The Magic Tree: A Folktale from Nigeria


Year Published: 1999
Written by: T. Obinkaram Echewa
Illustrated by: E.B. Lewis

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Mbi is an orphan boy who lives in a Nigerian village with many unkind relatives. When there is work to do, everyone calls his name. But when it’s time to eat, all Mbi gets are scraps and bones to chew. Then one day, while everyone else is eating dinner and Mbi is sitting under an udara tree near the compound, a magical fruit falls from the tree. Mbi plants a seed form the fruit, and a huge udara tree suddenly grows just for him. Now he will never go hungry. But when the meanest boy in the village tries to steal some of the fruit, Mbi makes the tree grow taller and taller, until its branches–with the boy on top of them–are lost in the clouds. And, using his wits, Mbi teaches all the villagers a lesson they’ll never forget.