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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
The Magic Macadamia Nuts


Ekewaka lived with his mama on the big island of Hawaii. They lived in a little grass hut and slept on the dirt floor, on top of mats made of woven palm leaves. Ekewaka went fishing every day so that he and his mama would have some food to eat. Each morning, his mama picked bananas, mangoes and papaya from the trees and gathered coconuts that had fallen to the ground.

Ekewakaís favorite thing to eat was macadamia nuts. Heíd only tasted them a few times, but he remembered their delicious taste. Heíd often dream about his mama dropping nuts into his mouth, one after another, and never, ever running out.

One morning, when the sky was blue and the gentle trade winds were blowing softly across the island, Ekewaka went for a walk along the beach. He had gotten up early to hunt for seashells for his mama. She love to put them around the hut and sometimes made necklaces out of the small ones. He had collected an armful of big shells and was on his way home when three older boys came running towards him. They stopped in front of Ekewaka and one of them knocked the beautiful shells out of his hands. They dropped onto the sand. The boys picked them up and threw them back into the water where the waves carried them back out to sea.

Ekewaka stood silently, watching the shells disappear. He noticed one of the boys take a handful of macadamia nuts. The boy noticed Ekewaka staring at them. "What are you looking at? Oh, so you see my magic macadamia nuts, do you?" he asked, winking at his two bully friends. "These are magic nuts. If you plant them, a big palm tree will appear and it will grow huge coconuts made of gold. Would you like these macadamia nuts, Ekewaka?" he teased.

"How can macadamia nuts turn into coconuts?" he asked.

"Theyíre magic. Since my friends tossed your seashells away, Iíll be the nice one and give you my magic nuts," the boy said, placing them in Ekewakaís hands. "Now be sure to plant them. Donít eat them."

Ekewaka ran home quickly, holding the nuts tightly in his hand. The three bullies laughed at him as he ran away. "Stupid Ekewaka," one of them called.

"What a fool!" said another. None of the boys knew those really were magic nuts.

Ekewaka wanted to eat the nuts. He was hungry and they looked delicious, but he ran straight home. Using his hands, he dug a deep hole in the rich, brown earth. He dropped the magic macadamia nuts into the hole and covered them up, patting the dirt down gently. He was about to run and find his mama, but decided to wait and surprise her with the golden coconuts.

His mama walked into the little shack carrying some bananas and a coconut. She was wearing a few pretty red hibiscus and plumeria blossoms behind her ear, tucked in her hair. "You were awake very early this morning, Ekewaka. Did you go for a walk on the beach?" she asked.

"I went to find you some sea shells," he answered. He didnít want to tell her about the bullies. Quickly changing the subject, Ekewaka asked, "Can I have some coconut milk?"

His mama took a large knife and chopped the top off the hairy, brown coconut. It was filled with white, watery milk. She handed it to him and he slurped it down. She peeled a banana and shared it with her son. "Will you catch us a fishfor supper tonight?" she smiled. Ekewaka nodded yes. Some days he tired of eating bananas, coconuts and fish.

He watched his mama as she gathered the washing. She hung it out on a vine to dry. He remembered cutting the vine and tying it to the trees for her. Ekewaka felt sad that his mama had to work so hard. "Soon she wonít be tired or sad any more," he whispered. While his mama worked out in the garden, Ekewaka went back to the beach and caught a fish for supper. That night he stood at his bedroom window and watched the moon shine down on the mound where the magic nuts were buried. The next morning Ekewaka jumped up from his palm-leaf mat. He ran to the window and there stood a huge palm tree full of coconuts. His eyes opened wide with excitement. He shook his mama awake. "Mama, come and see the tree."

"Where did that come from?" she asked. She saw the thick gathering of coconuts at the top. "Ekewaka, I donít know how that coconut palm got there, but please climb up and gather some of those big ones," she begged.

He ran outside and climbed the tree. He hit two of them and they fell to the ground. They looked like normal coconuts to him. He climbed down and carried them into the shack and gave them to his mama. She chopped the stringy green husk off and she reached in to pull the smaller coconut out. She let out a gasp. "Itís a golden coconut." It shone and sparkled with the sunís rays. It looked like a coconut with two holes. When she hit the holes, coconut milk spilled out, but there was no meat inside, just pure, solid gold. She began to laugh. Ekewaka laughed with joy as he poured the coconutís rich milk into his mouth. "Climb up and get the other coconuts, Ekewaka," his mama said. He cut a few more down. She chopped them open and they were all made of gold.

Just as he climbed down from the tree with the last coconut in his hand, the tree disappeared. All that was left was the small mound of dirt heíd buried the macadamia nuts in. He dug up the hole. The nuts were gone. There was nothing there.

Ekewaka went back into the grass shack. His mama was crying. "Whatís the matter, Mama? Arenít you happy?" he asked.

"Iím happy, Ekewaka. Never again will we be poor. Never again will we be hungry or have to catch our own fish or gather papaya," she sobbed. "With these golden coconuts, we can have all the things we need, and more." And they did.

Ekewaka could have all the macadamia nuts he wanted from them on. And he did. His mama could have all the mangoes, guava and pineapple that she wanted. And she did. She could buy herself a brand new muumuu and Ekewaka a pair of sandals. And she did. They could live happily ever after. And they did.


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