Nalo Hopkinson's novel Midnight Robber contains a story entitled "How Tan-Tan Learn to Thief". It is one of the many elements from Caribbean culture that Hopkinson draws on in the novel. The story is based on the Caribbean legend about how the first people came to Earth; see the online version on OoCities.org.

The legend is about the Carib people, who live on the moon and decide to go to Earth in order to clean it. Afterwards, they cannot return to the moon and they don't like the fruits of the trees on Earth. The deity Kabo-Tano (also known as Tamosi) creates a great tree, each branch of which bears a different type of fruit, but does not tell the people about the tree. Several animals know about the tree but don't want the people about it. The people eventually find it but Kabo Tano tells them to cut it down; the cuttings from the tree's branches are then planted in the fields, where they grow into different types of plants.

The legend can also be found in books such as Guyana Legends: Folk Tales of the Indigenous Amerindians by Odeen Ishmael (2011) and West-Indian Folk-tales retold by Philip Sherlock (Oxford University Press, 1966 and many times reprinted; see the first story: "The Coomacka-Tree"). Hopkinson changes the story; for example, it is not about the Caribs but about Tan-Tan and Antonio. What is the relevance of the story to the novel as a whole?


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