~ 101. Anansi and Cow ~
Anansi put cane-liquor in a gourd and went walking.
He met Cow and offered him a taste.
"Delicious!" said Cow.
"Come live with me!" Anansi said. "I'll give you liquor! Just let me put this willow-rope over your horns and lead you to my house."
Anansi led Cow home and tied the rope to a tree.
"I'll go get you more liquor!" Anansi said.
Anansi came back with a machete, but when he went to cut Cow's head off, he accidentally cut the rope and Cow ran off.
"Cow! Come back! I was just joking!"
Cow never trusted Anansi again.
~ 102. Anansi and Sheep and their Spoons ~
Anansi and Sheep were out walking. They each carried a spoon.
"Your spoon sure looks heavy!" Anansi said. "Bury it here. You can come fetch it when we find food."
Sheep buried his spoon.
Finally they found a house with food.
"Go get your spoon!" said Anansi.
Then, when Sheep was gone, Anansi ate all the food.
Sheep came back. "I'm hungry! And I'm tired from carrying my spoon!"
"Well, leave the spoon here," said Anansi.
They found another house at dinnertime. Sheep went back to get his spoon, and Anansi ate all the dinner.
Sheep didn't get anything again.
~ 103. Anansi and Horse Share Plantains ~
Anansi and Horse harvested some plantains.
"I'm hungry!" said Horse.
"Me too!" said Anansi. "But we need a cooking-fire. See that fire?" - Anansi pointed at a distant house - "Go get fire there!"
Horse galloped off.
Then Anansi got his tinder-box, made a fire, and roasted the plantains. He ate and ate; just four were left when Horse came back.
A man came, gave me fire, but then he stole the roasted plantains! said Anansi. "I fought him and saved these four. You take two and I'll take two."
"You're a good friend, Anansi!" said Horse, and they shared the plantains.
~ 104. Anansi and the Bros ~
Anansi had a vision. "We can all be brothers!" he shouted.
Anansi got a wagon and went to all the animals, preaching the gospel of bro-hood. "Bro Dog! Bro Hog! Bro Rabbit! Bro Hawk! Bro Monkey! Bro Tiger! Let's celebrate our brotherhood. I'll carry food for the party in my wagon. Come to my house tomorrow!"
The animals loaded Anansi's wagon with food and drink.
"See you tomorrow!" said Anansi.
That night Anansi ate and drank till he couldn't eat or drink anymore.
The animals came the next day, not guessing how much Anansi stole for himself the night before.
~ 105. Anansi and the Chicken ~
Anansi was hungry, so put his mother up in a tree, giving her a rope and a stick.
Then Anansi sat at the foot of the tree, grinning.
Chicken walked by. "Why are you grinning?" she asked.
"I'm grinning because my treehouse is nice and cool, and it's full of food."
"I'm so hungry!" said Chicken. "Let me visit your treehouse please!"
"Okay," said Anansi.
Then he sang, "Mama, Mama, drop the rope."
Anansi tied Chicken to the rope. "Mama, Mama, haul her up."
Then Anansi shouted, "Mama, Mama, use the stick!"
Anansi's mother killed Chicken and they ate her.
~ 106. Anansi and Screech-Owl ~
Anansi organized a dance and asked Screech-Owl and his band to play.
Screech-Owl can only go out at night, so he brought Rooster to warn him when dawn came.
But Anansi wanted to catch Screech-Owl at dawn after the dance and eat him for breakfast.
So Anansi took corn soaked in rum and he that corn to Rooster. Rooster got drunk and passed out.
Dawn was coming; Rooster didn't sing out.
Dawn came; Rooster didn't sing out.
Anansi grabbed Screech-Owl, strangled him, and ate him.
Then Anansi took over Screech-Owl's band. That's how Anansi got to be the best music-man.
~ 107. Anansi and John Crow ~
Anansi threw a big party, and John Crow was the best dancer there. He danced even better than Anansi, and that made Anansi mad.
So as soon as the porridge was hot, Anansi said, "Dance on up here, John Crow, and I'll give you some of this hot porridge."
So John Crow went strutting up to the pot, and then Anansi grabbed the ladle and poured hot porridge on John Crow's head, and it stripped his head feathers clean off.
That's why John Crow has a bald head to this day: Anansi burned the feathers off with the hot porridge!
~ 108. Anansi and Dove ~
Anansi saw Dove planting peas. "Peas grow strong if you burn the roots."
Dove burned the roots, and the plants died.
Dove wanted revenge.
He put his mother in a coffin and gave her a bag of money.
Then he began weeping. "My mother died!"
Anansi came running.
"Mother, send me something from heaven!" said Dove.
So Dove's mother threw the money out of the coffin.
Anansi ran home and killed his mother, put her in a coffin and said, "Mother, send me something from heaven!"
No money came out of the coffin.
That's how Dove got revenge on Anansi.
~ 109. Anansi and the Pelicans ~
The Pelicans invited Anansi to a party on Pelican Island.
"I'd like to go with you, but I can't fly," said Anansi.
"We can make you wings with our feathers," said the Pelicans. Each of the Pelicans contributed a few feathers, and they made a beautiful pair of wings for Anansi.
Anansi flew to the island with the Pelicans. When Anansi got to the party, he ate all the food and he drank all the drinks. This made the Pelicans angry, and they took back all their feathers.
Then the Pelicans flew away, and Anansi was trapped on the island.
~ 110. Anansi and the Dove's Wings ~
"You're so fat!" Anansi said to Dove. "Show me where you eat!"
Dove made wings for Anansi, and they flew to the feeding-trees by the river.
Dove landed on a tree and started eating, but Anansi said, "That tree's mine!" and ate all the fruit.
Dove flew to another tree.
"That's mine!" Anansi said and ate all the fruit.
Finally Anansi ate so much he fell asleep.
Dove was angry, so she took the wings off and flew away with them.
When Anansi woke up, he said, "Hey, where are my wings?"
Then he fell into the river and drowned.
~ 111. Anansi and Dung-Beetle ~
Anansi and Dung-Beetle both had some money.
Anansi said, "Let's buy some plantains."
Beetle said, "And butter!"
Then they argued: Anansi wouldn't share the plantains, and Beetle wouldn't share the butter.
Finally Anansi hit Beetle and killed him.
"Uh-oh!" said Anansi, and he ran off.
Then Beetle ate everything. He wasn't really dead: he fooled Anansi!
Then Beetle found Anansi in the woods. He hid in the bushes and shouted, "Heard the news? Heard the news?"
"What news?" said Anansi.
"Anansi killed Beetle! They're coming to get him!"
Anansi ran off into "Dead Man Country" and that's where he stays.
~ 112. Butterfly's Revenge ~
Butterfly was tired of Anansi's tricks. He wanted revenge!
Butterfly hid in Anansi's basket.
When Anansi got home and opened the basket, Butterfly flew out and landed on Anansi's son's head.
Stand still! Anansi shouted. "Don't move!"
Anansi hit his son on the head and killed the boy, but not Butterfly.
Then Butterfly flew on Anansi's wife's head.
Anansi hit her on the head and killed her too, but not Butterfly.
Then Butterfly landed on Anansi's head, so Anansi ran to the roof and threw himself down headfirst.
Anansi killed himself, but not Butterfly.
Butterfly flew away, laughing.
~ 113. Anansi and the Cockroach ~
One day Anansi and Cockroach made a bargain to work all day together weeding the vegetable garden, but when Cockroach knocked at the door, Anansi groaned, "I'm too sick to go, Cockroach. I've got a fever!"
Then, when Cockroach was gone, Anansi started to sing:
Garden too far, too hot,
Garden too hot, too far,
Cockroach stopped when he heard Anansi singing and shouted, "You can't fool me, Anansi!"
Anansi shouted back, "No, it's the fever, Cockroach, I swear!"
And while Cockroach was shouting, Cat heard him, and Cat came and ate Cockroach.
Nobody weeded the vegetable garden.
~ 114. Anansi and Beetle ~
Anansi and Beetle were both courting the king's daughter.
"Bring your jars full of money," said the king. "She'll marry the one with the most money."
Beetle filled up a jar with money, but Anansi filled his jar with dung. Then he waited for Beetle.
"It's hot today," said Anansi. "Have a beer!"
"Thanks, Anansi!" said Beetle.
While Beetle was drinking, Anansi swapped the jars.
Then at the palace, Anansi poured out money from his jar, but Beetle just poured out manure.
"Disgusting!" shouted Anansi. "Clean it up, Beetle!"
And that's why Dung-Beetle is still rolling dung to this day.
~ 115. Anansi and the Bullfrogs ~
You've seen how Bullfrogs are always jumping. It's Anansi's fault, because he tricked the Bullfrogs long ago.
Anansi came to the pond one day and shouted, "Hey there, Bullfrogs! I've got good news: I caught Alligator. You don't have to worry about him anymore."
Anansi was lying, but the Bullfrogs believed him. "Thank you, Anansi!" they said. "Thank you so much!"
The next day Anansi told them, "Watch out! Alligator got away."
Then Anansi pointed. "Look there! He's right behind you!"
Anansi was lying, but the Bullfrogs believed him. The Bullfrogs started jumping.
And they're still jumping to this day!
~ 116. Anansi, Whale, and Elephant ~
"I'm so strong!" boasted Whale.
"I'm stronger!" boasted Anansi. "I'll pull you onto the land."
Whale just laughed. "I'd like to see that!"
Then Anansi went to Elephant. "I'll pull you into the ocean!"
Elephant just laughed. "I'd like to see that!"
Anansi tied a rope to Elephant's tail. "I'll tell you when I'm ready!"
Next, he tied the rope to Whale's tail. "I'll tell you when I'm ready!"
Anansi hid in the bushes. "I'm going to pull now!"
So Elephant pulled.
And Whale pulled.
"Anansi really is strong!" they thought.
Whale and Elephant pulled so hard they both died.
~ 117. Anansi and Whale ~
Anansi was trapped on an island. "Help!" he yelled.
Whale swam by and offered to carry Anansi to shore.
"I'm hungry!" said Anansi. "Fetch me that fish!"
Whale tossed a fish up to Anansi.
"My children will kill Whale when we get to shore!" Anansi said to himself.
"What's that?" asked Whale.
"I was just saying I want some more!" shouted Anansi.
Whale threw Anansi more fish.
They got to shore, and Anansi yelled, "Children, come kill Whale!"
This made Whale angry. He threw Anansi down, smashed him, and filled his body with sand.
That was the end of Anansi.
~ 118. Anansi, Shark, and the Fish ~
Anansi went looking for Shark in the sea.
"You catch the fish," said Anansi, "and I'll cook them for you. Then I'll bring the cooked fish back to you in the water."
"I like cooked fish," said Shark, and he caught lots of fish. "Cook us a good fish soup!"
Then Anansi made a fire and put the fish in boiling water.
"Come dance and sing while I cook!" Anansi said to Shark.
When Shark started dancing on the beach, Anansi threw the boiling water on him. Then Anansi ate all the fish by himself, and he ate Shark too.
~ 119. Anansi, Alligator, and the Pepper-Pot Soup ~
Alligator challenged Anansi to a diving contest. Together they cooked up a big pot of pepper-pot soup. "Whoever wins gets all the soup!" they said.
Alligator went first. He dived deep deep deep down into the river.
Meanwhile, Anansi ate the soup.
When Alligator came up, Anansi shouted, "Monkeys came and ate the soup!"
Then Anansi ran to Monkey-Town; he was faster than Alligator, so he got there first.
He taught the Monkeys a new song: "We love pepper-pot, we love the pepper-pot soup!"
The Monkeys started singing the song.
Alligator heard them singing, and he ate all the Monkeys!
~ 120. Anansi and the Crabs ~
Anansi dressed up in a black preaching-gown and preached to the Crabs in Crab Country, but they ignored him.
The next time Anansi went to Crab Country, he brought Rat with his drum, Blackbird with his fiddle, and Toad with his flute. Anansi preached, while Rat, Blackbird and Toad played, and the Crabs danced, shouting "Hallelujah!"
And now, Anansi said, "it's time for the baptizing."
Anansi baptized Rat, Toad, and Blackbird with cold water. "Hallelujah!" they shouted.
"Now baptize us!" said the Crabs, but this time Anansi used boiling water.
Then Anansi and the band ate up all the Crabs.
~ 121. Anansi and the Fish-Children ~
"Our mother's sick!" said the Fish-children.
"I'll cure her," Anansi said. "Give me a frying pan and some oil. I'll tell you when she's cured."
The Fish-children agreed, and Anansi fried the mother and ate her.
Come in now! he said.
"Where's our mother?" said the Fish-children.
"I ate her!" said Anansi.
The Fish were angry. "We're going to kill you!" they said, and they grabbed Anansi.
"Just don't burn me in the trash-heap!" shouted Anansi. "Whatever you do, don't burn me in the trash-heap!"
When the Fish-children put him in the trash-heap, Anansi scurried away, laughing at the Fish-children.
~ 122. Anansi in Fish-Country ~
Anansi went to Fish-Country, pretending to be a doctor.
A fat mama-fish came to see him. "My eyes hurt," she said.
I can cure that! said Anansi.
Anansi accompanied her home and locked her in a room. Next, he taught her children a song: Bim-Bam-Bye, Heal My Mother's Eye.
Anansi entered the locked room, fried the fish, and ate her. Then he arranged her bones on the bed
"Keep on singing, but leave her alone for two hours!" he said to the fish-children. "I'll check on her tomorrow."
The fish-children even paid Anansi.
"Bim-Bam-Bye!" Anansi sang as he ran away.
~ 123. Anansi and the Barrel of Eggs ~
Anansi fell in the river, and the Fish found him. They took him to their home.
There was a barrel of eggs in their kitchen.
In the night, Anansi ate the eggs; he only left one.
In the morning, the Fish-Mother said, "Children, bring me the eggs to count."
"Let the Fish-Children sleep," said Anansi. "I'll bring the eggs."
So Anansi brought one egg, and she marked it with ash.
"Bring another," she said.
Anansi wiped off the ash-mark and brought the same egg again.
When the Fish-Mother was done counting she said, "Thank you, Anansi! You're a good helper."
~ 124. Anansi and the Fish-Children's Canoe ~
Anansi ate the eggs in the Fish-Mother's barrel, but she didn't know it.
"Take me home now!" he said to the Fish-Children.
So Anansi and the Fish-Children got in a canoe and began crossing the river.
Meanwhile, the Fish-Mother discovered what Anansi had done. "HE ATE ALL THE EGGS!" she yelled. "COME BACK!"
"What did she say?" asked the Fish-Children.
"She said: Squall's coming! Row fast!"
When they came ashore, and Anansi grabbed the Fish-Children.
"HELP!" yelled the Fish-Children, but their mother couldn't hear them.
Then Anansi fried the fish and ate them.
That's how people learned to eat fish.
~ 125. Turtle and Anansi's Yams ~
Anansi was roasting some yams, but he did not want to share them, so he scattered ashes in the path leading to his house.
Turtle smelled the yams, and he was hungry. He came to Anansi's house. "May I share your dinner?" Turtle asked.
"Yes," said Anansi, "but you must wash your hands in the stream first."
Turtle went and washed his hands carefully and came back.
"Your hands are still dirty!" said Anansi. "Go wash again!"
Turtle went and washed, but again his hands got dirty walking to Anansi's house.
Turtle never got to eat the yams!
~ 126. Turtle Invites Anansi to Dinner ~
Turtle wanted revenge on Anansi, so he invited him for dinner, and when Anansi came to the pond, Turtle said, "Dive down! Dinner's in my house at the bottom of the pond."
Turtle dived in, and Anansi dived in. But Anansi was so light he couldn't swim down like Turtle could. Anansi pushed as hard as he could, but he bobbed to the surface.
Then Anansi put rocks in his pockets.
That helped, but not enough.
So he gathered more rocks.
And more rocks.
And when he got to Turtle's house, dinner was over: Turtle had eaten all the food!
~ 127. Turtle and Anansi Make a Bet ~
Turtle got rich, and Anansi was jealous.
Anansi put what little money he had in the bank and went to see Turtle.
"We've both got money in the bank," said Anansi. "Let's race along the riverbank! The winner will take all the money."
Turtle agreed. Then he arranged with the Turtle family to hide themselves in the river-grass. They all looked alike!
The race started, and Turtles were popping up ahead of Anansi at every turn.
The last one was Mr. Turtle hiding by the finish line.
"I'm the winner!" he said.
Anansi never figured out how Turtle did it.
~ 128. Anansi and Turtle Make Another Bet ~
After Turtle won the race, Anansi and Turtle went to the bank.
The banker gave Turtle a sack with all the money: Turtle's money, and Anansi's too.
They walked home together. "How did he win that race?" Anansi wondered. "He's so slow!"
When they reached the pond, Anansi said, "Let's make a new bet: whoever dives longest gets the money."
Turtle knew he could win this time too: he was a good diver.
So Turtle jumped in and swam down down down deep. After a long time, he came back up.
Anansi was gone. And so was all the money!
~ 129. Anansi Takes Advice from Turtle ~
Anansi had caught Turtle at last.
"I'll cook you for my supper!" said Anansi.
Just be sure to take me out of the water as soon as it starts boiling, said Turtle. "Otherwise, my fat will melt away."
Anansi put Turtle in a pot of water, and then he put the pot on the fire.
Turtle blew as hard as he could, making bubbles.
"The water's boiling!" said Anansi.
Anansi took Turtle out of the pot and went to set the table, singing "Turtle supper, yum-yum-yum!"
When Anansi came back, Turtle was gone.
Turtle went home singing "Fooled Anansi, ha-ha-ha!"
~ 130. Anansi and the King's Cow ~
Anansi accidentally killed the king's cow.
Anansi hoisted the dead cow up a mango tree.
"Let's go pick mangoes!" he said to Tacooma. "Whack the tree with your stick."
The cow fell down!
"You must tell the king you killed his cow," Anansi said.
But Tacooma decided to trick Anansi.
"I told the king," Tacooma said later, "and he rewarded my honesty by giving me the cow to eat."
Anansi ran to the king. "I killed the cow! It should be mine to eat!"
The furious king kicked Anansi, breaking him into thousands of pieces.
That's where spiders come from.
~ 131. Anansi the Preacher and Cockroach's Coconut ~
Anansi was the king's preacher, and the king gave him a black suit. Anansi was proud of his preacher-suit.
Cockroach was Anansi's neighbor, and Cockroach's coconut tree grew near Anansi's house. There was a coconut dangling from a branch hanging over Anansi's land. Anansi took that coconut!
"That was mine!" shouted Cockroach.
"It was on my side!" shouted Anansi.
Cockroach waited till Anansi put his preacher-suit on the clothesline to dry. When the wind blew it to Cockroach's side, he snipped the suit in half.
Anansi was embarrassed! He couldn't preach on Sunday, and the king threw him in prison.
~ 132. The King Banishes Anansi ~
Anansi kept playing tricks on the king. Finally the king shouted, "I don't ever want to see your face again!"
Anansi left the palace in disgrace.
Later there was a royal parade. Anansi wanted to go to the parade, so he put a pot on his head.
As the king passed, Anansi bent down and stuck his butt in the air towards the king.
"Whose butt is that?" shouted the king. "That looks like Anansi's butt!"
"You told me you never wanted to see my face again," shouted Anansi from inside the pot. "You never said anything about my butt!"
~ 133. Anansi and the Fire in the King's Palace ~
Anansi set fire to the king's palace.
"Who set fire to my palace?" shouted the king. "I'll reward whoever finds the criminal!"
"You need to have a party," Anansi said to the king. "That's how you will find the criminal."
Then Anansi went to see Goat. "Let's go to the king's party together, Goat!" he said. "I'll play while you sing this song: I set the fire, O, I set the fire, O!"
Goat was happy to go to the party.
Anansi played and Goat sang, "I set the fire, O!"
The king locked Goat in prison and rewarded Anansi.
~ 134. Anansi and the Watermelon ~
Anansi made a hole in Goat's watermelon and feasted.
Then he was too fat to get out!
"Hello, Goat!" said Anansi from inside the watermelon.
"The king will want this talking watermelon!" said Goat, and he carried the watermelon to the king's palace.
"I brought you a talking watermelon," said Goat.
"Show me!" said the king.
The watermelon said nothing.
"Talk, you stupid watermelon!" shouted the king.
"I'm not stupid!" said Anansi. "You're the one talking to fruit."
The king picked up the watermelon and threw it against the wall.
Out popped Anansi, and he ran away, laughing.
~ 135. Anansi and Anteater ~
Anansi was sneaking into the king's elephant park at night, crawling into the elephant's stomach and nibbling on the elephant meat.
Anteater saw that Anansi was getting fat this way.
"Take me with you!" said Anteater.
"Only if you promise to just nibble," said Anansi.
"I promise!" said the Anteater.
They went into the elephant and nibbled.
"It's time to go," said Anansi.
But Anteater would not go. "Just a little more," he said.
Anansi left, and Anteater kept eating.
Then the elephant fell down dead.
The king was angry: he cut open the elephant, found Anteater, and killed him.
~ 136. Anansi, Tiger, and the King's Daughter ~
Anansi had made the king angry.
"I'll boil you to death!" said the king, and he tied Anansi to a tree while he went to get the soup-pot.
Tiger came by. "Who tied you up?" he asked.
"The king tied me up!" said Anansi. "He's going to force me to marry his daughter."
"I want to marry the king's daughter!" shouted Tiger. "You tie me there!"
So Tiger untied Anansi, and Anansi tied Tiger.
Then the king came back. "This pot's not big enough!" he said when he saw Tiger there, so he beat Tiger with the soup ladle instead.
~ 137. The Contest for the King's Daughter ~
The king had a beautiful daughter, and he said his daughter would marry whoever could dance a big stone into smoke.
Men came and danced on that stone, but they couldn't make it smoke.
Anansi gathered ashes and put them in his pockets, and then he went to the palace.
"I'm going to marry the princess!" he shouted.
Then Anansi danced on the stone, singing "Ying-ee-ding-ee-ding, princess for me," and he let some ashes fly.
"Ying-ee-ding-ee-ding, princess for me," and he let more ashes fly.
Everyone thought Anansi was dancing the stone to smoke.
That's how Anansi married the princess!
~ 138. The King's Daughter and Anansi ~
The king had a daughter who didn't talk. "Make my daughter talk," the king proclaimed, "and you can marry her."
Anansi wanted to marry the king's daughter.
He asked Hog if he could help. "Oink-oink!" said Hog.
"You're no help!" said Anansi.
Same with Goat who said "Baaaaaah!" and Chicken who went "Cluck-cluck!"
Then Anansi asked Peacock who shrieked, "Chirry-way! Chirry-way! Chirry-way!"
"Come with me!" said Anansi happily.
They went to the palace. Peacock sang and Anansi danced. The princess smiled, then she hummed, then she sang and started talking.
Anansi got the princess, and Peacock got covered with gold.
~ 139. Anansi and Ballinder Bull ~
"We need a hero to kill Ballinder Bull!" proclaimed the king.
A little boy took his seven arrows and shot that bull: an arrow in each foot and ear, and one for the head. He took the bull's golden teeth and tongue as proof.
Anansi then found the dead bull, and he cut off the bull's head.
"I'm the hero!" Anansi sang, waving the bull's head.
"But I've got the bull's tongue and the teeth!" shouted the boy.
"You are the hero!" said the king to the boy.
Anansi ran and hid under the woodpile, and he's hiding there still.
~ 140. Anansi and the Timber ~
"Haul in the timber!" commanded the king. Nobody could move the timber except one old man; he had a spell that made the timber leap a mile at a time.
One mile from the palace, the old man made the timber leap and it landed in the palace.
Anansi ran there first. "I did it!" he shouted.
"Now put it there in the corner," said the king.
Anansi couldn't move the timber.
Finally the old man came and used his magic to move the timber.
To escape the angry king, Anansi hid under a rock; he's still hiding there now.
~ 141. Anansi the Angel ~
Anansi wanted the priest's ring, so he dressed up like an angel.
When the priest saw a light in the church that night, he investigated. "You're an angel!" shouted the priest.
"And I'll take you to heaven," said Anansi. "Get in this sack!"
Anansi flew around with the sack. Then he said, "You have an earthly possession that's holding you back."
"It must be my ring," said the priest, and he gave the ring to Anansi. Then Anansi flew to the chicken coop and left the priest there.
The priest's housemaid was surprised to find him there in the morning.
~ 142. Anansi and the Six Sons ~
A mother had six sons. She got sick.
"Our mother needs a doctor!" said the six sons.
"I'm a doctor!" said Anansi. "To cure your mother, I just need yams, plantains, and butter."
The sons brought Anansi yams, plantains, and butter.
Now lock us in the kitchen seven days, said Anansi.
Anansi ate the yams, plantains, and butter. He ate the mother too!
That was the first day. Then he ran off.
After seven days, the six sons opened the door. No Anansi, no mother, no yams, no plantains, no butter: all gone! Just mother's bones lying on the floor.
~ 143. Anansi and the Pot of Wisdom ~
Anansi gathered all the wisdom and put it in a pot. "All for me!" he said.
Next, he wanted to hide the pot in a tree.
Anansi hung the pot around his neck and went to the tallest tree, but the pot was in the way. He couldn't reach his arms around the tree to climb it.
A boy saw Anansi and laughed. "Sling the pot around your back, silly!" he said.
This made Anansi mad, and he realized he didn't have all the wisdom after all.
Frustrated, Anansi threw down the pot. It broke, and the wisdom spread everywhere.
~ 144. Anansi and the Cooks ~
Anansi went walking.
He smelled yams cooking. Anansi loves yams! "I'll tie this string around my waist, and you tug when the yams are ready," he said to the cook, and then he kept walking.
Then Anansi smelled beans cooking. Anansi loves beans! So he had that cook tie a string around his waist too.
Then he smelled greens. Another string.
Stew. Another string.
And then the yam-cook pulled the string.
The bean-cook pulled at the same time too.
And the greens-cook and the stew-cook.
The strings pulled all around Anansi's waist, and that's why his waist is narrow today.
~ 145. Anansi and the Man's Horses ~
Anansi was working in a man's stable.
The man came to inspect his horses. "Where's my chestnut horse?"
"He's grazing in the pasture," said Anansi, but Anansi had already eaten that horse.
The man came another day. "Where's my black horse?"
"He's grazing," said Anansi.
Another day: "Where's my sorrel horse?"
But now the man realized what Anansi had done.
"I'll kill you!" the man said.
"Kill me!" shouted Anansi. "I don't care. Just don't throw me in that spiderweb."
The angry man threw Anansi in the web, and Anansi just laughed. "I spun this web!" Anansi said.
~ 146. Quanqua and Anansi's Ox ~
There was a man named Quanqua who lived by the river.
He saw Mrs. Anansi driving an ox-cart, but the ox wouldn't cross the river. "I must get Anansi to help me!" she said, and she ran back home.
After she was gone, Quanqua killed the ox and cut off the tail. He then buried the tail sticking up out of the ground and carried away the rest.
When Anansi came, Quanqua shouted, "Your ox jumped down into the ground!"
Anansi grabbed the tail and pulled, and the tail came out.
The ox must have gotten away! said Quanqua, laughing.
~ 147. White Yams and Red ~
Quanqua stole Anansi's ox, and Anansi wanted revenge.
Pretending to be friendly, Anansi invited Quanqua to a feast.
"You bring white yams, and I'll bring red," said Anansi. "We'll cook a great feast together."
Quanqua brought lots of white yams.
"I've just got one red yam," said Anansi, "but I'm not very hungry. One will be enough for me."
They put the yams in the pot to cook.
White for you, and red for me! said Anansi, and when they opened the pot, Anansi's red yam had turned the whole porridge red!
Anansi ate everything, and Quanqua went away hungry.
~ 148. Anansi and Goolin's Wife ~
There was a man named Goolin, and his wife stopped speaking, so Goolin offered a reward if someone could make her speak again.
Anansi said, "Make a coffin, lie down inside, and get some men to carry the coffin."
Then Anansi told Goolin's wife, "Your husband's dead!"
She cried, but didn't speak.
Then the men came with the coffin, and Anansi sang:
Goolin gone, t'de-e-e,
Goolin gone home t'de-e-e!
The wife hummed softly.
Anansi sang louder; Goolin's wife sang softly.
Anansi sang louder; she sang louder too!
Then Goolin jumped out and she started speaking, and Anansi got his reward.
~ 149. Tamanty and Anansi and the Little Girl ~
A wealthy woman had no children, and she wanted a baby.
Walking by the river one day, she found a baby.
She hired a nurse named Tamanty to take care of the baby, and she set Anansi to watch over Tamanty.
Anansi didn't like Tamanty, so he told her, "Hit the child with the broomstick."
Tamanty hit the child.
The little girl cried and then ran for the river, singing:
No-na-no, Tamanty! No-na-no, Anansi!
I'm a river crawfish, without any mama,
Poor me, river crawfish! River is my mama.
The child ran right into the river and became a crawfish.
~ 150. Anansi and his Spotted Cow ~
There was an itch-bean plant in a man's field.
The man said, "If someone cuts it down without scratching, I'll give him a cow."
People tried to cut it down; they all scratched.
Anansi started cutting.
"I hope he gives me a spotted cow," Anansi said. "I had a spotted cow once. She had a spot here—" He scratched his arm. "And a spot here—" He scratched his leg. And so on.
Anansi kept on cutting and talking till he finished.
He hadn't scratched; he'd just talked about his old cow's spots.
The man had to gave him a cow.