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Grandma’s bananas Grandma's bananas Los plátanos de mi abuela

Written by Ursula Nafula

Illustrated by Catherine Groenewald

Read by Darshan Soni

Language English

Level Level 4

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Grandma’s garden was wonderful, full of sorghum, millet, and cassava. But best of all were the bananas. Although Grandma had many grandchildren, I secretly knew that I was her favourite. She invited me often to her house. She also told me little secrets. But there was one secret she did not share with me: where she ripened bananas.

Grandma's garden was wonderful, full of sorghum, millet, and cassava. But best of all were the bananas. Although Grandma had many grandchildren, I secretly knew that I was her favourite. She invited me often to her house. She also told me little secrets. But there was one secret she did not share with me: where she ripened bananas.

El huerto de mi abuela era maravilloso y tenía mucho sorgo, mijo y yuca. Pero lo mejor de todo eran los plátanos. Aunque mi abuela tenía muchos nietos, yo, en secreto, sabía que era su favorita. Me invitaba a su casa muy a menudo. También me contaba muchos secretos. Pero había un secreto que nunca me contó: el lugar donde ella hacía madurar los plátanos.


One day I saw a big straw basket placed in the sun outside Grandma’s house. When I asked what it was for, the only answer I got was, “It’s my magic basket.” Next to the basket, there were several banana leaves that Grandma turned from time to time. I was curious. “What are the leaves for, Grandma?” I asked. The only answer I got was, “They are my magic leaves.”

One day I saw a big straw basket placed in the sun outside Grandma's house. When I asked what it was for, the only answer I got was, "It's my magic basket." Next to the basket, there were several banana leaves that Grandma turned from time to time. I was curious. "What are the leaves for, Grandma?" I asked. The only answer I got was, "They are my magic leaves."

Un día vi un gran canasto de paja que estaba al sol, afuera de la casa de mi abuela. Cuando le pregunté para qué era, sólo me respondió: "Es mi canasto mágico". Al lado del canasto, habían varias hojas de plátano que mi abuela volteaba de vez en cuando. Yo sentí curiosidad. "¿Para qué son las hojas, abuela?" le pregunté. Ella sólo me respondió: "Son mis hojas mágicas".


It was so interesting watching Grandma, the bananas, the banana leaves and the big straw basket. But Grandma sent me off to my mother on an errand. “Grandma, please, let me watch as you prepare…” “Don’t be stubborn, child, do as you are told,” she insisted. I took off running.

It was so interesting watching Grandma, the bananas, the banana leaves and the big straw basket. But Grandma sent me off to my mother on an errand. "Grandma, please, let me watch as you prepare..." "Don't be stubborn, child, do as you are told," she insisted. I took off running.

Me pareció muy interesante observar a mi abuela, los plátanos, las hojas de plátano y al gran canasto de paja. Pero mi abuela me ordenó que fuera donde mi madre a hacer un mandado. "Abuela, por favor, déjame mirar cómo preparas..." "No seas testaruda, niña, haz lo que te digo," insistió. Me fui corriendo.


When I returned, Grandma was sitting outside but with neither the basket nor the bananas. “Grandma, where is the basket, where are all the bananas, and where…” But the only answer I got was, “They are in my magic place.” It was so disappointing!

When I returned, Grandma was sitting outside but with neither the basket nor the bananas. "Grandma, where is the basket, where are all the bananas, and where..." But the only answer I got was, "They are in my magic place." It was so disappointing!

Cuando regresé, mi abuela estaba sentada afuera pero no tenía el canasto ni los plátanos. "Abuela, ¿dónde está el canasto, dónde están todos los plátanos, y dónde...?" pero solamente me respondió, "Están en mi lugar mágico." ¡Fue muy decepcionante!


Two days later, Grandma sent me to fetch her walking stick from her bedroom. As soon as I opened the door, I was welcomed by the strong smell of ripening bananas. In the inner room was grandma’s big magic straw basket. It was well hidden by an old blanket. I lifted it and sniffed that glorious smell.

Two days later, Grandma sent me to fetch her walking stick from her bedroom. As soon as I opened the door, I was welcomed by the strong smell of ripening bananas. In the inner room was grandma's big magic straw basket. It was well hidden by an old blanket. I lifted it and sniffed that glorious smell.

Dos días más tarde, mi abuela me envió a su habitación a buscar su bastón. Apenas abrí la puerta, sentí el fuerte aroma de los plátanos madurando. Dentro de la habitación estaba el gran canasto mágico de paja de mi abuela. Estaba bien escondido bajo una vieja manta. La levanté y olí ese glorioso aroma.


Grandma’s voice startled me when she called, “What are you doing? Hurry up and bring me the stick.” I hurried out with her walking stick. “What are you smiling about?” Grandma asked. Her question made me realise that I was still smiling at the discovery of her magic place.

Grandma's voice startled me when she called, "What are you doing? Hurry up and bring me the stick." I hurried out with her walking stick. "What are you smiling about?" Grandma asked. Her question made me realise that I was still smiling at the discovery of her magic place.

Me asusté cuando escuché que mi abuela me llamaba, "¿Qué estás haciendo? Apúrate y tráeme mi bastón." Me apresuré en llevarle su bastón. "¿Por qué sonríes?" me preguntó mi abuela. Su pregunta me hizo darme cuenta de que yo todavía estaba sonriendo por haber descubierto su lugar mágico.


The following day when grandma came to visit my mother, I rushed to her house to check the bananas once more. There was a bunch of very ripe ones. I picked one and hid it in my dress. After covering the basket again, I went behind the house and quickly ate it. It was the sweetest banana I had ever tasted.

The following day when grandma came to visit my mother, I rushed to her house to check the bananas once more. There was a bunch of very ripe ones. I picked one and hid it in my dress. After covering the basket again, I went behind the house and quickly ate it. It was the sweetest banana I had ever tasted.

Al día siguiente, mi abuela vino a visitar a mi madre. En ese momento, corrí a su casa a revisar los plátanos otra vez. Había un montón de plátanos muy maduros. Cogí uno y lo escondí en mi vestido. Después de volver a cubrir el canasto, fui detrás de la casa y me lo comí rápidamente. Era el plátano más dulce que me había comido en toda mi vida.


The following day, when grandma was in the garden picking vegetables, I sneaked in and peered at the bananas. Nearly all were ripe. I couldn’t help taking a bunch of four. As I tiptoed towards the door, I heard grandma coughing outside. I just managed to hide the bananas under my dress and walked past her.

The following day, when grandma was in the garden picking vegetables, I sneaked in and peered at the bananas. Nearly all were ripe. I couldn't help taking a bunch of four. As I tiptoed towards the door, I heard grandma coughing outside. I just managed to hide the bananas under my dress and walked past her.

Al día siguiente, cuando mi abuela estaba en su huerta recolectando vegetales, entré a su casa hurtadillas y revisé los plátanos. Casi todos estaban maduros. No pude evitar coger cuatro. Mientras caminaba de puntitas hacia la salida, escuché a mi abuela toser afuera. Logré esconder los plátanos bajo mi vestido y pasé caminando al lado de ella.


The following day was market day. Grandma woke up early. She always took ripe bananas and cassava to sell at the market. I did not hurry to visit her that day. But I could not avoid her for long.

The following day was market day. Grandma woke up early. She always took ripe bananas and cassava to sell at the market. I did not hurry to visit her that day. But I could not avoid her for long.

El día siguiente era día de mercado. Mi abuela se despertó temprano. Ella siempre tomaba los plátanos maduros y la yuca para venderlos en el mercado. Ese día no me apresuré en ir a visitarla. Pero no pude evitarla por mucho tiempo.


Later that evening I was called by my mother and father, and Grandma. I knew why. That night as I lay down to sleep, I knew I could never steal again, not from grandma, not from my parents, and certainly not from anyone else.

Later that evening I was called by my mother and father, and Grandma. I knew why. That night as I lay down to sleep, I knew I could never steal again, not from grandma, not from my parents, and certainly not from anyone else.

Más tarde esa noche, me llamaron mi madre, padre y abuela. Yo sabía por qué. Me fui a dormir habiendo aprendido que no podía volver a robar nunca más, ni a mi abuela, ni a mis padres, ni a nadie más.


Written by: Ursula Nafula
Illustrated by: Catherine Groenewald
Read by: Darshan Soni
Language: English
Level 4
Source: Grandma's bananas from African Storybook
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 International License.
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