The Carambola Tree and the Magic Raven

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In this traditional Vietnamese tale you will find out about a magic raven and about why it’s not worth being greedy. You’ll also learn about a tasty exotic fruit.

This story was written by Hana Do.

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The Carambola Tree and the Magic Raven
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Long ago in Vietnam there lived a very rich man. When he died, he left his enormous fortune to his two sons.

But his two sons were as different as chalk and cheese. The older brother was greedy and mean, while the younger brother was kind and caring. After their father’s death, the older brother took all of his younger brother’s inheritance and moved away from their village. The only things he could not take with him were the family’s cottage and its carambola tree.

The carambola tree has juicy but sour fruit. If you cut through the carambola fruit, it looks like a yellow star, which is why it is also sometimes called star fruit.

The younger brother took good care of the carambola tree, and the tree rewarded him by producing plenty of fruit. The younger brother sold the fruit at the market and earned enough money to keep his family.

But one day, a big raven flew down. He perched on a branch of the tree and straight away began to peck at the sour fruits! “Look at that bird ruining our fortune! What will we live off now?” wailed the younger brother’s wife.

When the raven heard that, he responded – to her surprise – in a human voice: “Don’t be afraid. I will repay you richly for the fruit I have eaten. Just fetch a sack!”

The younger brother and his wife decided to heed this strange piece of advice. When the raven had eaten all of the carambola fruit, it called out to the younger brother: “Bring the sack and sit on my back!” As soon as he had done so, the raven took off and they both vanished over the horizon.

The younger brother kept his eyes tightly…

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