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Quote grenadiangyal7 Replybullet Topic: Anansi stories
    Posted: 07 May 2007 at 8:15am
HI, does anyone know any Anansi stories? I would love to hear some or in this case see some. ThanksSmile
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Quote ilam96 Replybullet Posted: 07 May 2007 at 8:20am
hey grenadiangyal7, first of all, hehe....nice of you to stop by, i got a couple hanansi stori fi u....i just gotta jiggle ma memory on this cloudy day, hahahahaha i'll be back
"I cried because I had no shoe, until I met a man with no feet."
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Quote Shucander Replybullet Posted: 08 May 2007 at 1:39am

Anansi Folk Tales


Anansi stories original came to the Caribbean by slaves brought from Africa hundreds of years ago.  Stories of Kweku Anansi are still told by the Ashanti people in Ghana. Similar stories with different heroes are told elsewhere around the Caribbean: Rabbit is the main character in the stories in the French West Indies, southern United States, and East Africa; in Nigeria Tortoise is the mischief-maker.

The phrase ‘Anansi story’ is used in the Caribbean today to refer to any sort of folk tale. Sometimes Anansi stories are used to explain why as certain animal is as it is today. For example, a story may explain why spiders (Anansi) live in wood piles, or tigers live in the bush.

The telling of Anansi stories is an important aspect of Caribbean cultures where high value is placed on the ability to use words and the ability to perform.  In previous times, most villages had several people who were noted as story-tellers. This was valued in rural villages where there was less access to entertainment and recreation

Unfortunately this wonderful old tradition is quickly fading away as children even in rural areas or isolated islands are getting access to TV, movies, CD's and computer games.  These pages are our attempt to keep some of the stories alive.

We also hope to work with schools in various African countries like Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda and record some of their folk tales too.  Perhaps we will be able to see how the stories have changed over time from the original African to the current West Indian version!


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Quote Shucander Replybullet Posted: 08 May 2007 at 1:45am


Author: unknown

One day Firefly came to Anansi the Spider's house and invited him to go egg hunting. "If you would like to go with me, then come to my house late this evening."

Anansi was very excited and immediately agreed to go.

When it was dark enough, they went out into the fields. Firefly would open his wings a little and his light would illuminate the eggs lying hidden in the grass.

Then Anansi would jump forward and yell, "Mine, I saw it first," and toss it in his sack.

They continued like this for the rest of the evening. Anansi was so rude that he grabbed every single egg and Firefly didn't get a single one. Soon Anansi's sack was so full he could barely pull it.

Finally, Firefly said, "Goodbye, Anansi," and flew quickly back home.

Anansi was left alone in the dark with no idea how to get home. Slowly he began to fumble his way back to his house.

He couldn't see a thing, but eventually he bumped into a house. He didn't know whose house it was, so he thought up a scheme.

"Godfather," he called out.

A deep, gruff voice answered back, "Who is that outside of my house?"

Anansi called out; "It is I, your godson Anansi!"

Just then Tiger stuck his huge hairy head out of the door and glared down on the little spider. Tiger knew that he had no godsons, and he knew that Anansi had tricked him many times in the past.

But Tiger was also clever, and said, "Come in, Godson," and shut the door behind Anansi. Tiger had his wife put a big copper kettle of water on the fire so they could boil the eggs.

When they were ready, Tiger, his wife, and all of their children started to eat them hungrily.

"Anansi, my godson, would you like some eggs?" Tiger asked.

Anansi nervously shook his head. "No thank you, Godfather."

When the eggs were all gone, Tiger put a lobster in the kettle and then covered it in some leftover shells, so that it looked like there were more eggs inside. He then put the kettle on the floor and said, "You should stay for the night, Godson," and grinned so that all of his sharp, gleaming teeth were showing.

During the night, when everyone fell asleep, Anansi crept over to the kettle and reached inside.

As soon as he did so, the lobster pinched him hard and he yelled out in surprise.

"Godson," Tiger called out, "are you alright?"

Anansi answered back, "I was bitten by a dog-flea. Please excuse me, Godfather!"

After a few minutes he tried again to grab an egg and received another pinch.

"Godson, are you sure that you are alright?"

Anansi responded, "Oh, Godfather, these dog-fleas are eating me alive."

Tiger sat up and shouted at the top of his voice, "Dog-fleas?! How dare you accuse us of having dog-fleas in this fine house, after we have fed you and given you a place to sleep!"

Tiger jumped out of bed roaring and started to come after Anansi.

Anansi then flew out of bed and raced out the door, terrified for his life.

Tiger came to the door and smiled to himself as he watched the poor little spider running away.

Anansi never went back to Tiger's house and every time he went to visit Firefly, his wife told Anansi that her husband was gone and to please come back next month.

Anansi never did figure out where the field was where all of the eggs were hidden, and he had much time to think about how his greediness had left him with nothing.


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Quote Shucander Replybullet Posted: 08 May 2007 at 1:47am


Author: unknown

One day Anansi the spider picked some very fat and tasty yams from his garden. He baked them with much care and they came out smelling quite delicious. He could not wait to sit down and eat them.

Just then there was a knock at his door. It was Turtle, who had been traveling all day and was very tired and hungry.

"Hello, Anansi," said Turtle. "I have been walking for so long, and I smelled the most delicious yams I've ever smelled. Would you be so kind as to share your meal with me?"

Anansi could not refuse, as it was the custom in his country to share your meal with visitors at mealtime. But he was not very happy, for Anansi was a little too greedy and wanted the delicious yams all to himself. So Anansi thought to himself and came up with a scheme.

"Please do come in, Turtle. I would be honored to have you as my guest this evening. Sit down, have a chair and help yourself."

Turtle came inside and sat down, but just as he reached for a yam, Anansi yelled, "Turtle, don't you know better than to come to the table with dirty hands?"

Turtle looked down at his hands and saw that they were filthy. He had been crawling all day and had not had a chance to clean up. Turtle got up and went to the river to clean his feet. He walked all the way back up to the house and Anansi had already begun to eat.

"I didn't want these tasty yams to get cold, so I had to begin," said Anansi. "But please do join me now, Turtle."

Turtle sat down again and reached for a yam, but again Anansi yelled at him.

"Turtle, did you not hear me before? It is not polite to come to the table with dirty hands!"

He looked down and saw that his clean hands had turned dirty once more, since he had to crawl on them to get back to the house. So he walked down to the river once more to wash himself off. And when he returned this time, he was careful to walk on the grass so his hands would stay clean. But by the time he sat down at the table, Anansi had finished up the last bit of the tasty yams and not so much as a morsel was left.

Turtle looked at Anansi for a moment and then said, "Thank you for sharing your meal with me. If you ever find yourself near my house, please let me return the favor." And then he slowly walked out the door and continued on his way. The days went by and Anansi thought more and more of that meal that Turtle had offered. He got more and more interested in a free dinner and finally could not stand it anymore. He set off one day to find Turtle's house.

He found Turtle sunning himself on a riverbank just around dinnertime.

Turtle looked up and saw him and said, "Hello, Anansi, have you come to share evening meal with me?"

"Oh yes, yes!" said Anansi, who was growing hungrier and hungrier by the minute. Turtle went underwater to his house to set up the dinner table for the two of them. Soon he came back to the bank and said, "Your place is waiting and the food is ready. Please join me, Anansi."

And then he dived underwater and began to slowly eat his meal.

Anansi jumped into the water, but could not get down to the bottom of the river. He tried to swim down, but he was so light that he kept popping back up to the surface.

He tried diving. He tried belly flops. He tried a running jump, but nothing would help him get down to the river bottom.

In the meantime, Turtle was slowly eating his meal.

Anansi was not about to give up a free meal, and was running around wondering what he would do. Finally he had an idea. He started grabbing stones and rocks and stuffed them into his jacket pockets.

Now when he jumped into the water he sank right down to the bottom and was able to take his place at the table.

The table was so beautiful and full of delicious foods. Anansi could hardly believe how many tasty foods were before him and could not wait to start his meal.

But just as he reached for the first morsel, Turtle stopped eating and spoke. "In my country, we do not wear our jackets to the table." Anansi noticed that Turtle had removed his own jacket before sitting down. Anansi started to remove his jacket, and as soon as it was off of his shoulders, he went zooming back up to the surface and popped out onto the riverbank. He stuck his head down into the water and saw Turtle slowly enjoying that wonderful banquet.

Moral of the story: When you try to outsmart someone, you may find that you're the one outsmarted.

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Quote Shucander Replybullet Posted: 08 May 2007 at 1:51am


Author: unknown

One day a long time ago, that one, Anansi, called upon Big Alligator. "I'm out late, brother," Anansi spider told him, "and I need a place to sleep the night."

Alligator says, "All right then, come into my house. Stay the night."

Anansi tells Alligator back, "I don't want to bother you. I don't need to sleep in your house. I can sleep in your kitchen.".

(In those days, there was a stone-built kitchen off in the yard. Anansi was thinking about getting by hmself into the kitchen outside of Big Alligator's house.)

"All right, brother," Alligator tells Anansi. "You sleep in the kitchen."

Of course, Anansi was up to something. Big Alligator's daughter, Ama, knew. She'd been listening behind the door. Ama heard every word between Anansi and her father.

At once, Ama went out to catch many scorpions, very carefully, and then she put them in empty kitchen pots in the kitchen. Ama knew that Anansi loved looking in food pots.

Big Alligator slid to the kitchen to say good night. "Well then," he says to Anansi.

"Then, too", says Anansi

"Sleep well my brother" Big Alligator tells him.

"Well, brother, I will do that." says Anansi

Everything became quiet as everybody went to sleep. Even the palm trees were swaying a soft rustling.

Anansi went to bed. He lay down until he thought that everybody was asleep. Then he got up, skittered across the floor, and found the pots.

He put his hand into a pot, thinking that he was going to get something tasty. And he did find it. He knew which pots were the scorpion pots, and he did not dare go near those. He ate and ate, and had himself a good time.

After he was full, he started hollering and yelling and msucking his hand.

Big Alligator hears him and comes crawling fast.

"What is the matter?" Big Alligator asked.

"Brother, I am eaten alive!" yells Anansi. "The flease here are biting me so bad! Your kitchen is full of fleas! I have to go!" And with that, Anansi the trickster scurried out of there.

Of course, Anansi knew that there were no fleas, but that there were scorpions.

Ama went into the kitchen and saw that all the eggs that were in the other pots were gone. She knew who did it. "Daddy, help!" she cried out. "Anansi has eaten all of our eggs!"

So Big Alligator ran out after Anansi.

Anansi was by the sea, but he could hear Big Alligator coming and shouting at him.

At this time, a boatman was sailing by in his boat. Anansi told him "If you take me across the water, I will give you half of my land."

The boatman agreed, and Anansi got in the boat. Big Alligator tried to follow them by going into the water, but he could not catch the boat.

When the boat reached the other side, Anansi told the boatman "I'll go tell my father you have come for the land." The boatman waits.

Anansi found his father, and told him about Big Alligator and about the boatman. Anansi told his father that if either of them came looking for him, to say that he did not know where Anansi had gone. And with that, Anansi climbed a tree.

A few minutes later, the boatman came asking for Anansi.

"I don't know where that one, Anansi, be."

After the boatman left, Anansi climbed another tree, and he saw Big Alligator coming. Big Alligator slid under the tree. Anansi called out to him asking if Big Alligator could see him.

Big Alligator looked and looked, and said "If I can't find you, I'll never live in a house again. I'll go live in the water."

He kept looking...did he find Anansi? (where does an Alligator live now?)


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Quote Snowflake Replybullet Posted: 08 May 2007 at 1:57am
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Quote Shucander Replybullet Posted: 08 May 2007 at 1:57am


Author: unknown

It was the dry season. Anansi's people were starving. He told his people that he was going to find food. He left and walked many miles, until at last he saw smoke from a distant village.

When he got there the town was full of cassava--just cassava! One cassava asked, "Would you like us roasted, fried, or boiled? Anansi told them that it didn't matter, so they roasted themselves.

The spider was just sitting down to eat when he saw a column of smoke on the horizon. He asked, "My people, who lives at that far place?" One cassava told him that plantains (bananas) live there. The spider started to leave but the cassavas didn't want him to go. Anansi left anyway.

When he reached the village, the plantains approached him. They all asked if he wanted them roasted, fried, or boiled. He told them it didn't matter because he was so hungry that he would eat them anyway at all. Anansi just sat down to eat when he saw smoke rising from a town near the horizon. He asked who lived there, and the plantains said that the rice lived there. The spider started to leave but the plantains urged him to stay. It was too late, but Anansi left anyway.

Anansi came to the village with the rice. The rice asked if he wanted them roasted, fried, or boiled. He responded with the usual answer. The rice boiled themselves so that he could eat them. Anansi was just beginning to eat when he saw a smoke cloud rising not know who lived there. Anansi took off toward the town thinking that it might be something better than rice.

Anansi walked for a long time. When he finally got to the place, he stopped and rubbed his eyes. He couldn't believe it! It was his own village! Anansi fainted.

When he woke up his wife gave him a bowl of fish bone soup. He told her his story, but she didn't believe him. No one ever believed him because no one was ever able to go to those villages.


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Quote Shucander Replybullet Posted: 08 May 2007 at 2:04am


From The Village Witch Doctor & Other Stories by Amos Tutuola

Dola and Babi were good friends in their days. Both were young ladies, and they had loved each other heartily from when they were children. They-always wore the same kind of dress, and they went together everywhere in their village, and to other villages as well. They did everything together, so much so that anyone who did not know their parents believed they were twins.

So Dola and Babi went about together until when they grew to be the age for marriage. Because they loved each other so much, they decided within themselves to marry two men who were born of the same mother and father, and who lived together in the same house, so that they might be with each other always.

Luckily, a few days after Dola and Babi decided to do so, they heard of two young men who were born of the same mother and father, and who lived together in the same house. So Babi married one of the young men while Dola married the second one, who was older than the first one. So Dola and Babi were very happy now, living together as they had before they had been married in their husbands' house.

A few days after their marriage, Dola cleared a part of the front of the house very neatly. She sowed one kola-nut on the spot. After some weeks the kola-nut shot up. Then she filled up one earthen jar with water and she put it before her new kola-nut tree. Then every early morning Dola would go and kneel down before the tree and jar. She would pray to the tree to help her to get a baby very soon, and after the prayer, she would drink some of the water which was inside the earthen jar. After that, she would go back to her room before the other people, in the house woke. Dola did this early every morning, because she believed that there was a certain spirit who came and blessed the kola-nut tree and the water in the night.

After some months, the kola-nut tree grew to the height of about one metre. But now the domestic animals of the village began to eat the leaves of the tree and this hindered its growth.

One morning, Babi met Dola abruptly as she knelt down before the kola-nut tree and jar and prayed. After she had prayed and then stood up, Babi asked in surprise, 'Dola, what were you telling your kola-nut tree?'

'Oh, this kola-nut tree is my god, and I ask it every morning to help me get a baby soon,' Dola explained calmly, pointing a finger at the tree and jar.

When Babi noticed that the animals of the village had eaten nearly all the leaves of the tree, she went back to her room. She took the top part of her large water pot, the bottom of which had broken away. She gave it to Dola, and she told her to shield her kola-nut tree with it so that the animals wouldn't be able to eat its leaves again.

Dola took the large pot from her and thanked her fervently. Then she shielded her tree with it, and as from that morning the animals were unable to eat the leaves of the tree. And so it was growing steadily in the centre of the large pot.

A few years later, the tree yielded the first kola-nuts. The first kola-nuts that the tree yielded were of the best quality in the village, and because the nuts were the best quality, the kola-nut buyers hastily bought all the nuts, paying a considerable amount of money. Similarly, when the tree yielded the second and third kola-nuts, the buyers bought them with large amounts of money as before.

In selling the kola-nuts, Dola became a wealthy woman within a short period. Having seen this, Babi became jealous of Dola's wealth.

Jealously, Babi demanded back the water pot: 'Dola, will you please return my large water pot to me this morning?' Dola was greatly shocked. She asked, 'What? The broken water pot without a bottom?'

'Yes, my broken water pot. I want to take it back this morning,' Babi replied with a jealous voice.

'Well, the water pot cannot be returned to you at this time unless I break it into pieces before it can come from around my kola-nut tree,' Dola replied with a dead voice.

'You must not break it or split the head of my water pot before you return it to me!' Babi shouted angrily.

'I say it cannot be taken away from the tree without breaking it or cutting the tree down,' Dola explained angrily.

Babi boomed on Dola: 'Yes, you may cut your tree down if you wish to do so. But all I want from you is my water pot!'

Dola reminded Babi with a calm voice, 'Please, Babi, I remind you now that both of us started our friendship when we were children. Because of that, don't try to take your water pot back at his time.'

'Yes, of course, I don't forget at any time that we are friends. But at all costs, I want the water pot now,' Babi insisted with a great noise.

That revealed to Dola at last that Babi simply wanted to destroy her kola-nut tree so that she might not get the nuts from it to sell any more. She went to the chief of the village. She begged him to help her persuade Babi not to take the head of her water pot back.

However, when the chief of the village failed to persuade Babi not to take the water pot back from Dola, he judged the case in favour of Babi and said that Dola must return the water pot to her.

Then to her sorrow, Dola's kola-nut tree was cut own, and the water pot was taken away from the tree without breaking, and Dola returned it to Babi. Now, Babi was very happy and she burst out laughing not because of the water pot but because Dola's kola-nut tree had been cut down, as she believed that Dola would not get kola-nuts to sell again.

As soon as the water pot was returned to Babi, she and Dola entered the house and they continued their friendship, for Dola did not show in her behaviour towards Babi that her tree which had been cut down was a great sorrow for her.

A few months after the tree was cut down, Babi was delivered of a female baby. And on the morning that the baby was named, Dola gave her a fine brass ring as a present. Dola told Babi to put the ring on the baby's neck, brass being one of the most precious metals in those days.

Babi, with laughter, took the brass ring from Dola, and with great admiration she put it on the baby's neck immediately. And this brass ring so much beautified the baby that, from her beautiful look, now it seemed as if she was created with it. The brass ring was carefully moulded without any joint.

Then ten years passed away like one day. One fine morning, as the baby - who was by then a daughter - was celebrating her tenth birthday, Dola walked gently into Babi's sitting room and said, 'Babi, my good friend. I shall be very glad if you will return my brass ring this morning.' Dola smiled to see that Babi's guests were silent with shock.

Babi stood up suddenly, scowling, and shouted, 'Which brass ring?'

'My brass ring which is on your daughter's neck now.' Dola pointed a finger at Babi's daughter's neck, explaining as if she were simply joking.

'This very brass ring which is on my daughter's neck now?' Babi, after clearing her throat, shouted to show disapproval of Dola's demand: 'Dola! You are joking!'

Dola scowled and replied softly, 'I am not joking in any way, and I want you to return my brass ring now.'

Babi grunted like a pig, 'Hmm!' and begged with extreme misery and with tears rolling down her cheeks, 'Please, my good, friend, don't try to take your brass ring back now. As you know, before the ring can be taken away from my daughter's neck, her head will be cut off first because it is already bigger than the ring!'

'I don't tell you to cut off the head of your daughter, but all I want is my brass ring, and I want it without cutting it.' At last, when Dola still insisted on taking her brass ring back, Babi went to the same chief of the village. She told him that Dola was attempting to kill her daughter.

Fortunately, the chief judged the case in favour of Dola when she explained to him how her kola-nut tree was cut down when Babi insisted on taking her water pot back ten years ago.

And in the judgement the chief added that the head of Babi's daughter would be cut off on the assembly ground which was in front of his palace, and, also in the presence of all the people of the village, so that everyone might learn that jealousy was bad. Then a special day was fixed for beheading the daughter.

When the day was reached, and after all the people of the village had gathered on the assembly ground, and the chief and his prominent people had been seated, then the chief called Babi loudly. He told her to put her ten-year-old daughter in the middle of the circle, and she obeyed. She and her daughter stood wobbling with fear while the swordsman, who was ready to behead the daughter, stood fiercely behind the daughter with a long dazzling sword in his hand.

The crowd of people, prominent people, and the chief were so overwhelmed by mercy that all were quiet suddenly while looking at the poor innocent daughter and her mot her Babi, who looked thin and gaunt.

It was some minutes before the chief could reluctantly announce to Babi loudly, 'Now, Babi, today is Dola's day. just as Dola's kola-nut tree was cut down ten years ago when you insisted and took back the head of your water pot from her, it is so that the head of your daughter will be cut off now, when Dola's brass ring will be taken away from the neck of your daughter and then it will be given back to Dola!' The gathering mumbled with grief, and then all became quiet at once.

Then as the chief closed his eyes with grief, he gave the order to the swordsman to behead Babi's daughter. But, just as the swordsman raised his sword up to cut the head off, Dola hastily stopped him by pulling his arm down, and then she announced loudly, 'It will be a great pity if this daughter of mine is killed, because she has not offended me. No! It was her jealous mother.

'And I believe, if we continue to pay "bad" for "bad", bad will never finish on earth. Therefore, I forgive Babi all that she has done to my kola-nut tree of which she was jealous!'

The chief and the rest of the people clapped and shouted loudly with happiness when they heard this announcement from Dola. Then everyone went back to his or her house. And Dola and Babi were still good friends throughout the rest of their lives.


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Quote Shucander Replybullet Posted: 08 May 2007 at 2:07am


Author: unknown

A long time ago, Anansi Spider had a friend Tiger. He had another friend Goat who had all her little kids.

All of them lived in the same house. Anansi lived on the roof, Tiger lived inside the house, and Goat lived under the house.

For a long time, they got along well together. But one day, Tiger had to start a fight. He told Anansi that "Brother, you make too much dust.", and he told Sana, "Your little kids make too much dirt."

Then he threw his head back and shouted "I want this house to myself!".

And he let off a loud roar that scared the little kids so that they scrambled back down under the house. So Goat said, "All right, I'll take my kids and leave this place."

And Anansi said, "I'll get out of here."

They started to run and Tiger started to growl and chase them, so they ran faster.

Anansi, Goat and the kids, ran fast until they came to a river. There were a lot of white stones on the bank of the water. Anansi said, "Goat, you stand still, and your kids should stand still too."

"All right,", Goat said, and she told her kids not to move.

Then Magic Anansi changed Sana and her kids into smooth white stones. Then he tossed them across the stream to the other side. As the stones touched the ground, they changed back into the goat and her kids again. The kids just laughed because they had enjoyed being stones that flew through the air.

Tiger was fast approaching, and he was getting louder and louder.

Goat hurried her kids and ran off into the bushes.

Tiger saw that Anansi was still on the same side of the river, and he growled. "I'm going to eat you, Anansi."

He came closer to Anansi, about to eat him. Then Anansi threw a long, silver line across the river. He skittled and slid across his own silver spider thread, and he got away.

Tiger paws the thread down and stared across the water. He was still growling, but now he realized that he couldn't catch anyone. So he went back home, and lived on his own.


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