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Grandma’s bananas Grandma’s bananas Les bananes de grand-mère

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.

Le jardin de grand-mère était merveilleux – plein de sorgho, de millet et de manioc. Mais le meilleur de tout, c'était les bananes. Bien que grand-mère avait beaucoup de petits-enfants, je savais que secrètement j'étais sa préférée. Elle m'invitait souvent dans sa maison. Elle partageait avec moi ses petits secrets. Mais il y avait une chose qu'elle gardait secrète : L'endroit où elle faisait murir les bananes.


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 jour, je vis un grand panier de paille placé au soleil devant la maison de grand-mère. Quand je lui ai demandé à quoi il servait, pour seule réponse, elle me dit : « C'est mon panier magique. » A côté du panier, il y avait plusieurs feuilles de bananier que grand-mère retournait de temps en temps. J'étais curieuse. « A quoi servent ces feuilles, grand-mère ? » demandai-je. Mais pour seule réponse, elle me dit : « Ce sont mes feuilles magiques. »


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.

C'était fascinant de regarder grand-mère, les bananes, les feuilles de bananier et le grand panier de paille. Mais grand-mère m'envoya retrouver maman pour aller chercher quelque-chose. « Grand-mère, s'il te plaît, laisse-moi regarder ce que tu prépares... « Ne sois pas têtue, petite, fais ce que je te demande » insista-t-elle. Je partis donc en courant.


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!

A mon retour, grand-mère était assise dehors, mais il n'y avait plus ni panier, ni bananes. « Grand-mère, où est le panier, où sont toutes les bananes, et où est ... « Mais pour seule réponse, elle me dit : « Ils sont dans mon lieu magique. » J'étais très déçue.


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.

Deux jours plus tard, grand-mère m'envoya dans sa chambre chercher son bâton de marche. Dès que j'ouvris la porte, je fus accueilli par une forte odeur de bananes mures. Au milieu de la pièce, se trouvait le grand panier magique de grand-mère. Il était bien caché sous une vieille couverture. Je la soulevai et reniflai cette odeur extraordinaire.


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.

La voix de grand-mère me fit sursauter quand elle appela, « Que fais-tu ? Dépêche-toi de m'apporter mon bâton ». Je me suis alors précipitée avec sa canne. « Qu'est-ce qui te fait sourire ? » demanda grand-mère. Sa question me fit réaliser que je souriais encore en pensant à la découverte de son lieu magique.


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.

Le lendemain, lorsque grand-mère est venue rendre visite à maman, je me suis précipitée chez elle pour regarder les bananes une fois de plus. Il y en avait plusieurs, qui étaient déjà très mûres. J'en pris une, que je cachai sous ma robe. Après avoir recouvert le panier, je me rendis derrière la maison pour la manger en vitesse. C'était la banane la plus douce que je n'avais jamais goûtée.


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.

Le lendemain, alors que grand-mère était dans le jardin en train de ramasser des légumes, je me suis glissée dans sa chambre pour regarder les bananes. Elles étaient presque toutes mûres. Je n'ai pas pu résister, et pris quatre autres bananes. Alors que je marchais sur la pointe des pieds vers la porte, j'entendis grand-mère tousser dehors. J'eus juste le temps de cacher les bananes sous ma robe avant de passer devant elle en m'éloignant.


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.

Le lendemain, c'était le jour du marché. Grand-mère se réveilla très tôt. Elle prenait toujours du manioc et des bananes mûres pour les vendre sur le marché. Ce jour-là, je ne me suis pas dépêchée pour aller lui rendre visite. Mais je n'allais pas pouvoir l'éviter bien longtemps.


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.

Plus tard ce soir-là, ma mère, mon père et grand-mère m'ont appelée. Je savais pourquoi. Cette nuit là quand je me suis couchée, je savais que je ne pourrai plus jamais voler, ni ma grand-mère, ni mes parents, ni qui que ce soit d'autres.


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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