Mango man


This is not a festive fable. It’s a true story. In fact, I know mango man.

He lives in suburbia, in a village of wide streets, shady hilltops and sprawling gardens. In his neighbours’ yard there’s a mature mango tree that produces a pretty generous crop year in year out. The tree was planted by the original owners long before mango man arrived on the scene.

Fast forward a few decades and age began to weary his neighbours’ green thumbs. Eventually the elderly couple relocated to a nearby aged care home.

New neighbours moved in and made the place their own. Who knows what they did inside but outside the landscape appeared unchanged.

When summer arrived so did the mangoes. Turns out the new owners didn’t share their predecessors’ penchant for citrus. Enter mango man.

Noticing the fruit was going to waste, he asked if he could pick a few. The neighbours were obliging but must have wondered why he drove off with his spoils, given he lived right next door.

He headed to the aged care home and hand-delivered the mangoes to his former neighbours. Lately their minds had begun to play tricks on them but this day they remembered every detail of that mango tree and the day they planted it and the sapling from which it had sprung.

When mango man sliced and served the fresh fruit, he made that pair feel like royalty. Little wonder. You see mango man has already served royalty. He was once a chef and knows a thing or two about silver service.

As soon as that juicy flesh hit their lips, a succulent squirt of flavour instantly transported them to happier, healthier times. Mango man could literally sense their senses savouring the fruits of their life’s labour.

So what breed were these magnificant mangoes? Bullock’s Heart of course. Just like mango man himself.

Do you miss your last neighbours? Tell me about them.

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