The Marshmallow Tree and Other April’s Fool Jokes

Jadai: to pretend

During the last years of the Chin dynasty (around 211 B.C.), people suffered under a tyrannical government. A warrior named Hohng Yuh rose up and rebelled against the emperor. To get more followers to join him, he appointed a noble from the state of Cho as king. Hohng Yuh’s army grew stronger and defeated the government. However, Hohng Yuh learned that he had made a poor choice in the noble he had selected. Hohng Yuh drowned him by sinking his ship while he was crossing a river. Jadai means to put someone on a throne; Hohng Yuh did this deceitfully, so now the phrase implies trickery.

Speaking of cunning, Happy April Fool’s Day! You would think that since I create stories I would make the best April Fool’s jokes. I’m thinking here of Gretchen Rubin, who froze cereal and milk in a bowl before serving it to her daughter for breakfast. I, on the other hand, have never been able to think of a worthy prank, although I’ve been on the receiving end plenty of times.

The one I remember most vividly from my childhood is the marshmallow tree. I was watching an April 1st news report on marshmallow trees. My parents oohed-and-aahed at the broadcast. Quickly, I rummaged through our pantry and ran outside to plant marshmallows in the dirt. At that point, my parents dragged me back inside and showed me the fine print running across the screen announcing that the trees were a practical joke. Then they made me dig up the marshmallows (so as not to attract any ants) and throw them away in the garbage.

I can get really immersed in stories. Maybe being gullible is a hallmark of a creative mind? At least, that’s what I tell myself to feel better.

p.s. Check out my very real story, “The Red Book,” which came out on Mouse Tales Press today! 

Foodie Friday: Almond Tofu
Foodie Friday: Roti Canai


  1. I love the marshmallow tree story. I’ve never been clever enough for practical jokes. Also, I worry about hurting people’s feelings by making them look foolish. Glad to see you as always, Jennifer. Keep up the great work!


  1. […] As a child, I succumbed to the great marshmallow trick one April Fool’s Day. Even in college, my friend insisted that strawberries grew on trees. […]

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