reaon I say Cuban Mango is really just because I grew up around all these tropical fruits that my parents use to eat in Cuba. When I lived in Havana we had a large mango tree in the back of the house (which I hear is still there). Years later I was able to taste one and it taste nothing like the ones we have here! Go figure. I think that all the different countries have different species of mango.

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