WHY FRUITS HAVE SEASONS

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    A meeting was held at the palace of Iroko, the king of all trees. Mango Tree, Orange Tree, Apple Tree, Grape Tree, Cashew Tree, Guava Tree and a host of others were present. King Iroko stared round at all the trees that sat in his palace, to make sure that no one was missing.
    ‘Greetings to you all,’ he said. ‘I was told the matter is a very urgent one. So, what is the problem, if I may ask?’
    ‘Greetings your majesty,’ said Grape Tree. ‘Mango Tree here is the problem.’ And several other trees murmured in agreement. King Iroko took off his glasses and adjusted his sitting position.
    ‘How?’
    ‘Your highness, he has charmed Man and caused him to stop patronizing us,’ spoke Lemon Tree. ‘Man only plucks Mango Tree’s fruits. He says the rest of us produce bitter fruits. He doesn’t come near us at all. Thus, all our fruits are left to waste. Nobody eats them.’
    ‘That’s right, my lord’ said Cherry Tree. ‘Mango Tree has poisoned Man’s mind.’
    ‘My Lord, Mango Tree is very selfish,’ said Pear Tree. ‘With my very eyes, I saw him visit a powerful dibia, who prepared a charm that will cause Man to turn his back on us, and eat of his fruits alone.’
    ‘Your majesty, they are all terrible liars!’ shouted Mango Tree. ‘I work very hard to produce sweet fruits. They are lazy and do not work as hard as I do. So it is rightful that I enjoy the fruits of my labour.’
    King Iroko was silent for a while. He seemed to be thinking deeply. Then he cleared his throat.
    ‘I have heard all that you have said. Mango Tree, maybe you work harder than the rest, but I think it’s only fair that equal opportunities be given to all the trees. Here is my judgement. Henceforth, I shall assign seasons to all fruit trees. Some will produce fruits at a particular season; others at some other season. I believe this will make room for equitable distribution.’
    Mango Tree did not like this verdict at all and it clearly showed in his countenance.
    ‘I knew you would back them,’ he said to the king. ‘I knew it. I don’t even know how you became king. You do not produce any fruits. You are just tall for nothing.’
    Mango Tree walked out of the palace, red in the face. But there was nothing he could do to rescind the king’s decision. The king’s word was law.
    This is why fruits are in and out of season today. Strawberries might be available this minute and the next, they are not. Looking back now, don’t you think King Iroko was a very prudent king?

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