Day 24 ‘Tonka- Bean’
the fragrant, almond-shaped seed of any of several South American leguminous trees (genus Dipteryx) used in perfumes, drugs, etc. Collins dictionary
A versatile bean
The currency in the village of Tonguwa is Tonka-beans, its versatile use in food and products made it so popular, the mayor declared it their currency; an apple would be 1 Tonka. The beans provided the village with everything they needed. One day a villager decided to sell the beans to another village, but he got greedy and sold his land where the beans grew. They stripped the fields of their trees and without trees being replanted the beans ran out and soon there were no Tonga-beans. The wise man of the village told the mayor he needed to plant the last remaining beans high in the mountain, but he also warned him of a witch who guarded the mountain.
‘If you don’t answer her questions correctly, she will kill you, so send your strongest.’
The mayor sent their bravest man, Chowa to the mountains with instructions from the wise man.
Chowa took the forest path to the mountain, with the bag of beans around his neck, when a witch appeared between him and the forest of rich soil.
‘Have you come to reap the rewards of my soil,’ said the witch.
‘Very well, I will ask you three questions. What animal uses the beans as a bedding?’
Chowa scratched his head and said, ‘I will return.’
He went into the forest and put down one of the 3 beans and waited. As the sun set, a mouse came along and took it. He followed it to his hole and shone his light in, there was the bean nestled in the mouse’s bed.
Chowa returned to the witch and told her what he found out.
‘That’s correct, next question, the bean when crushed produces a fragrance, but which animal does it repel?’
Chowa walked back to the forest, crushed the second bean and lit it. He put down some tasty food and rubbed it with the bean. A squirrel came along and took the bean covered nuts, but a wolf sniffed the bean covered meat, shook his head and ran away.
Chowa returned to the witch and told her what he had found out.
‘Excellent, the last question is the hardest, if you planted a bean how long would it take to produce more beans?’
Chowa realised he couldn’t answer this question without planting the last bean, but then that would take too long to harvest. He was too young to know the answer, so asked the wise man of the village.
‘That’s a simple answer, it takes as long as the moon takes to circle the sun ten times, ten years.’
Chowa returned to the witch and told her his answer, she smiled and let him pass. He planted his last seed, and within one minute it grew into a tree full of Tonka- beans, with those beans he planted more trees, and the village was saved.
To this day, the village holds the secret of the Tonga-beans location, only trading enough to maintain a happy life.
I am challenging myself to write a 500-word post a day for 30 days. I will choose a random word from the dictionary and to make this challenge more complicated; I will use the same word to create posts on Twitter and Instagram. I will create a haiku for twitter and post a photo on Instagram. If the word I choose is too obscure to make a post, I will choose another word.