I met an octoganerian in the juice aisle of our local supermarket this morning. He was looking perplexed for he couldn’t find the boxes of cranberry juice. “They used to be here,” he muttered as he searched the middle and lower shelves, clearly disappointed.

In true supermarket fashion, the cranberry juice was now stored on the top shelf. I gave him the two cartons he wanted and reached across for mango juice to add to my trolley.

The man smiled. “Mango juice is very nice,” he said and turned confidingly towards me, his blue eyes twinkling with a delight I was about to discover. “Do you remember sitting near the top of a mango tree burdened with ripe fruit?” His wrinkled face became suffused with a youthful energy as he recalled “plucking the fruit, biting the end to pull back the skin, and sinking your teeth into that sweet, yellow flesh. Plucking another and another, sucking each mango until there was nothing left but the large pip dropped to the ground to make way for another.”

He smiled cheerily. “I can still recall the sticky yellow juice dripping down my chin, running down my arms and onto my legs.”The man nodded and began to move away. “Yes, mango juice is very nice,” he said before heading down another aisle.



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