Reading D: Tales of Anansi (100 Words)

You will find the texts of the stories below the audio, and the titles are linked to individual blog posts where you can learn more about sources, see notes, etc.

You'll want to click on track 151 to start the audio portion for this section:




~ 151. Anansi and the Peanut-Patch ~
The master put a guard by his peanut-patch. 
The guard was a fool who couldn't read, so Anansi found a piece of paper and took it to the guard.
"I can't read that!" he said.
Anansi laughed. "It says: The master commands you to let Anansi go in."
Then the guard let Anansi go in, and Anansi ate all the peanuts.
Next, the master came. "Who ate all the peanuts?" he shouted.
"I let Anansi in," said the guard, "just like you told me."
The master beat the guard. "Don't you listen to that lying Anansi ever again!" he said.

~ 152. Anansi's Sick Chicken ~

Anansi had a sick chicken. Knowing it would die soon, he took the chicken to a neighbor.
"Please take care of my chicken while I go to town," Anansi said.
The neighbor agreed.
The chicken died.
Anansi returned for the chicken.
"Your chicken died," said the neighbor. "Just take one of mine."
"No!" yelled Anansi. "My chicken would have laid eggs. Those eggs would have become chickens and laid more eggs that would also become chickens. You owe me for all that!"
"Well, go take a sheep then," said the neighbor.
That's how Anansi turned a chicken into a sheep.

~ 153. Anansi and Mosquito ~

A lady said, "If someone guesses my daughter's name, I'll pay a hundred dollars!"
Anansi wanted that money.
"Go buzz in the daughter's ear tonight," he told Mosquito. "I'll hide in the mother's room listening."
So Mosquito buzzed and the girl moaned.
"Zegrady, Zegrady, what's wrong?" asked the mother.
"It's just Mosquito," said the daughter.
The next day Anansi came singing, "Zegrady, Zegrady, Zegra, Zegrady! Come shake Anansi's hand, my dear."
So the mother gave Anansi the money.
But Anansi was greedy: he didn't share with Mosquito. So Mosquito still buzzes in people's ears: he's complaining about Anansi even now!

~ 154. Anansi and the Two Sisters ~

There were two sisters, and nobody knew their names. 
"I'll find out!" said Anansi, and he bet big money on it.
Anansi dressed up as a baby. 
"Put me in a basket," he told his wife, "and leave it by their door."
The sisters squealed when they saw him. "So sweet!" they said. "So adorable!"
Then Anansi smiled, and the sisters screamed.
"Sister Agumma, have you ever seen a baby's mouth so full of teeth?"
"I have not, Sister Agumme, I have not!"
And that's how Anansi found out their names were Agumma and Agumme, so he won the bet.

~ 155. Anansi and the Princess ~

When the princess was born, the queen kept her name secret.
"Whoever learns the princess's name will marry her!" she said.
Only the queen and her servants knew the name.
"Help me, Dog!" said Anansi, and Dog agreed, so Anansi dressed Dog in smelly, ragged clothes.
Then they went to the royal swimming hole. The royal family was swimming; their clothes were on the bank.
"Grab the princess's dress!" said Anansi.
Dog grabbed the dress and started chewing.
"Stop it, you mangy dog!" yelled the queen. "Stop chewing Princess Basamwe's dress!"
So Anansi learned the name and married Princess Basamwe.

~ 156. Anansi and Dog's New Name ~

Everybody called Dog "Thieving-Dog," and Dog didn't like it.
Dog asked Anansi for help. "I don't want to be Thieving-Dog. I need a new name!"
Anansi agreed. "I'll give you a name if you'll watch this roast for me. Turn the spit, but don't eat the meat. I'll be back soon."
Dog tried to resist, but the meat smelled so good.
Dog ate the meat!
Anansi came back and laughed. "Okay," he said, "your new name is Same-As-Ever."
Dog was very grateful!
He ran through the village, and some boys shouted. "There's that Thieving-Dog!"
"No!" barked Dog. "I'm Same-As-Ever! Same-As-Ever!"

~ 157. Anansi Goes to the Christening ~

Anansi and Tiger found some butter.
"Let's hide it for later!" said Tiger.
Next day Anansi said, "I'm going to a christening." But he was really going to eat butter.
Tiger asked the child's name.
"Top-Take-Off," said Anansi.
Next day, another christening. This time: "Now-in-the-Middle."
Again the next day. "This child is Lick-Clean," said Anansi.
Next day Tiger was hungry. "Let's eat butter!"
"First let's sleep," said Anansi.
Then Anansi took the last of the butter and smeared it on Tiger's mouth and tail. 
"Tiger, you thief!" Anansi shouted. "I see you ate the butter: you're oozing butter all over!"

~ 158. Anansi, Lion, and the Liquor ~

Anansi wanted to take Lion's house for himself, so he came to visit Lion, singing this song: "Killed a thousand lions yesterday; how many today-oh, today-oh, today?"
This worried Lion.
"Anansi and I need some liquor!" he said to his first cub. "Get some Never-Come-Back liquor."
The cub didn't come back.
"We need liquor!" he said to his other cub. "Get some Danger-Here liquor."
The cub didn't come back.
"We need liquor!" he said to Mrs. Lion. "Get some Stay-Away liquor."
Mrs. Lion didn't come back.
"I'll go see what's taking so long!" said Lion, and he didn't come back.

~ 159. Anansi's New Name ~

Anansi, Tiger, and Parrot all changed their names: Anansi was Che-che-bun-da, Tiger was Yellow-prissenda, and Parrot was Green-corn-ero. If someone's mother didn't use the new name, they would eat her!
When Tiger's mother forgot to say "Yellow-prissenda," they ate her.
That night Anansi went secretly to his mother. "Remember: I'm Che-che-bun-da!" he said.
The next day Parrot's mother forgot to say "Green-corn-ero" and they ate her.
That night, Anansi went to his mother again. "Hello, Anansi!" she said.
"No! I'm Che-che-bun-da! Che-che-bun-da!"
The next day they went to Anansi's mother.
"Hello, Che-che-bun-da!" she said.
So they didn't eat Anansi's mother.

~ 160. Anansi inside the Cow ~

"Show me where you get your beef!" Anansi told Tacoomah.
Tacoomah took Anansi to a cow.
"Say Open Sesame and go in," Tacoomah explained. "Then Shut Sesame. Take the fat, but don't cut the back-string. Then Open Sesame, come out, and Shut Sesame to close the cow."
Tacoomah went into the cow and came out with a basket of fat.
Anansi went in, but he got greedy and cut the back-string.
The cow died. Anansi was stuck!
Finally the cowboy came and cut open the cow.
When he washed the entrails in the river, Anansi jumped out and ran away.

~ 161. One-Two-Three Taking No Liver! ~

Blackbird knew where the butcher kept his meat, and he knew the magic words to open the door: "One-Two-Three Taking No Liver!"
"Let's get meat!" Blackbird said to Anansi. Blackbird used the words and went in. Anansi used the words and went in. 
They put meat in their bags.
But Anansi was greedy and took liver too.
"One-Two-Three Taking No Liver!" Blackbird said. The door opened.
"One-Two-Three Taking No Liver!" Anansi said. The door didn't open.
Blackbird shouted, "I told you: no liver!"
"I didn't take any liver!" Anansi lied.
Blackbird left him, and the butcher came and killed Anansi.

~ 162. Crow's Magic House ~

Crow had a magic house. 
To get in you had to say: "Liver me-yum-yum!" Then the liver in the house opened the door.
Anansi saw Crow go in the house and heard the words.
He waited till Crow came out and went away.
Anansi said, "Liver me-yum-yum!" The door opened for Anansi.
Anansi closed the door and ate the liver so Crow couldn't get in.
Then he ate all Crow's food.
Crow came back. "Liver me-yum-yum!"
Nothing happened. The door stayed shut.
Anansi came out, and Crow caught Anansi and beat him, but never could get back inside his house.

~ 163. Anansi's Tree-House ~

Anansi lived in a tree.
He'd go robbing and come sing this song: "Send down rope! Anansi-O! Send down rope! Anansi-O!"
Nobody knew who the robber was or where he went.
But Tiger followed one night and heard the song.
Next, Tiger needed Anansi's voice. He told the goldsmith, "Hammer my tongue! Make it fine!"
Then Tiger went and sang Anansi's song.
Anansi's wife let down the rope.
Anansi saw from a distance Tiger going up on the rope, so he sang: "Cut the rope! Tiger-O! Cut the rope! Tiger-O!"
Anansi's wife cut the rope and Tiger fell down dead.

~ 164. Anansi and Tiger's Hoe ~

Long ago, farmers dug their fields with pointed sticks.
Nobody had a hoe, except for Tiger.
Tiger had a magical hoe, and it did the digging for him.
Anansi spied on Tiger and saw the hoe. He learned the magic words Tiger used to make the hoe start digging. Then he stole Tiger's hoe to use for himself.
The hoe dug and dug, and Anansi was happy.
But Anansi did not know how to stop the magic hoe. 
It kept on digging!
The hoe dug all the land and then disappeared into the sea, and it is digging there still.

~ 165. Anansi, His Brother, and the Magic Pot ~

When Anansi was climbing a tree, he found a hole in the tree. In the hole he found a magic pot that filled with food at his command.
Anansi's brother Tacoomah saw this pot and was jealous. "I've got more children than you to feed," he said. "I need that pot more than you!"
Anansi told Tacoomah about the hole in the tree.
Tacoomah climbed the tree and looked in the hole. Instead of a pot, he found a piece of leather. He took the leather home to his family.
The leather didn't feed them. Instead, it whipped them all!

~ 166. Anansi and the Avocado Tree ~

Breeze knocked over Anansi's avocado tree.
"Breeze must pay!" shouted Anansi, and he went to Breeze's house.
"I apologize," Breeze said. "Take this magic tablecloth. Just say Cloth-mine-dinnertime. But don't wash it."
When Anansi did this, food appeared! Anansi and his family had all they wanted to eat.
But Anansi's wife washed the tablecloth, and it lost its powers.
Anansi went back to Breeze, who gave him a stick. "Just say Round-about-club-out!" Breeze told Anansi.
Anansi hoped the stick would feed him too, but when he got home and said Round-about-club-out, the stick beat Anansi and all his family too!

~ 167. Anansi and the Handsome Calabash ~

Anansi saw a calabash tree.
When he grabbed a calabash, it said, "I'm handsome! I do handsome!"
"Show me, Handsome Calabash!" said Anansi.
A table covered with food appeared. Anansi ate, and then the table disappeared.
Anansi took Handsome Calabash home, hid it in the attic, and ate in secret.
But Anansi's wife spied on him.
When Anansi left, she said "Show me, Handsome Calabash!" But she dropped the calabash and it cracked.
Anansi came home and went to the attic. "Show me, Handsome Calabash!" he said.
No food!
Instead, Handsome Calabash whipped Anansi and ran back into the woods.

~ 168. Anansi's Fork ~

Anansi dropped his ax in the river. He dived in. 
No ax, but he found a fork. "I'll feed you!" it said.
"Feed me!" Anansi yelled, and there was food. Anansi ate and ate.
Anansi invited everybody to a party.
"Feed me!" he yelled. There was food for everybody.
Then the fork stopped working.
Anansi threw another ax in the river and dived in. No ax, no fork, but he found a whip.
"Feed me!" Anansi yelled. But the whip just beat him.
Anansi invited everybody to another party.
"Feed me!" he yelled, and the whip beat all the people.

~ 169. Anansi and the Robber Bargaining ~

Anansi had a magic cooking pot.
"Sell me that!" said a robber.
"No!" said Anansi. "But I'll sell you my money tree. Come to my house at midnight."
Anansi went home and put all his money up in a tree.
The robber came, and Anansi spread out a sheet beneath the tree. Anansi shook the tree, and money came falling down.
"Give me all your money and you can have the tree," said Anansi.
The robber paid Anansi, ripped the tree out of the ground, and took it home.
The tree never gave money and, without its roots, it died.

~ 170. Anansi and the Shirt ~

Anansi went to Overseer's party. Goat went too.
People danced; then they slept.
Anansi didn't sleep. He stole Overseer's shirt.
Overseer woke up. His shirt was gone! "Where are you, Shirt?"
Shirt shouted, "Anansi took me!"
"Goat, let's trade shirts!" Anansi said. Goat agreed.
"Where are you, Shirt?" Overseer yelled.
"Now Goat's got me!" shouted Shirt.
Goat hid in a hole, but his horn stuck out. 
Overseer tripped. "I'll saw this root!" he said.
Overseer started sawing. "Hey!" he yelled. "This root is bleeding!"
Then Overseer recognized Goat. He took his shirt back and beat Goat.
Anansi was long gone.

~ 171. Anansi and the Witch's Sword ~

Anansi stole the king's treasure and fled to the witch's house.
"I'll give you lots of treasure to protect me!" said Anansi.
The witch agreed.
The king's soldiers arrived. "We seek Anansi!"
"I'll see if he's inside," said the witch, and she fetched her magical sword.
"Kill!" she said. The sword killed the soldiers.
Then the witch stopped the sword.
When the witch went to town, she gave Anansi the sword. "The soldiers might return," she said.
The soldiers did return, and Anansi said, "Kill!" 
The sword killed the soldiers.
But Anansi couldn't stop the sword. It killed Anansi too!

~ 172. Anansi and the Witch's Name ~

"Guess my name, get my gold!" said the Old-Witch.
Only Crab knew the witch's secret name.
Anansi dressed in girl's clothes and became the witch's maid.
When Anansi was washing clothes by the river, he flirted with Crab. "You're so handsome!"
Crab had never heard that before!
Then Anansi started crying.
"What's wrong, girl?" Crab asked.
"I need to know the witch's name."
Crab said the name.
Anansi ran back to the witch's house. "Your name's Cantinny, Cantinny's your name!"
The witch gave her gold to Anansi, and she threw a calabash at Crab: that's how Crab got his shell.

~ 173. Anansi and Old-Witch's Garden ~

Old-Witch had a beautiful garden, and Anansi wanted that garden.
When the witch's gardener sang, everybody had to dance. Even the witch had to dance. The gardener would sing and the witch would dance.
Then she'd tell him to stop.
Anansi told the Kling-Kling bird, "Listen, and learn that song!"
Next, he told Tacoomah to lure the gardener away.
Then Old-Witch came to the garden.
Kling-Kling sang, and the Old-Witch danced.
"Enough now!" she said, but Kling-Kling kept singing, and the witch kept dancing.
She danced until she died.
But then the whole garden died with her.
Anansi got nothing.

~ 174. Anansi's Wedding Clothes ~

Anansi was getting married, and he needed wedding clothes.
Old-Witch could help, but he had to pay her, so he stole a gold coin from Old-Witch's own treasure.
"Help me!" Anansi said. "I'll pay!"
"I'll help you, Anansi," she said, but she recognized the coin.
Old-Witch used magic to conjure clothes for Anansi, and a carriage and coachmen.
Anansi rode to the palace.
The princess smiled. Then she blinked; the coachmen disappeared.
Next blink: carriage.
Next blink: Anansi's top-hat.
Then Anansi's clothes disappeared piece by piece until he was naked.
Anansi ran away, ashamed. He didn't get married after all.

~ 175. Anansi Wants a Wife ~

Anansi wanted a wife. He asked Flower to marry him.
"I won't!" Flower laughed.
He asked Rainbow.
"I can't!" Rainbow laughed.
Then he asked Fire. "Will you marry me?"
"Yes!" said Fire.
Anansi made a trail of twigs to lead Fire to his house.
Fire came. She ate the twigs. She got bigger! Fire came roaring to Anansi's house.
Anansi was scared. "Go back!" he shouted. "Get away!"
Fire kept coming.
Anansi quickly made another trail of twigs leading to the pond.
Fire followed that trail and disappeared in the pond.
Anansi had discovered how to fight fire with water!

~ 176. Anansi and Fire ~

Anansi and Fire were friends, so Anansi went to visit Fire in Fire's house.
They ate dinner together, and then Anansi invited Fire to come visit him in his house.
"I can't walk," said Fire, "but maybe if you lay down a trail of dry brush leading to your house, then I could travel along that path."
Anansi's wife was Dove, and she said, "No! Don't let Fire come!"
But Anansi laid out the path.
Fire came running.
He burned down Anansi's house, and he burned Anansi, and then Fire himself burned out.
Only Dove survived because she flew away.

~ 177. Anansi, Fire, and the Damp Clothes ~

Fire was angry at Anansi, but he pretended to be Anansi's friend. 
"I'd like to visit you," he told Anansi.
"You can help dry my clothes," said Anansi. "Look for clothes hanging outside; that will be my house."
Then Anansi went to Tiger, who was washing clothes. 
"Put your clothes out in the sun to dry!" said Anansi, so Tiger hung his damp clothes on the line.
Then Fire came, with Breeze blowing. 
"That's Anansi's house!" said Fire when he saw the clothes. "Blow me there, Breeze!"
So Breeze blew, and Fire burned Tiger's clothes to ashes.
Anansi just laughed.

~ 178. Fire, Grass, and Anansi ~

Fire was angry at Grass. 
"I'm going to burn that Grass!" Fire said to Anansi, not knowing that Anansi and Grass were friends.
"When you go to burn Grass, tell me, and I'll blow my horn to make Grass afraid," said Anansi.
Next, Anansi went to his friend Water and said, "I need you to rain down when I blow my horn." 
"Okay," said Water.
When Fire went to burn Grass, Anansi blew his horn. Then Water came raining down and saved the Grass.
From that day on, Fire was angry with Anansi because of how Anansi had tricked him!

~ 179. Anansi and Mr. Wheeler ~

Anansi found a honey-stump. 
He reached in. 
The stump said, "I'm Wheeler!" and it wheeled Anansi around and threw him. Anansi landed some leaves.
"I'll make a trap!" said Anansi, and he put rocks under the leaves.
"Come get honey!" Anansi said to Peacock. Peacock reached for the honey, Wheeler wheeled him, and then Anansi ate Peacock.
Rat reached for the honey, Wheeler wheeled him, and then Anansi ate Rat.
But Puss said, "I don't see the honey. Show me!"
So Anansi reached in, Wheeler wheeled him, and Anansi fell on the rocks.
That's how Anansi got his limp!

~ 180. Anansi and the Rock by the River ~

Anansi sat down on a rock by the river and started eating.
"Give me some food, Anansi!" said the rock. "I'm hungry!"
"Don't bother me, Rock!" said Anansi. "This is my food."
Anansi ate all the food, but when he went to stand up, he was stuck. The rock wouldn't let go.
"Help!" Anansi yelled.
A man walked by and heard him. "What's wrong, Anansi?"
"Rock's got me! Pull me off!"
The man pulled, but part of Anansi's skin stayed stuck.
That's why moss grows on the river side of the rocks: that is Anansi's skin he left behind there.

~ 181. The Ghost's House in the Sky ~

Duppy (Ghost) lived in the sky. 
Anansi wanted to eat Duppy's food, so he watched how Duppy called the house down.
"Come down, me chin-chin!"
Then Duppy sent the house up.
"Go up, me chin-chin!"
Next day Anansi waited for Duppy to come down and send the empty house back up.
Then Anansi called, "Come down, me chin-chin!"
Anansi entered the house.
"Go up, me chin-chin!"
Anansi was in the sky! He ate and ate.
But he couldn't remember the going-down song. He was stuck!
Duppy brought the house down and found Anansi.
Then Duppy boiled Anansi and ate him!

~ 182. Anansi and Dry-Head ~

Anansi stole a cow, but he didn't want to share with his family; he made a fire right there to roast the cow.
Anansi wanted yams too, so he went digging.
Then he saw two eyes in the dirt. He kept digging: he dug up old devil Dry-Head!
Anansi tried to put Dry-Head back in the ground, but he wouldn't go.
"Take me to the fire," said Dry-Head, "or I'll burn you!"
Anansi tried to run, but his body started burning, so he came back and carried Dry-Head to the fire.
Dry-Head ate the whole cow; Anansi didn't get anything.

~ 183. Anansi, Dry-Head, and the Hog ~

Anansi was roasting a hog when he heard something hit the ground: PLOP.
Anansi thought it was a coconut. He picked it up: it was Dry-Head!
"You picked me up," Dry-Head said. "Now carry me!"
Dry-Head saw the hog. "I'm hungry!" he said.
Dry-Head ate the hog.
Anansi only got a bone. "The bone's sweet, sir!" said Anansi.
Then Petchary-Bird flew by.
"Come pick up this good coconut!" said Anansi, pointing at Dry-Head.
Petchary picked Dry-Head up, but he wasn't strong enough to carry him. 
Dry-Head fell down and smashed.
Anansi ate him up. "I'm eating my hog after all!"

~ 184. Butterfly and Anansi in the Fields ~

"Did you hear about the new law?" Butterfly asked Anansi. "No badmouthing! If you badmouth somebody, you'll drop down dead!"
Anansi laughed. "I can keep my mouth shut. We'll see about you!"
Then Anansi and Butterfly went to work in their fields.
Dry-Head-Skull-Man walked by, talking to himself, rattling his skeleton bones as he danced. "All dressed up, going to the barber, getting ready for the party tonight!"
Butterfly didn't say anything.
Anansi said, "What's Dry-Head-Skull-Man going to a barber for? There's no hair on that fool's head!"
Anansi dropped down dead for badmouthing, and Butterfly ate him up. "Delicious!"

~ 185. The Devil's Honey-Dram ~

Anansi's son was stealing from the Devil's honey-dram and getting drunk.
"Don't steal from the Devil!" Anansi warned him, but the boy kept on drinking.
Finally the Devil's mother caught the boy and took him to the Devil's house.
"The Devil will kill you when he comes back," she said, and she set the boy to work.
Anansi came looking for his son, and he sang a song that made the Devil's mother dance and dance till she fell asleep.
Then Anansi grabbed his son and set the Devil's house on fire.
Anansi also took the Devil's honey-dram for himself!

~ 186. Anansi in Death's Camp ~

Anansi went hunting, but he had caught nothing. He was hungry!
Then he found Death's camp. Death had so much food. 
"Please feed me!" said Anansi.
Death fed Anansi, and Anansi ate until he was full.
"Who are you?" Anansi asked.
"Don't you recognize me? I'm Death!"
"Thank you, Death," Anansi said.
Then Anansi went home, but he kept returning to Death's camp to steal food.
When Death saw Anansi stealing, he chased Anansi all the way back to town.
"Watch out, people!" shouted Anansi. "Death is coming!"
And that's how Death came to where people live: it's Anansi's fault.

~ 187. Anansi Robs Death's House ~

Anansi decided to rob Death's house.
To get through Death's Gate, he rubbed grease on the Gate. 
"Delicious!" said the Gate. "Thank you, Anansi!" The Gate swung open and then closed.
Anansi filled up his sacks with Death's things. He didn't know Death was watching!
Anansi started to leave, but Death shouted at Gate, "Open not!"
But the Gate was grateful and opened for Anansi.
Death jumped on Anansi's back and rode him all the way home.
Anansi threw Death down in the yard and went to get his axe.
When he came back with the axe, Death was gone.

~ 188. Death Wants Revenge on Anansi ~

Anansi robbed Death's house, and Death wanted revenge. So Death came to Anansi's house at night, and he crawled under the ground. 
Then in the morning Death grew from the ground in the form of a callaloo plant. He knew that Anansi loved callaloo stew.
In the morning Anansi saw the callaloo plant.
"Let's make stew!" he said to his wife.
"No!" said Mrs. Anansi. "There's something wrong with that plant."
"There's nothing wrong with this plant!" protested Anansi, and he started eating the callaloo.
As soon as he did, he fell down dead.
Death had his revenge on Anansi.

~ 189. Anansi and Death's Field of Yams ~

Anansi had a field next to Death's field.
Death planted yams, but Anansi was lazy. He didn't plant; he just watched Death.
"You're sure working hard, Death!" he said.
"Lazy people go hungry, Anansi!" Death replied.
Death's yams grew ripe, and Anansi came in the night to steal them, but Death was there, waiting for him.
Death chased Anansi!
Anansi ran home, Death on his heels. "Close the door!" Anansi shouted at his wife.
Death stood outside, waving his machete.
Anansi ran up the stairs into the dusty attic. Anansi is still there now, hiding from Death and weaving webs.

~ 190. Anansi and Death's Barbecue ~

Anansi saw someone barbecuing meat. It was Death!
"Can I eat?" Anansi asked.
Death said nothing.
Anansi took some meat. "My daughter can cook for you," Anansi said, and Anansi brought his daughter to Death.
Later, Anansi saw his daughter wearing Death's ring. Anansi was angry! He grabbed Death's long hair and tied him to a tree. He lit a fire, but the fire just burned Death's hair.
Death got loose and chased Anansi.
Anansi's family hid from Death, but Death grabbed them one by one.
Only Anansi escaped; he hid in the dirt. Anansi still lives in the dirt.

~ 191. God and Anansi's Thread ~

God used to be close to the people, just above their heads. This meant people were always asking God for things.
After a while, God got tired of all their requests. "The people are going to wear me out!" he thought.
So God decided to go higher, much higher, in the sky.
To keep a connection between his new home in heaven and the people down below, God told Anansi to spin a thread, a thread that reached from earth to heaven.
Anansi spun the thread.
God rewarded Anansi with great powers, and then went to live up in heaven.

~ 192. Anansi and God's Cattle ~

Lion stole God's cattle, and God offered a reward for the return of the cattle.
Anansi wanted that reward.
"Just give me some rope, and make the clouds go dark," said Anansi. God agreed.
Then Anansi went into the woods. "Where can I tie myself? Where? Where?"
"What are you talking about?" shouted Lion.
"Hurricane's coming!" said Anansi. "Just look at the sky! I need to tie myself to a tree before the winds blow me away."
"Tie me first!" roared Lion. "NOW!"
Anansi tied Lion to a tree, left him there, and took God's cattle back up to heaven.

~ 193. Anansi and God's Yams ~

Anansi was hungry! He saw yams growing in God's field, and he stole God's yams.
God didn't know who stole his yams, but he was mad. He made a man of wood and covered it with tar, and then he put it in the field.
Anansi came back for more yams and saw the man.
"You can't stop me from taking these yams!" Anansi shouted, and he hit the man. His hand stuck. Other hand: stuck. Foot: stuck. Other foot: stuck. Then Anansi butted the man with his head: stuck.
That's how God found out who was stealing his yams!

~ 194. Anansi and the Tar-Man ~

Anansi was stealing God's yams.
God made a tar-man to stand guard, and Anansi got stuck on God's tar-man.
"I need to get away before God finds me!" thought Anansi.
Rooster walked by.
"Help me!" cried Anansi.
"I'm not messing with you!" replied Rooster.
Sheep walked by, but Sheep wouldn't help Anansi either.
Then Goat walked by.
"I'll help you!" said Goat. He butted the tar-man, and then Goat was stuck. Anansi used Goat's horns to pull himself loose, and then he skinned Goat and took the skin home.
So Anansi got God's yams and a goatskin all for himself.

~ 195. Anansi Reads God's Mind ~

"I can read your mind!" Anansi said to God.
"Go tell the blacksmith to make what I'm thinking," said God.
Anansi then lurked near God's house, listening.
A bird asked God, "What is the blacksmith making?"
"Sun, Moon, and Stars," said God.
Anansi ran to the blacksmith and told him to make Sun, Moon, and Stars, and then Anansi brought them to God.
As soon as they got there, the Sun and Moon started fighting. Sun was throwing fire, and Moon was throwing water, so God threw the Sun and the Moon, and the Stars too, up in the sky.

~ 196. Anansi and the Pea ~

Anansi found a pea and planted it.
Goat ate Anansi's pea-plant.
"Pay me!" said Anansi.
Goat gave Anansi his horn.
Anansi washed the horn in River, and River took the horn.
"Pay me!" said Anansi.
River gave him a fish.
Anansi met a starving boy. "Give me your fish," the boy said. "Take my whip."
Anansi took the whip.
"Help me!" shouted Tacoomah. "I need a whip to herd my cows."
"Give me a cow," said Anansi.
Anansi got a cow.
From the cow, he got milk; then cheese.
Anansi sold cheese and bought more cows.
All from a pea!

~ 197. Anansi and Hunter's Debt ~

Hunter had a debt that he could not pay.
Anansi wanted to eat Hunter's guavas, so Hunter said, "Whoever eats my guavas takes my debt!"
Anansi ate Hunter's guavas.
Then Anansi said, "Whoever eats my corn takes my debt."
Guinea-Fowl ate Anansi's corn.
"Whoever breaks my eggs takes my debt," said Guinea-Fowl.
Tree-Branch broke the Guinea-Fowl's eggs. "Whoever plucks my flowers takes my debt."
Monkey plucked the flowers. "Whoever kills me takes my debt."
Then Tiger killed Monkey. "Whoever eats me takes my debt!" roared Tiger.
Hunter killed Tiger, and everybody ate Tiger's meat.
Everybody ended up with Hunter's debt!

~ 198. Anansi Owes Money ~

Anansi owed money to Hog, Dog, Monkey, and Tiger.
Knock-knock! Anansi let Hog in.
Knock-knock! "That's Dog. He hates you!" said Anansi. "Hide upstairs."
Anansi let Dog in.
Knock-knock! "That's Monkey. He hates you! Hide upstairs. Hog's up there; go on and kill him!"
Anansi let Monkey in.
Knock-knock! "That's Tiger. He hates you! Hide upstairs. Dog's up there; go on and kill him!"
Anansi let Tiger in.
"Monkey's upstairs; go on and kill him!"
Tiger ran upstairs.
Anansi removed the stairs.
When Tiger came down, he broke his neck.
So Anansi ate Tiger, Monkey, Dog, and Hog for dinner.

~ 199. Anansi Takes Pig Home ~

Anansi was taking Pig home, but Pig wouldn't cross the stream.
"I refuse!" said Pig.
"Dog, bite Pig!" Dog refused.
"Stick, beat Dog!" Stick refused.
"Fire, burn Stick!" Fire refused.
"Water, douse Fire!" Water refused.
"Cow, drink Water!" Cow refused.
"Butcher, kill Cow!" Butcher refused.
"Rope, hang Butcher!" Rope refused.
"Rat, gnaw Rope!" Rat refused.
"Cat, eat Rat!"
"Gladly!" said Cat, and Cat scared Rat who scared Rope who scared Butcher who scared Cow who scared Water who scared Fire who scared Stick who scared Dog who bit Pig, who jumped the stream.
Anansi didn't pay anybody for helping either!

~ 200. Anansi and the Grain of Corn ~

Anansi was stealing from Monkey and Tiger's corn-field.
"Catch him!" shouted Monkey and Tiger.
They chased him, but Anansi hid inside a grain of corn.
Rooster ate that corn.
Then Alligator ate Rooster.
Monkey and Tiger asked the oracle-drum, "Where's Anansi?"
"In the earth-grain in the sky-bird in the river-beast," said the drum.
Monkey saw Alligator in the river. "Aha!" he shouted, grabbing Alligator.
He cut Alligator open; there was Rooster.
He cut Rooster open; there was the grain.
Tiger raised his paw while Monkey cut the grain, but Anansi was faster than Tiger with his paw, so Anansi escaped!


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