1. Anansi and Tiger in the Pit
Anansi heard Tiger roaring.
He looked around.
There was Tiger, trapped in a deep pit!
Tiger was leaping and jumping, trying to escape.
Anansi looked down and smiled.
“Hello, Tiger!” he said. “Having trouble down there?”
That made Tiger mad! Inch by inch, he started clawing his way up the pit.
“You can do it, Tiger!” Anansi shouted. “Come on! Come on!”
Near the top, Tiger gasped, “No… more… strength…”
“Just pray!” said Anansi. “Put your paws together and pray for strength.”
And when Tiger put his paws together, he slid all the way back down.
Anansi ran off, laughing.
2. Anansi’s Riding-Horse
Anansi kept saying Tiger was his father’s riding-horse.
This made Tiger angry!
Tiger went to Anansi’s house.
“Come with me!” Tiger said. “You’re going to tell everybody the truth.”
“I’m sick!” groaned Anansi. “I’m too weak to walk.”
“Then get on my back,” said Tiger.
Anansi fetched his saddle and bridle and spurs.
“What do you need all that for?” asked Tiger.
“To keep from falling off,” Anansi said. “I feel so weak.”
Anansi got in the saddle, and he spurred Tiger.
“Just like I said!” Anansi shouted. “Tiger was my father’s riding-horse. And now he’s mine too!”
3. Anansi and his Grandmother
Anansi killed his grandmother, put her body in his wagon, and drove into town.
He told the barkeeper, “Take some whiskey to my grandmother in the wagon. Wake her if she’s asleep.”
The barkeeper couldn’t wake her.
Then Anansi came out and shouted, “You killed her!”
The barkeeper gave Anansi a sack of gold coins to keep quiet.
“How did you get that gold?” Tiger asked Anansi.
“I killed my grandmother and drove her to town,” said Anansi.
So Tiger killed his grandmother and drove to town, shouting, “Who wants to buy my dead grandmother?”
They locked Tiger in jail!
4. Anansi and the Coconut
Anansi was eating a coconut, smacking his lips happily.
“What’s that?” Tiger asked him.
“It’s one of my balls!” said Anansi. “Balls are very sweet.”
Then Anansi smiled at Tiger. “Hey, Tiger, your balls are much bigger than mine. I bet they are even sweeter than mine are! Let’s go to the blacksmith. He can use his hammer and anvil to break off one of your balls so you can eat it.”
Tiger and Anansi went to the blacksmith.
Tiger lay down, and the blacksmith banged him with a hammer.
Then Anansi ate Tiger, balls and all.
5. Anansi and Tiger in the Pot
Tiger came to see Anansi.
“Hard times!” said Anansi. “No food here.”
Tiger went away.
Then Tiger heard Anansi’s wife yell, “Dinner’s ready.”
Tiger returned. “Feed me!” he roared.
“I’ll share the food,” said Anansi, “if you do what I tell you.”
“Okay,” said Tiger.
Anansi got in the pot. “Put the lid on. When I knock, let me out.”
Tiger put on the lid. Anansi knocked. Tiger let him out.
“Now you!” said Anansi.
Tiger got in. Anansi put on the lid.
Tiger knocked, but Anansi didn’t let him out.
“Got you now!”
Anansi cooked Tiger and ate him.
6. Anansi and Tiger’s Goat
Anansi and Tiger went hunting.
Tiger caught a goat, but Anansi didn’t catch anything.
Anansi didn’t like that, so he decided to trick Tiger.
“That’s a nice goat!” Anansi said.
“I’m going to take this goat home, kill it, and cook it,” said Tiger.
“Did you say grace yet?” Anansi asked him.
Tiger looked ashamed. “No, Anansi, I didn’t say grace yet.”
“You better say grace right away!” said Anansi. “Put your hands together and say: Thank the Lord.”
When Tiger put his hands together, the goat got free and ran off.
Tiger was left with nothing.
Anansi just laughed!
7. Tiger and Anansi’s Knives
Tiger and Anansi went walking together.
“I have a knife,” Anansi said. “Do you?”
“I do!” said Tiger.
Then Anansi said, “I’m scared of your knife, Tiger.”
“I’m scared of yours too, Anansi!”
“We should throw away our knives,” said Anansi. “I’ll go first!”
Anansi threw something away, but it wasn’t his knife; it was a rock.
“Now you!” said Anansi.
Tiger threw away his knife.
Then they came to some pineapple.
Anansi shouted, “You need a knife to eat pineapple,” and he started eating.
Tiger didn’t have a knife, so he couldn’t eat pineapple.
Anansi had tricked Tiger again!
8. Anansi and Mr. Man’s Sheep
Mr. Man hired Anansi to guard his sheep, but Anansi was stealing the sheep.
“Find out who’s stealing my sheep!” Mr. Man said.
“I’ll catch the thief by holding a party,” said Anansi.
Then Anansi went to Tiger and gave him sheepskin trousers and a sheepskin shirt. “Wear your new clothes to the party,” Anansi said. “And sing this song: See my clothes all made of sheep; see my sheepskin clothes.”
Tiger came to the party in his new clothes, singing the song.
“That’s him!” shouted Anansi. “That’s the sheep-thief!”
Mr. Man had Tiger arrested and locked up in jail.
9. Anansi, Tiger, and the Lady’s Sheep
Anansi kept stealing a lady’s sheep until there was only one sheep left.
“I’ll kill Anansi for you,” Tiger told her, “if you give me that sheep.”
Tiger killed the sheep and put on the sheepskin.
Anansi came to steal the last sheep, but he stole Tiger instead!
“This sheep is heavy,” Anansi groaned.
He carried the sheep home and cut its throat.
“There’s no blood,” said Anansi, confused.
“There’s ME!” roared Tiger.
Anansi ran, and Tiger couldn’t catch him.
When the lady saw Tiger, she was mad. “Anansi’s still alive!”
She locked Tiger in jail for stealing her sheep.
10. Tiger and Anansi Eating Breakfast
Tiger fed Anansi a good breakfast.
“I’ll feed you breakfast tomorrow!” Anansi told Tiger. “Come when you hear dishes clattering.”
Tiger waited and waited. There were no dishes clattering.
Finally Tiger came anyway.
“Too late!” said Anansi. “Breakfast is over.”
“But the dishes didn’t clatter!” shouted Tiger.
“Try again tomorrow,” said Anansi. “But when I say ‘Eat eat eat!’ you must say ‘I don’t want to eat!'”
So the next day Tiger came.
Anansi said, “Eat eat eat!” and Tiger said, “I don’t want to eat!”
Anansi laughed and told him to go away.
That’s how Anansi tricked Tiger twice.
11. Tiger Helps Anansi to Get Meat
Anansi kept tricking Tiger, and Tiger wanted revenge!
“Come eat breakfast with me,” Tiger told Anansi, and he fed Anansi lots of meat.
“How did you get all that meat?” Anansi asked.
“It’s easy!” said Tiger. “I go where the cows are. When a cow lies down, I stick my hand inside and grab the cow’s guts. Then I pull it out. You have to pull hard, and don’t let go.”
Anansi did what Tiger said, but the cow ran and dragged Anansi over the rocks.
That’s why Anansi’s belly is white: his skin got scraped off by the rocks!
12. Anansi and Tiger Go Hunting
Tiger and Anansi hunted Mr. Man’s pigs.
Every time Tiger shot, Anansi shot too.
Tiger hit the pigs.
Anansi didn’t hit anything, but he still claimed half the meat.
This made Tiger mad, so he played a trick. “I hear Mr. Man coming!” Tiger shouted.
They both hid.
CRACK! Tiger made a whip-sound. CRACK! Tiger made the sound again.
“Who shot my pigs?” said Tiger in Mr. Man’s voice.
“Tiger shot the pigs!” Anansi shouted.
“Not me, Mister Man! I can’t shoot! Tiger shot those pigs.”
Tiger laughed at Anansi and took all the meat home.
Anansi got nothing.
13. Anansi and the Tar-Stump
Someone was stealing Tiger’s peanuts, so Tiger made a trap.
He tarred a stump and put a hat on it.
When Anansi came to steal peanuts, he saw the stump.
“Who are you?” Anansi shouted.
Stump didn’t answer.
Anansi grabbed with one hand. Stuck. Other hand. Stuck.
Anansi butted with his head. Stuck. He kicked the stump. Stuck.
Tiger came and laughed at Anansi.
“Now I’ll burn you!” he said, pulling Anansi loose.
“Before burning me,” Anansi shouted, “jump the fire yourself. It’s good luck.”
Tiger jumped, and Anansi pushed Tiger into the fire.
Anansi got the peanuts.
14. Anansi in the Gourd
Tiger was chasing Anansi.
Anansi needed to hide, so he hid inside Tiger’s water-gourd.
Tiger didn’t see where Anansi had gone. He was angry that Anansi had escaped!
Then Tiger picked up his water-gourd and went to fetch water.
Anansi had to get out, or else he would drown.
“Tiger’s mother is dead-dead-DEAD!” said Anansi from inside the gourd, and his voice echoed.
Tiger listened and then kept walking.
“Tiger’s mother is dead-DEAD-DEAD!”
Tiger listened again.
“Tiger’s mother is DEAD-DEAD-DEAD!”
Tiger dropped the gourd and went running to his mother’s house.
Tiger’s mother wasn’t dead.
That’s how Anansi got away!
15. Anansi and Tiger Go Fishing
Anansi and Tiger went fishing.
When they caught a fish, Tiger grabbed it.
“This one’s mine!” he shouted.
Tiger tied a string to the fish and then tied that string to his toe. “When I wiggle my toe, I’ll know the fish is there.”
Then Tiger went to sleep, wiggling his toe to make sure the fish was there.
Anansi carefully untied the fish and tied the string to a tree.
Tiger kept wiggling his toe, and he thought the fish was there.
When Tiger woke up, he pulled the string.
Then Tiger knew Anansi had tricked him.
16. Anansi and Tiger’s Mango-Tree
Tiger had a mango-tree, and Anansi wanted some of Tiger’s mangoes.
“Will you give me some mangoes?”
Tiger said, “No!”
“Can I buy some mangoes?”
Tiger said, “NO!”
Then Anansi said, “You know, there’s a big storm coming. A real big storm. You better tie yourself to that tree before the wind blows you away.”
“Tie me!” said Tiger.
Anansi tied Tiger to the tree, but no wind came.
“When’s that storm coming?” asked Tiger.
“No storm,” said Anansi. “I just wanted your mangoes.”
Anansi climbed the tree, took the mangoes, and left Tiger behind, still tied to the tree.
17. Anansi Ties Tiger
Anansi was carrying a basket of fish when he met Tiger.
Tiger grabbed the basket and ate the fish.
Anansi was angry but said nothing.
They kept walking.
Anansi saw a fruit-tree.
“Nice fruit there!” said Anansi.
“Get me some!” said Tiger.
Anansi climbed up and looked down. “I see lice in your fur!”
Tiger said, “Groom me!”
Anansi climbed down and he pulled Tiger’s fur and whiskers, and with Tiger’s fur and whiskers he tied Tiger to the tree!
Then Anansi ran off and left Tiger tied to the tree.
Tiger roared, and a hunter came and killed him.
18. Anansi, Tiger, and the Fish
To hide his fish from Tiger, Anansi put them in a coffin.
Tiger saw Anansi with the coffin. “I’ll help bury your friend!” he said.
They walked and walked.
Anansi got tired and confessed. “There are fish in the coffin.”
“I love fish!” said Tiger. He ate the fish and left the fish-bones in the coffin.
“Now I want dumplings!” said Tiger.
They went to Anansi’s house, and Anansi gave the fish-bones to his wife. “Put the fish-bones in the dumplings,” he whispered.
Tiger choked on the dumplings.
“I’ll help you!” said Anansi, whacking Tiger with a shovel.
19. Anansi Goes to Tiger’s Wedding
Tiger didn’t invite Anansi to his wedding.
Anansi was mad, so he put cow-itch plant inside Tiger’s tuxedo.
Tiger put on the tuxedo and it itched.
It itched bad!
Tiger tore off his tuxedo. “Go get Anansi!” he yelled.
Anansi was excited to come to the wedding feast, but when he got there, Tiger buried him in the cow-itch.
It itched bad!
Thinking quickly, Anansi yelled, “Did you see the Queen coming behind me?”
“The Queen???!” Tiger didn’t think she would come to the wedding.
When Tiger ran to see the queen, Anansi escaped.
There was no queen, of course.
20. Anansi and the Eggs
Firefly and Anansi were gathering eggs at night.
“Little eggs for you,” said Anansi. “Big eggs for me.”
This made Firefly mad, so he flew away.
Stumbling in the dark, Anansi found Tiger’s house.
“Help me!” said Anansi. “I’ll give you these eggs.”
Tiger let Anansi sleep in his house and, knowing Anansi, he put scorpions around the egg-basket to protect the eggs.
When Anansi went to steal the eggs, the scorpions bit him.
Anansi started crying.
“Why are you crying?” asked Tiger.
Anansi lied. “I miss my family!”
And since Anansi couldn’t steal the eggs, he stole Tiger’s sheep.
21. Anansi and Tiger’s Bone-Hole
Tiger had a big pot of stew-meat, and he had a bone-hole where he threw the bones.
Anansi and his family got in the pot to eat, but Tiger came, so they hid in the hole.
Tiger ate and threw a bone. It hit Anansi’s child. “Hush!” said Anansi.
The second bone hit Anansi’s other child. “Hush!”
The third bone hit Anansi’s wife. “Hush!”
Finally Tiger threw a bone that hit Anansi.
“Everybody yell!” said Anansi.
So they yelled, and it scared Tiger.
Tiger yelled, “Ghosts in the bone-hole!” and ran off.
Then Anansi and his family ate the meat.
22. Anansi Helps Tiger Take a Bath
Tiger and Anansi went to the river.
“Wash your guts!” Anansi told Tiger.
Tiger took out his guts and washed them.
“Now your head!”
When Tiger put his head in the water, Anansi stole Tiger’s guts.
“Make this into stew!” Anansi told his wife.
Then Anansi prepared his children for Tiger’s funeral. “Everybody shout: Poor Tiger’s dead!”
One child cried, “We ate Tiger!”
“No!” said Anansi. “You can’t go to the funeral.”
But that child went to the funeral anyway. When Anansi saw the child coming, he ran and hid on the rooftop.
Spiders stay on the roof even now.
23. Anansi’s Family on the Rooftop
Anansi and his family were on the rooftop, hiding from Tiger.
One of Anansi’s children complained, “I’m hungry.”
Anansi got angry! He threw the child down. Tiger ate him.
Next child. Next child. Next child. All the children.
Then Anansi fell asleep.
Mrs. Anansi sewed her skirt to Anansi’s trousers.
Anansi woke up, and he threw his wife down, but she didn’t fall. She stayed tied tight to Anansi.
Then Anansi told Tiger, “Pile up a trash-heap for us to land on!”
Tiger piled up a trash-heap.
They jumped down and hid in the trash-heap.
Spiders are still hiding there.
24. Tiger Tries to Trick Anansi
Tiger wanted to kill Anansi.
“Tell him I’m dead,” Tiger said to Mrs. Tiger. “I’ll lie here and wait for him.”
Mrs. Tiger shouted, “Poor Tiger! Mr. Tiger is dead!”
Anansi was suspicious.
“Did you hear Tiger was sick?” he asked Dog. Dog said no.
He asked Monkey and Goat and all the animals. Nobody had heard Tiger was sick.
Anansi went to Tiger’s house.
Mrs. Tiger sat there weeping, and Tiger was in the bed.
“Did he make the final groan?” Anansi asked Mrs. Tiger. “The dead make a big final groan.”
Then Anansi ran off, laughing.
25. Anansi’s Strong Hand
Anansi and Tiger wanted to see whose hand was strongest.
Anansi hid a hammer up his sleeve and hit Tiger on the head.
Tiger was surprised. He didn’t know Anansi’s hand was so strong.
“I’ll come hit you tomorrow!” Tiger said.
So Anansi invited Deer to his house. “I’m going to take a nap now,” Anansi said, “but Tiger is bringing me good food for dinner! When he knocks, let him in.”
Tiger knocked, and Deer opened the door.
Tiger hit him and ran off, thinking he had hit Anansi.
Deer was dead, so Anansi roasted Deer and ate him.
26. Tiger, Anansi and Goat
Tiger, Anansi, and Goat shared a house together, but Tiger wanted the whole house for himself.
“I’m hungry!” Tiger roared. “I’m going to eat you both!”
Then Anansi and Goat ran away, and Tiger chased them.
They got to the river.
“I can’t swim!” cried Goat.
Anansi turned Goat into a small white stone, and then Anansi jumped across the river.
“I bet you can’t hit me with that stone!” Anansi shouted at Tiger.
Tiger threw the stone.
When it hit the ground on the other side, the stone turned back into Goat.
Anansi and Goat were safe!
27. Anansi’s Magic Yams
Anansi’s yams were magic! Only Anansi could pull them out of the ground.
Tiger was hungry. “Let me harvest your yams,” he begged Anansi.
Anansi laughed. “You can try!”
Tiger dug and dug. The yams wouldn’t come out.
Tiger got angry and started slicing yams with his machete.
Then the yams jumped up and chased Tiger.
“Ticky-Picky-Boom-Boom!” they shouted. “TICKY-PICKY-BOOM-BOOM!”
Tiger ran. The yams ran too.
“Help me, Goat!” shouted Tiger. Goat butted the yams into the river.
The yams drowned.
Tiger and Goat fished out the yams and ate them up.
But Tiger still has bad yam dreams: Ticky-Picky-BOOM-BOOM!
28. King Tiger and Anansi
King Tiger had one golden stool and four silver stools.
Anyone who counted all the stools would fall down dead, but the animals didn’t know that.
“Win the golden stool!” Tiger said. “Just count the other stools. That’s all you need to do!”
Cat came and counted: “One, two, three, four, five.”
Cat fell down dead. Tiger ate her.
Then Rabbit, Dog, Monkey, the same.
“One, two three, four,” Anansi said, “and one more!”
Tiger got angry.
“That’s not how to count!” he shouted. “This is how you count: One, two, three, four, five!”
Tiger fell down dead.
29. Anansi, Tiger, and Snake
“All the stories will be yours if you can catch Snake alive and bring him here,” Tiger told Anansi.
So Anansi went to see Snake.
He stared hard at Snake until Snake asked, “What are you staring at?”
“Tiger said you weren’t as long as this stick!” Anansi waved a stick at Snake. “But I said you were. You’re the longest animal, so you must be longer than this stick.”
“Yessssss!” said Snake. “I’ll show you!”
Snake slithered up against the stick.
Then Anansi tied Snake tight and took him to Tiger.
“Now all the stories are mine!” Anansi shouted.
30. Anansi and the Hornets
“All the stories will be yours if you bring me hornets in a gourd,” Tiger told Anansi.
Anansi knew just what to do.
He cut a hole in a gourd.
He filled a bowl with water.
Then he found a swarm of hornets and threw water on them.
Holding the bowl over his head like an umbrella, Anansi shouted, “It’s raining! Only fools stay out in the rain. Come hide inside this nice dry gourd.”
Once the hornets were in the gourd, Anansi plugged the hole and took the gourd to Tiger.
“Now all the stories are mine!” Anansi shouted.
31. Anansi and the Queen-Bee
“All the stories will be yours if you bring me bees in a gourd,” Tiger told Anansi.
Anansi took a gourd and went into the woods, muttering.
Queen-Bee asked, “What’s wrong, Anansi?”
“I made a bet with Tiger about how many bees this gourd can hold,” said Anansi. “But I don’t know the answer.”
“I don’t know either!” said Queen-Bee. “Let’s find out. You can count us!”
Then the bees followed their queen, buzz-buzz-buzzing into Anansi’s gourd.
When the gourd was full, Anansi plugged the hole and took the gourd to Tiger.
“Now all the stories are mine!” Anansi shouted.
32. Anansi and the Honey
Anansi was eating honey.
“What’s that?” Tiger asked him.
“Monkey piss!” said Anansi, smiling. “Try it!”
Tiger tasted the honey. “Monkey piss is sweet!”
Tiger ran to catch Monkey, and Anansi went along to watch.
Tiger grabbed Monkey around the neck with one hand, and he held out his other hand.
“Piss in my hand!” Tiger roared at Monkey.
Monkey obeyed, and Tiger drank the piss.
“Ugh! That’s not sweet at all!”
Anansi shouted at Tiger. “Don’t squeeze so tight! Loosen your grip, and Monkey’s piss will be sweet.”
Tiger loosened his grip, and Monkey ran away.
Anansi just laughed.
33. Anansi and Tiger Take a Bath
Anansi and Tiger went to the river.
“Take out your guts before your bath!” Anansi told Tiger, and Tiger did.
Then Anansi ate Tiger’s guts while Tiger took a bath.
“Where are my guts?” shouted Tiger.
“The monkeys took your guts to Monkey-Town,” said Anansi.
Tiger ran to Monkey-Town, and the monkeys were all singing: “All the monkeys swallowed them up! We ate Mister Tiger’s guts!”
Tiger got mad and started killing the monkeys.
One of the monkeys shouted, “Stop that, Tiger! It’s only a song! Anansi taught us this song yesterday.”
So Tiger knew Anansi had tricked him again.
34. Anansi, Monkey and Tiger
Anansi and Monkey were friends.
“How many tricks do you know?” Anansi asked.
“I know plenty of tricks!” said Monkey.
“I know two,” said Anansi. “One for me, and one for you.”
They found Tiger in a hole. “Help me!” Tiger shouted.
“Lower your tail!” Anansi told Monkey.
Tiger climbed out.
“Now I’m going to eat you, Monkey!” Tiger said, and he grabbed Monkey.
Anansi laughed. “Are you happy about eating Monkey?”
“Yes, I am!” roared Tiger.
“I’m happy too,” said Anansi. “Let’s clap our hands for joy!”
Anansi clapped his hands.
Tiger clapped his hands.
That’s how Monkey escaped!
35. Anansi Owes Monkey Money
Anansi owed Monkey money, but couldn’t pay, so Monkey whipped Anansi.
The next day Monkey came and whipped Anansi again.
Anansi told his mother, “Build a fire, put me in a pot, and hide me in the ashes.”
But Monkey was a witch who saw hidden things, and he found Anansi in the ashes. He whipped Anansi again.
Another witch gave Anansi a magic rope.
Anansi climbed the magic rope.
Monkey climbed up the rope after him.
Anansi yelled, “Rope: be cut!”
Monkey fell down and broke his neck.
Then Anansi yelled, “Rope: be tied!” and he climbed down safely.
36. Anansi’s Pot of Water
Anansi went to Monkey-Country, carrying a big pot.
He filled the pot with water and put it on the fire.
“Warm water feels good,” said Anansi. “When it gets too hot, say “Bunya!” and I’ll pull you out. Like this!” Anansi got in the pot.
“Feels good.” Then after a while he said, “Bunya!” and Monkey pulled him out.
“Now you!” said Anansi.
Monkey got in.
“Feels good,” he said. Then after a while he said, “Bunya!”
“No bunya yet!” said Anansi.
“Bunya!” yelled Monkey.
“No bunya yet!” said Anansi.
When Monkey was cooked, Anansi ate him up!
37. Anansi’s Christening Oven
Anansi went to Monkey-Country.
“I’m here to christen you,” he said, “and this is my christening oven. I’ll show you!”
Anansi lit the fire.
“I’ll get in, you close the door, and when I shout “Christened!” you let me out.”
Anansi got in, and the Monkeys shut the oven door.
Then Anansi shouted “Christened!” and they let him out.
“Now you!” he said to the Monkeys.
The Monkeys got in, and Anansi shut the oven door.
“Christened!” they yelled.
“Not christened yet!” said Anansi.
“CHRISTENED!” they yelled.
“Not christened yet!” said Anansi.
Then Anansi ate up all the roasted Monkeys.
38. Monkey Wears Anansi’s New Suit
Monkey used to be elegant and refined.
Elegant speech. Refined manners.
All the animals respected Monkey for his sophistication.
That made Anansi jealous, so Anansi got a fancy suit and filled it with ants.
“Hey, Monkey!” Anansi shouted. “You know all about sophisticated fashion. Will this suit look good on me?”
“What a fine suit!” said Monkey. “I’ll be glad to model it for you, Anansi.”
Monkey put on the suit, and he immediately started twitching and scratching, jumping up and down, rolling on the ground.
Ants were biting Monkey all over!
And Monkey has been acting foolish ever since.
39. Anansi Arranges a Funeral
Anansi and his wife sat under a tree.
Monkey was in the tree, listening.
“We need meat!” Anansi said. “I’ll take a barrel, wrap it in a sheet, and invite everyone to your funeral.”
Sheep, Goat, Hog, and Monkey all came. Cow was the minister.
“Come inside,” Anansi said to the animals.
They went inside, but Monkey refused. He knew better!
“My grief is too great,” Monkey said, sobbing.
Then Anansi locked the door from the inside.
Cow sang a hymn.
“I don’t like that hymn!” Anansi shouted, and he killed the animals with his machete.
Monkey sat outside, laughing.
40. Anansi and the Yam-Hills
Saying the number five was bad luck. Anyone who said “five” dropped down dead!
Anansi decided to play a trick. He dug five yam-hills, and then he sat beside his yam-field, weeping.
Hog walked by. “What’s wrong?” Hog asked.
“I can’t count my yam-hills,” said Anansi.
“You fool!” said Hog. “I’ll count: one-two-three-four-five.”
When Hog said “five” he dropped down dead.
Anansi ate him. Goat too. Dog. Cow.
Then Monkey came. “One-two-three-four,” Monkey said, “plus one more!”
“You fool!” shouted Anansi. “Can’t you count? It goes like this: one-two-three-four-five!”
When Anansi said five, he fell down dead.
Monkey ate him.
41. Anansi and Fling-a-Mile
Anansi stuck his hand in a hole.
The hole said, “I’m Fling-a-Mile!” Then he flung Anansi one mile.
“Excellent!” said Anansi, and he put sharp stakes where he fell.
Then Anansi led Hog to the hole. “Put your hand in!” Anansi said.
Fling-a-Mile flung Hog; Hog got impaled on a stake.
“I’ll eat Hog later!” said Anansi, happily.
Monkey watched what Anansi did.
Then Anansi led Monkey to the hole.
“Look!” Monkey shouted. “There’s gold in the hole!”
Greedy Anansi reached for the gold.
Fling-a-Mile flung Anansi and he got impaled on a stake.
42. Anansi and the Tree Branches
Tiger and Monkey were chasing Anansi.
“Help me, Banana-Tree!” shouted Anansi.
“Take this fiber!” said Banana-Tree.
Anansi climbed the tree and made a fiber bridge between two branches. Anansi balanced on the fiber, but Monkey and Tiger were too heavy; they had to stay on the branches.
Everybody got hungry.
Tiger stood guard while Monkey went to eat, and then Monkey did the same for Tiger.
Anansi was starving!
Then Anansi saw a fly, so he used the fiber strings to weave a web and catch that fly.
Tiger and Monkey finally gave up.
And that’s how Anansi started weaving!
43. The Tiger Family, Lion, and Anansi
Tiger stole cattle at night.
One night, by accident, he grabbed Lion, thinking it was a cow.
“That’s not a cow!” screamed Mrs. Tiger. “That’s Lion!”
Anansi sat on the roof watching.
“Come up here!” Anansi shouted to the Tiger family.
But they were too heavy; one by one they slid off the roof and Lion ate them.
“You next, Anansi!” shouted Lion.
“I’m so big my fall will crack the earth! Pull up that pot for me to land in.”
The pot held Mrs. Tiger’s pepper sauce!
Anansi splashed down.
The pepper sauce blinded Lion, and Anansi got away.
44. Anansi’s Knife and Fork
Anansi was in trouble again.
The master tied him up and went to get a whip.
Lion came by. “Who tied you up?” he asked.
“Master told me to use a knife and fork,” said Anansi, “but I don’t know how. He’s bringing some food, and he’s going to make me use a knife and a fork.”
“I can use a knife and fork!” shouted Lion. “I’ll eat the food!”
So Lion untied Anansi, and Anansi tied Lion.
Then the master came back and he started whipping Lion.
“Wait!” shouted Lion. “Where’s my food?”
The master whipped Lion even more.
45. Anansi and Lion Play a Game
Lion had stolen Anansi’s fish, and Anansi wanted revenge.
“Let’s play a game!” said Anansi to Lion. “We’ll tie each other to a tree. Here’s some string; you tie me first.”
Anansi gave Lion some thread, and Lion tied Anansi to the tree.
Anansi easily broke the thread and got free.
Lion laughed. “This was fun! Now you tie me.”
Anansi got out a big thick rope and tied Lion to the tree.
Lion struggled with all his strength, but he couldn’t break free.
Anansi laughed. “This is fun!”
Then he beat Lion with a stick and left him there.
46. Baby Anansi at the Lion’s Feast
After Anansi left Lion tied to a tree, a woman found Lion and freed him.
Grateful Lion invited her to a feast.
Anansi wanted to go too. “Take me with you!” he said, and he turned himself into a baby.
The woman brought the baby to Lion’s house, and the baby ate more than anybody else.
Lion got suspicious, so he followed the woman, but Anansi turned himself into an old man.
“Which way did the woman and her baby go?” Lion asked the old man.
“That way!” said Anansi, pointing the wrong way.
Lion ran off, and Anansi laughed.
47. Anansi, Lion and the Rain-Charm
Anansi brought food to Lion every day, but Lion was so hungry one day that he couldn’t wait. He went to Anansi’s house and ate Anansi’s mother!
That made Anansi mad. Anansi wanted revenge on Lion.
“We need to do a charm to bring rain,” he said to Lion. “Come with me to the crossroads.”
At the crossroads, Anansi pounded nails between his own fingers. “That’s the charm,” he said to Lion. “Now I’ll nail you.”
When Anansi nailed Lion, he pounded the nails straight into Lion’s fingers and toes. Lion screamed, but he was trapped.
That was Anansi’s revenge!
48. Anansi, Lion, and the Donkey-Cart
Anansi and Lion bought supplies in town.
They were almost home when Anansi said, “I forgot molasses! You go back and get it. I’ll drive the cart home!”
When Lion was gone, Anansi hid the cart and donkey in the bushes.
Next, he cut off the donkey’s tail.
Then he buried the tail sticking straight up out of the ground.
When Lion came back, Anansi shouted, “The donkey ran underground! Grab the tail before he gets away!”
Lion grabbed the tail and pulled.
“Oh no! I pulled the donkey’s tail off!” Lion groaned. “Now we’ll never get the cart back.”
49. Anansi Finds Lion in the Road
Lion played dead in the road.
Anansi found him and carried him home to eat.
“Look at this!” Anansi shouted. “Lion’s dead!”
Anansi’s wife shook Lion’s tail; Lion shivered. “Lion’s not dead!” she shouted.
“Yes, he is!” shouted Anansi.
Next, Anansi’s wife pulled Lion’s paw. “Lion’s not dead!” she shouted.
“Yes, he is!” Anansi shouted.
Then Anansi’s wife saw Lion’s eyes were open. “Lion’s not dead!” she shouted.
“ROAR!” yelled Lion.
“RUN!” yelled Anansi.
They ran to the rafters.
Anansi’s wife fell down; Lion ate her.
Anansi jumped out the window and set the house on fire… with Lion inside!
50. Anansi and Goat’s Plantains
Anansi stole the plantains from Goat’s plantain-tree.
“Baaa-a-a, where are my plantains?” yelled Goat.
Goat ran to Anansi’s house.
Anansi and his family hid on the rooftop.
One child slid off. Goat caught the child, killed him, and stuffed him in a sack. “Baaa-a-a, he’s my plantain now!”
One by one the children all slid off.
Then Mrs. Anansi slid off.
“Baaa-a-a, they’re all my plantains now!” said Goat. “You next, Anansi!”
“Make an ash-heap I can fall on,” said Anansi. “Then I’ll slide off.”
Goat heaped up ashes.
Anansi fell. Ashes scattered everywhere!
Goat couldn’t see, and Anansi escaped.
51. Poor Anansi’s Dead
“We need food!” Anansi said to his wife. “I’ll lie here, and you’ll shout that I’m dead.”
“My poor husband!” shouted Mrs. Anansi. “Anansi’s dead!”
Hawk came by. “Poor Anansi!” said Hawk, and he bowed his head. Anansi jumped up and killed Hawk, and then they ate him.
Then Bull came. “Poor Anansi!” he said, and he bowed his head. They killed him and ate him.
Then Sheep. Then Fowl.
Then Ground-Dove came. “Is he really dead?” Ground-Dove asked. “If he’s dead, he should make one last big fart.”
Anansi let loose a big fart.
Ground-Dove laughed and ran away.
52. Anansi at the Funeral
Anansi’s mother-in-law died, and Anansi went to the funeral dressed in his fancy funeral-clothes.
He got hungry during the funeral service, so he snuck into the kitchen. He smelled beans cooking!
Anansi had just scooped up some beans when the cook came in.
Embarrassed, Anansi poured the beans into his hat to eat later, and he put the hat on his head.
The burning beans made him dance.
“It’s my hat-shaking dance of grief!” Anansi shouted.
Anansi danced until he got away, but it was too late: the beans burned off his hair, and that’s why Anansi is bald.
53. Anansi and the Plantains
Anansi and his family were starving.
At last, Anansi found some food: plantains.
There were four plantains, but five mouths to feed: Anansi, Mrs. Anansi, two sons and a daughter.
Mrs. Anansi roasted the plantains, and Anansi gave one each to the children and one to his wife.
“Don’t you worry about me,” he said sadly.
“Aren’t you hungry?” asked his daughter.
“I’m starving, dear child,” said Anansi. “But never you mind.”
She broke her plantain and gave half to Anansi.
The two boys did the same.
And Mrs. Anansi.
So Anansi ended up with more food than anybody else.
54. Anansi and the Pork Stew
Anansi’s wife raised a pig.
“Let’s eat your pig!” Anansi said.
“No!” she said. “I’m going to sell it.”
Then Anansi pretended to be sick. “Fetch the doctor,” he groaned.
Right after she left, Anansi dressed up as the doctor and ran to meet her on the road.
“I’m too busy for house-calls,” he said, “but pork stew is good medicine.”
Anansi’s wife headed home, and Anansi ran to get there first.
“Doctor says you must eat pork stew,” Anansi’s wife said.
“I’m too sick to eat…” Anansi moaned.
“You must eat pork stew,” she replied. “Doctor’s orders!”
55. Anansi and the Chicken Soup
“I’m so sick,” Anansi said to his wife. “Consult the doctor!”
When she left, Anansi ran to the doctor’s office and put on the doctor’s clothes.
“Anansi’s sick!” she said.
“He needs chicken soup!” Anansi replied.
Anansi then ran home before his wife got there. Lying in bed, he sang, “Chicken soup for me, for me, chicken soup for me-oh…”
Mrs. Anansi heard him.
She started cooking. “Ready soon!” she said.
Anansi smelled soup.
She called the village children. “Eat quietly!” she whispered.
They ate the soup.
“Ready now!” she said to Anansi.
Anansi came, but the soup was gone!
56. Anansi and the Yam-Foofoo
Anansi planted a special yam named yam-foofoo, and it grew big!
He took some home and cooked it.
“Tell me this yam’s name,” Anansi said. “Otherwise, you don’t eat.”
Nobody knew the yam’s name, so Anansi ate the whole yam.
Next day, Anansi’s youngest son, Cunning-More-Than-Father, mashed some okra and spread it on the ground. Then he hid and watched.
Coming home, Anansi slipped on the okra and fell. “Oh! I dropped my yam-foofoo!” he shouted.
Cunning-More-Than-Father ran home and told everybody.
When Anansi cooked the yam, his wife and children said, “Give us yam-foofoo!” and Anansi had to share.
57. Anansi and the Mangoes
Anansi climbed a mango tree by the river. He wanted to eat all the mangoes by himself. Greedy Anansi didn’t want to take any mangoes home for his wife or children.
As Anansi was eating the mangoes up in the tree, he looked down into the river.
There was someone with mangoes in the water. Anansi wanted those mangoes too! Anansi wanted ALL the mangoes.
He dropped down into the water.
But it was only Anansi’s reflection.
Nobody else. No more mangoes.
The river currents carried Anansi away, and he drowned.
That was what happened to greedy Anansi.
58. Anansi’s Grave
Mrs. Anansi planted peas, but Anansi didn’t help.
He pretended he was dying.
“Bury me in the pea-field,” he said. “Make a coffin-hole so I can watch the peas growing while I’m dead.”
Anansi pretended to die, and they buried him.
Every night Anansi got out of the grave and ate peas.
Anansi’s son made a tar-stump to catch him.
“These peas are mine!” Anansi shouted at the tar-stump.
Anansi fought with the tar-stump and got stuck.
Anansi’s family found him stuck to the tar-stump.
Anansi was so ashamed he ran up in the rafters, and that’s where he stays.
59. Tiger in the Pepper-Plant
Anansi hated his son Cunning-More-Than-Father and wanted to kill him.
While Anansi plotted with Tiger, Cunning-More-Than-Father pretended to be asleep under the table, but he was listening.
“Help me kill him!” Anansi said to Tiger.
“I’ll hide in the pepper-plant,” Tiger said. “Send your son there.”
At suppertime, Anansi said, “Son, go pick peppers from the pepper-plant!”
But Cunning-More-Than-Father took a stick from the fire and poked the pepper-plant.
The fire-stick burned Tiger’s face! Tiger screamed and ran away.
Cunning-More-Than-Father then told Anansi, “The pepper-plant screamed, so I didn’t pick any peppers.”
Anansi had to eat supper without any peppers.
60. Tiger in the Yam-Patch
Anansi wanted Tiger to kill his son.
“I’ll send Cunning-More-Than-Father to get yams,” Anansi said. “You hide in the yam-patch and kill him.”
While Tiger and Anansi talked, Cunning-More-Than-Father was under the table, listening.
Next day, Anansi told Cunning-More-Than-Father, “Go get yams.”
Cunning-More-Than-Father went to the yam-patch, but not too close.
“Hello, yams!” he shouted.
He shouted louder. “Hello there, yams!”
Tiger didn’t know what to do.
“Anansi wants me to get the talking yams,” shouted Cunning-More-Than-Father.
“Talking yams are here!” replied Tiger.
Cunning-More-Than-Father laughed and ran away before Tiger could grab him.
And Anansi didn’t get any yams.
61. Cunning-More-Than-Father and the Coconuts
Anansi wanted to kill his son Cunning-More-Than-Father.
Cunning-More-Than-Father had gotten away twice, but Anansi said to Tiger, “Let’s try again!”
Cunning-More-Than-Father pretended to be asleep, but he listened.
“I’ll send Cunning-More-Than-Father up the coconut-tree,” Anansi told Tiger. “You catch him when he comes down.”
So Cunning-More-Than-Father filled a bag with stinging ants and hid it in the tree.
Next day Anansi said, “Son, go get coconuts.”
Cunning-More-Than-Father went up the coconut-tree.
Tiger came and waited below.
“Catch the coconuts, Tiger!” yelled Cunning-More-Than-Father, and he threw the bag of ants on Tiger.
Tiger screamed and ran away.
Cunning-More-Than-Father had survived again.
62. Cunning-More-Than-Father in the Coffin
Tiger and Anansi finally caught Cunning-More-Than-Father.
“I’ll nail him inside this coffin,” said Anansi. “You throw it in the sea.”
Tiger took the coffin and headed for the sea.
Along the way, Tiger took a nap.
Inside the coffin, Cunning-More-Than-Father started shouting, “I’m not ready to go to heaven!”
A passing shepherd heard him and said, “Heaven’s a good place! I’ll go if you don’t want to.”
The shepherd unnailed the coffin and got in.
Cunning-More-Than-Father nailed the coffin shut.
Tiger woke up, took the coffin, and threw it in the sea.
Cunning-More-Than-Father came home, bringing the sheep with him.
63. Anansi and the Sea-Sheep
Tiger was supposed to throw Cunning-More-Than-Father in the sea, but Cunning-More-Than-Father came back home, and he brought a flock of sheep with him.
“But I threw him in the sea!” Tiger shouted.
“Yes, you did!” said Cunning-More-Than-Father. “These are sea-sheep, and where the sea is deeper, the sheep are even bigger.”
“I want the big sheep!” shouted Anansi. “Tiger, put me in a coffin and throw me in the deepest sea.”
Anansi got in the coffin and Tiger rented a boat to sail to the deepest sea. He threw the coffin in the water.
That was the end of Anansi.
64. Lion, Tacoomah, and Anansi
Anansi, Tacoomah, and Lion had an apple tree, and Anansi ate all the apples.
“Who ate the apples?” roared Lion. “We’ll let the fire decide.”
So they each had to jump over the fire.
Lion sang his Lion-song and jumped over the fire. “Fire proved me innocent!”
Next, Tacoomah sang his Tacoomah-song and jumped. “Fire proved me innocent!”
Next, Anansi sang his Anansi-song and jumped.
He fell in the fire, and the fire burned his shirt.
“I’ll try again!”
The fire burned Anansi’s underpants. Now Anansi was naked!
Anansi ran up the tree to hide, and he’s hiding there still.
65. Tacoomah Rides Anansi
Anansi and Tacoomah were courting the same woman.
Tacoomah told her, “Anansi was my father’s riding-horse!”
Anansi heard about this and got angry.
“We’ll go tell her the truth!” Anansi said.
“I can’t go now,” said Tacoomah. “I’m sick.”
“We must go now!” said Anansi.
“Well,” said Tacoomah, “maybe you can carry me.”
Anansi let Tacoomah get on his back.
“I’m so weak…” said Tacoomah. “I need my walking-stick to steady myself.”
When they got near the woman’s house, Tacoomah started beating Anansi with the walking-stick.
“Look!” Tacoomah shouted. “Anansi was my father’s riding-horse, and now he’s mine!”
66. Anansi and the Dog-Head
Anansi and Tacoomah went hunting with their dogs.
On the way, Anansi got hungry. He ate his dog, but he kept the head.
Tacoomah’s dog killed a cow.
Anansi ran up, chased Tacoomah’s dog away, and then put his dog-head there.
“Look what my dog-head did!” Anansi shouted.
“That’s impossible!” said Tacoomah.
To trick Anansi, Tacoomah hid in the bushes, making the sound of a whip cracking.
“No, sir,” Tacoomah shouted. “No, sir! My dog didn’t kill your cow! Anansi’s dog-head did that!”
“No!” shouted Anansi. “Not true! Tacoomah’s dog did that.”
Then Tacoomah came out and took the cow.
67. Anansi Says Tacoomah’s Sick
Anansi told Tacoomah, “We need meat!”
“I’ve got a plan,” said Tacoomah. “Pretend I’m sick and call for help. When the animals come in the house, I’ll chop them up and put them in this barrel.”
Anansi liked Tacoomah’s plan.
“Help!” Anansi shouted. “Tacoomah’s sick! Help!”
Animals came, and Tacoomah chopped, but the barrel wasn’t full yet.
Up on the hillside, Goat saw animals going in, but none coming out.
“Is Tacoomah sick?” Goat asked.
“Real sick!” said Anansi. “Please come in! Come help us!”
But Goat ran higher up the hill, and Goat stays on the hillside even now.
68. Tacoomah Makes a Tar-Stump
Anansi and Tacoomah were neighbors.
During the night, somebody was stealing Tacoomah’s crops.
It was Anansi! But Tacoomah didn’t know that.
Tacoomah made a tar-stump to trap the thief.
When Anansi found the tar-stump blocking his way to the field, he got angry. “Move along!” Anansi shouted at the tar-stump.
Tar-stump didn’t move.
Anansi fought with the tar-stump and got stuck.
At dawn, Goat walked by.
“Help me fight this devil!” said Anansi.
Goat got stuck, and Anansi pushed himself loose.
Tacoomah came and found Goat. “You’re the thief!” Tacoomah shouted.
Tacoomah killed Goat and shared the meat with Anansi.
69. Anansi and Tacoomah’s Fire
Anansi’s fire went out.
“Child,” said Anansi, “go to Tacoomah and get fire.”
Tacoomah gave the child some fire. “Take this beef-fat too!” Tacoomah said.
The child came back with fire and beef-fat.
“What’s that nasty thing?” Anansi asked.
“Tacoomah gave it to me.”
“Ugh!” said Anansi. “I’ll throw it away.”
Anansi was just pretending; he ate the beef-fat and wanted more.
Anansi poured water on the fire.
“Go get more fire!” he said to his other child.
The child came back with fire and beef-fat.
Anansi played the same trick and ate the beef-fat, while his children went hungry.
70. Anansi and the Jumbee House
Anansi found a jumbee house. He heard the jumbees say “Jollup-Jellup!” to open the door and “Jug-Up-Shollop” to come back out.
Anansi waited till the jumbees left. Then he said, “Jollup-Jellup!”
Anansi went inside. The house was full of food. Anansi ate the food, and then he said “Jug-Up-Shollop!” to get back out.
“You look fat, Anansi!” said Tacoomah.
“I’ve been eating jumbee food,” Anansi said.
“I want jumbee food too!” Tacoomah said.
Anansi taught him “Jollup-Jellup” but not “Jug-Up-Shollop.”
Tacoomah was trapped when the jumbees came back, and the angry jumbees turned Tacoomah to ashes.
Beware the jumbee house!
71. Anansi Gives Tacoomah Advice about Yams
Tacoomah was planting yams, and Anansi gave him some advice. “You should boil those yams, put pork inside, and then plant them. That will make the yams grow big and fast!”
Tacoomah did what Anansi said.
When it was night, Anansi came and took the cooked yams full of pork, putting wild yams in their place. Then Anansi feasted on Tacoomah’s yams and pork.
The wild yams Anansi left in Tacoomah’s field were big, but they had no roots.
At first, Tacoomah rejoiced: the yams were so big!
But soon they shriveled up, and Tacoomah realized Anansi had tricked him.
72. Tacoomah and Anansi’s Eggs
Tacoomah visited Anansi.
Anansi had one hundred eggs in a nest, and greedy Tacoomah ate ninety-nine of Anansi’s eggs.
Then Anansi said, “I’ll count my eggs!”
“You don’t need to,” said Tacoomah. “I’ll count them for you.”
“Hold each egg up high so I can see it,” said Anansi.
Tacoomah went out to the nest and lifted up one egg so that Anansi could see it. “One!” Tacoomah said.
Then Tacoomah lowered the egg into the nest and lifted the same egg up again. “Two!” he said.
So Tacoomah did that one hundred times… but there was only one egg.
73. Anansi’s Corn Song
Someone was stealing Tacoomah’s corn during the night.
Tacoomah blamed Anansi. “You’re stealing my corn!” he said.
“I’m no thief!” said Anansi. “I’ll prove it to you by staying here all night fiddling.”
Then Anansi told his gang. “When you hear me fiddling tonight, go steal the corn.”
Here’s the song Anansi played, “Corn corn, harvest corn! Go along, get corn, go along!”
Anansi sang and fiddled all night while Tacoomah danced.
Then Tacoomah went to his field.
The corn was gone!
“You can’t blame me!” shouted Anansi. “You know I’m innocent.”
Tacoomah got so angry he fell down dead.
74. Anansi and the Cats’ Wedding
Anansi arrived early for the wedding feast of Mister Cat and Miss Cat.
“I’ll take care of the food,” Anansi said. “Leave it to me!”
But when the bride and groom returned from the wedding, they found the wedding cake was gone, and the wine was all gone too.
“You did this, Dog!” shouted the Cats.
Dog denied it.
Fly went looking for Anansi and found him walking home, his face covered with cake crumbs.
“You’re the thief!” shouted Fly.
Anansi swallowed Fly to silence him.
Since then Cat and Dog aren’t friends anymore; Fly and Spider are enemies too.
75. Anansi, Dog, and Agouti
Anansi wanted to tease Dog and Agouti, so he told them about a trip to Mango-Island. “Only horned animals can board the ship,” Anansi said. “Not you!”
But Dog and Agouti both wanted to go, so they made wooden horns, promising to help each other put the horns on their heads.
But when Agouti put the horns on Dog, he ran off and jumped on board, abandoning Agouti.
“Hey Cow, hey Goat, hey Ram!” Agouti shouted. “Somebody doesn’t have real horns!”
Ram butted Dog overboard.
Then Dog chased Agouti and bit off his tail; that’s how Agouti lost his tail.
76. Dog and Anansi Compare Senses
Dog was boasting to Anansi about his many senses.
“I’ve got sense in my nose,” Dog said, “and in my two ears, two eyes, four feet, and I taste with my mouth. Plus brains in my head. I’ve got eleven senses!”
“I’ve just got two senses,” said Anansi. “I know me, and I know my friend.”
The next day Tiger caught Dog.
Anansi saw them.
“I’m going to eat Dog now!” snarled Tiger.
“You better fold your paws and say grace,” Anansi said.
Tiger folded his paws to say grace, and Dog got away.
Two senses are better than eleven!
77. Tiger Comes to Kill Anansi
Tiger was coming with his friends to kill Anansi.
Anansi’s only friend was Dog. “Help me, Dog!” said Anansi, and he told Dog what to do.
When Tiger came to Anansi’s yard, he saw Dog holding Anansi down, his head stretched out on a stump.
“Chop my head off now, Tiger!” shouted Anansi. “Just get it over with!”
Tiger came rushing into the yard… and fell down into a deep pit filled with rocks and sharp sticks.
Anansi and Dog had dug that pit.
As Tiger’s friends were getting him out of the pit, Anansi and Dog ran off, laughing.
78. Anansi and Dog at the Dance
“I like your fancy pants, Anansi!” said Dog. “Will you loan them to me for the dance?”
“They’re too small for you,” said Anansi.
“No, they’ll fit!” Dog insisted.
So Dog squeezed himself into Anansi’s pants, and then he went to the dance.
Dog was a good dancer, and he liked to throw his legs up high.
But when Dog did that, he tore Anansi’s pants! They ripped all the way from top to bottom.
Anansi was mad and took back his pants there at the dance, and everyone laughed at Dog.
Ever since then, Dog doesn’t wear any clothes.
79. Elephant and Anansi’s Dance Party
Elephant and Anansi were hungry, so they invited Goat and Dog to a dance.
Elephant sang, “I’ll guard the door; you know what for!”
Anansi sang, “I’ll tell you when! Do it then!”
Dog sang, “Hear that song? There’s something wrong!”
Goat sang, “Time for running; time for cunning!”
“Now!” shouted Anansi, but Elephant was slow: Goat and Dog escaped.
Dog swam the river, but Goat couldn’t swim.
Goat turned into a rock.
“You can’t hit me!” shouted Dog, so Anansi threw the rock.
Goat sprang up on the other side, laughing.
Elephant was so mad that he ate Anansi!
80. Anansi and Goat at the River
Goat was running, and Anansi was chasing.
Goat ran and ran, and then he came to the river.
Goat couldn’t swim.
Dog was on the other side of the river.
“Help me, Dog!” said Goat, and then Goat turned himself into a stone.
Anansi ran up. “Did you see Goat come this way?” he asked.
“I’ll tell you if you throw me that stone,” said Dog.
Anansi grabbed the stone and threw it to Dog.
When the stone hit the ground, it turned back into Goat.
“I had Goat in my hand,” Anansi groaned, “but then I let him go.”
81. Anansi and Dog at the River
Anansi, carrying a sack of food, had to cross a river, but he was scared of the alligators.
“Help me, Dog!” shouted Anansi. “I’ll give you half my food.”
Dog ran down the river and barked so the alligators swam that way.
Then Dog raced back to Anansi and carried him across before the alligators knew what happened.
“Thank you, Dog!” said Anansi.
Then, when Dog wasn’t looking, Anansi threw a rock in the river. “Oh no! I dropped my sack!” Anansi yelled.
Dog jumped in. As he splashed around trying to find Anansi’s sack, alligators ate him.
82. Anansi and Snake
“Be my postman!” Anansi said to Snake.
“What will you pay me?” asked Snake.
“You can have a bite of my head tonight!”
Anansi put Rabbit in his bed that night, but Rabbit was suspicious; he dug a hole and escaped.
Snake came calling, “Anansi! Where’s your head?”
Anansi called for Rabbit, but there was no answer.
Then Anansi went looking for Rabbit and couldn’t find him.
Snake was coming, so Anansi decided to put a pot on his head.
Snake bit the pot. “Ouch!” Biting the pot hurt his mouth.
Snake wasn’t friends with Anansi after that.
83. Anansi, Rabbit, and Horse-Fly
Anansi visited Godfather Rabbit and Godmother Rabbit.
When Godmother Rabbit went to fetch water, Anansi hit Godfather Rabbit on the head and killed him.
Godmother Rabbit came back and found her husband dead.
“You must bury him, Anansi!” she said.
“I will,” said Anansi. “Just give me some lard and a frying pan. Horse-Fly will help me.”
Anansi and Horse-Fly took Rabbit into the woods where they cooked him and ate him.
“I’ll tell Mrs. Rabbit he was delicious!” said Horse-Fly.
“No, you won’t!” shouted Anansi.
Then Anansi cut out Horse-Fly’s tongue, which is why Horse-Fly only says bzzz-bzzz-bzzz now.
84. Anansi and the Fish-Pot
Anansi was catching fish in the river with a fish-pot.
But Tacoomah kept stealing Anansi’s fish!
Anansi hid and waited to catch the thief.
When he saw Tacoomah opening the pot, Anansi slammed it shut and trapped Tacoomah inside.
Tacoomah drowned inside the fish-pot.
Then Anansi went to Rabbit. “I caught a big fish! But I’m feeling poorly and I dare not put my feet in the cold water. Please come drag the fish-pot for me!”
So Rabbit dragged the fish-pot to shore.
When they found Tacoomah dead inside, Anansi yelled, “You killed Tacoomah!”
The police arrested Rabbit for murder.
85. Anansi Combs Lion’s Hair
Anansi invited Lion to come with him to the king’s feast, and Lion accepted.
“You better let me comb your hair,” Anansi said. “You look terrible!”
Lion wanted to look his best for the feast, so he agreed.
Everything was going just as Anansi planned!
“Lean here against this tree,” Anansi said, and Rabbit was already hiding in a hole there.
Then Anansi combed Lion’s hair back, tying it around the tree.
“Now, Rabbit!” Anansi shouted, and Rabbit bit Lion.
Lion leaped and twisted and finally strangled in his own hair.
Together, Anansi and Rabbit celebrated the end of Lion.
86. Anansi Dives for Bananas
Rabbit, Anansi, and Bouki were sailing home. They had some bananas and were arguing about how to divide them.
Anansi threw the bananas into the water. “Whoever brings up the most gets the most!”
Rabbit dived first and brought up four bananas.
Bouki dived next; he brought up two.
Anansi dived… and Anansi just floated.
“Let’s try again!” said Anansi, and he threw all the bananas into the water. “Tie the anchor to me this time! And I’ll go first!”
They tied the anchor to Anansi and threw him in the water.
Anansi sank and never came back up again.
87. Anansi and the Rabbit in the Road
Anansi was carrying a basket of fish.
Rabbit wanted those fish, so he lay down in the road and played dead.
“I don’t need a dead rabbit,” Anansi thought to himself. “I’ve got fish!”
Anansi kept walking.
Rabbit ran through the grass to get ahead of Anansi and lay down again.
“Maybe I should take these rabbits!” Anansi thought. He put down his fish and ran to get the first rabbit.
But that rabbit was gone.
When Anansi ran back, the second rabbit was gone.
And so was his basket of fish!
Rabbit had fooled Anansi and taken his fish.
88. The Law against Insults
“No insults!” said the king. “If you insult someone, you’ll drop dead!”
That gave Anansi an idea!
He got a hoe and dragged it back and forth across some rocks.
Hog was watching. “What are you doing?” Hog asked Anansi.
“I’m planting crops!” Anansi said.
“Crops won’t grow on rocks,” Hog said. “You’re an idiot!”
Hog dropped dead, and Anansi ate him. “Delicious!”
Anansi dragged his hoe across the rocks again.
This time, Duck was watching. “What are you planting?” Duck asked.
“Who plants crops on rocks?” replied Anansi. “You’re an idiot!”
Anansi dropped dead, so Duck ate Anansi. “Delicious!”
89. Anansi and the Well
There was a drought.
The animals dug a well, but Anansi was lazy. He didn’t help.
“No water for you!” the animals said to Anansi when the well was done.
To guard the well, they made a tar-baby.
Anansi came to drink at the well.
“Hello there, gal!” he said when he saw the tar-baby. The tar-baby said nothing.
“Give me a kiss!” Anansi said. The tar-baby said nothing.
Anansi slapped the tar-baby. His hand stuck.
Again. Other hand stuck.
Anansi butted the tar-baby with his head. Stuck!
Both feet: stuck!
And then the animals came and caught Anansi there.
90. Anansi and Ram Go Thieving
Anansi and Ram were stealing, and the watchman chased them.
They jumped in a hole, but Ram’s horns stuck out.
The watchman tripped on the horns. Ram was going to scream but Anansi hissed, “Shush!”
The watchman kicked the horns. “That hurts,” Ram said. “Quiet!” said Anansi.
Then the watchman sawed off the horns. “I can’t stand it!” Ram screamed.
The watchman grabbed Ram and took him to court.
“Anansi was thieving too!” said Ram.
“I was not!” shouted Anansi.
Ram and Anansi fought, and Ram butted Anansi up on the roof.
Spiders stay up on the roof even now.
91. Anansi and the Stolen Pig
Anansi stole a pig.
Then he went to the river for water to make stew, and River-Snake grabbed him.
“I’ll let you go if you share your stew with me,” said River-Snake.
They went to where Anansi had tied the pig.
River-Snake said, “I’ll soften the pig up for you!” He swallowed the pig in one gulp.
Anansi called to Crow, “Hey Crow! Carry River-Snake away from here!”
Crow carried River-Snake away, but River-Snake was heavy and Crow dropped him.
River-Snake fell down, burst open, and the pig jumped out.
Anansi made the stew and ate it all.
92. Anansi, Snake, and the Rock
Snake was trapped under a big rock.
“Save me!” Snake shouted when Anansi walked by.
“No!” said Anansi. “You’ll eat me.”
“I won’t eat you, I promise!” shouted Snake. “I’ll be your friend forever!”
Anansi rolled away the rock.
“Now I’m going to eat you!” said Snake.
“That’s not fair!” said Anansi.
Agouti walked by. “Be our judge, Agouti!” they said.
“Well,” said Agouti, “you better show me what happened.”
“I was under this rock,” said Snake, and then Anansi rolled the rock back on Snake.
“Leave him!” said Agouti. “He’ll have to find some other fool who trusts him.”
93. Anansi, Agouti and the Fish-Traps
Anansi and Agouti were fishing partners.
They checked their fish-traps: there were many fish, but the fish were small.
“There will be bigger fish tomorrow,” said Anansi. “You take these.”
“You take them,” said Agouti. “I’ll take the bigger fish tomorrow.”
The next day, there were bigger fish, but only a few.
“There will be more fish tomorrow,” said Anansi. “You take these.”
“You take them,” said Agouti. “I’ll take more fish tomorrow.”
So it went, day after day: Anansi got all the fish, and Agouti got none because he preferred the fish of tomorrow to the fish of today.
94. Anansi Chasing the Goat
“I’m going to eat you, Goat!” said Anansi.
“You can’t catch me!” said Goat.
So Goat ran, and because Goats run fast, he got away.
A few days later, it rained, and Goat ran to the nearest house.
It was Anansi’s house!
Anansi opened the door and sang:
“Rain made this meat run here for me to eat!
Thank you, Rain! I’ll sing it again…”
When Goat heard this song, he knew to stand back.
Anansi kept singing; Goat kept backing away.
Then Goat began running, and Anansi ran after him.
For all I know, Anansi is chasing him still!
95. Anansi and Baboon
“I’m fatter than you!” Anansi said to Baboon.
“No!” said Baboon. “I’m fatter!”
They stood before the fire to see who melted the most fat.
Anansi didn’t melt any fat, but Baboon oozed lots of fat.
Baboon’s fat smelled so good that Anansi ate Baboon, but the bits in his stomach turned back into Baboon. Anansi felt sick!
The doctor told Anansi to put a banana in his mouth. “Baboon will come out to get the banana and run out your mouth.”
Anansi was glad to get Baboon out of his stomach.
And even now Baboons love bananas.
96. Anansi and Rat
Rat liked to dress up in fine clothes, acting like he was better than everyone else.
Rat’s proud ways made Anansi angry.
So, at the next big dance, when Anansi’s band was playing, Anansi got his revenge.
“Strut your stuff, Rat!” shouted Anansi. “Show us what you’ve got!”
Rat started to dance.
Then Anansi played faster. And Rat danced faster.
Anansi played even faster. And Rat danced even faster, jumping and leaping, twirling and whirling.
Rat’s pants tore right down the middle.
Anansi laughed. Everybody laughed.
Rat ran and hid in his hole, and that’s where Rat stays today.
97. Anansi and Elephant
Elephant was boss of the work-gang.
“Go fetch water!” Elephant said to one of the workmen.
Anansi was there at the water-hole, playing his fiddle:
Zing a ting-ting! Zing a ting-ting!
The music made the man start dancing.
He couldn’t stop dancing.
Elephant came looking. “Where’s that water?” he shouted.
Anansi stopped playing. The man stopped dancing.
“Give me that gourd!” said Elephant. “I’ll fill it myself!”
Then Anansi started playing. Elephant dropped the gourd and started dancing.
Anansi played and Elephant danced … until Elephant dropped dead.
Then Anansi cut off his head and made it into a drinking cup.
98. Anansi and the Gun
Anansi borrowed Gun from Hunter.
“Rejoice!” Anansi shouted. “Gun is dead!”
Then Anansi invited all the animals to come to Gun’s funeral.
Gun had killed many animals, so this was good news. All the animals were glad that Gun was dead.
Anansi carried Gun up to the top of a ladder. “I will conduct Gun’s funeral now!” Anansi said to the animals. “Come line up and bow your heads.”
The animals bowed their heads, waiting for the funeral to begin, and then Anansi fired Gun at the animals.
He killed and ate them all.
Beware of Anansi: he’s very cunning!
99. Anansi and Blacksnake
Anansi and Blacksnake used to be friends.
“Share your food with me,” said Anansi.
“I’ll share,” said Blacksnake. “But you must pay: I’ll lash you with my tail later.”
Then Anansi prepared a feast. “Who wants a feast?” he shouted.
“I do!” said Goat.
Goat enjoyed Anansi’s feast.
Then they heard a knock at the door.
“Answer the door,” Anansi told Goat.
Goat answered the door.
It was Blacksnake! His tail lashed out and cut Goat in two.
Then Blacksnake slithered off into the dark, thinking he had killed Anansi.
But Anansi was alive, and he ate Goat for dessert.
100. Anansi and the Skinny Sheep
There was a famine.
There wasn’t any food to eat, and the animals were getting thinner and thinner.
Anansi met Sheep and said, “You’re looking very skinny, Sheep!”
“It’s the famine, Anansi,” said Sheep. “There’s no food to eat.”
“I bet you’re so light now I could carry you,” said Anansi. “Let’s see!”
So Sheep got on Anansi’s back.
Then Anansi carried Sheep to his house and threw Sheep into the stew pot.
Anansi and his wife ate Sheep.
The same with Goat.
The same with Dog.
That’s how Anansi and his wife got food to eat during the famine.
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 Brothers
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 brotherhood. “Brother Dog! Brother Hog! Brother Rabbit! Brother Hawk! Brother Monkey! Brother 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.
He 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, Anansi!”
“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 had a plan: he wanted to catch Screech-Owl at dawn and eat him for breakfast. So Anansi soaked corn in rum and fed 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.
John Crow danced even better than Anansi, and that made Anansi mad.
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 porridge pot.
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 his feathers off with the hot porridge!
108. Anansi and Dove
Dove was planting peas.
“Peas grow strong if you burn the roots,” said Anansi.
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 sobbing. “My mother died!”
Anansi came running.
“Mother, send me something from heaven!” said Dove.
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 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 Anansi’s wings off and then she flew away.
When Anansi woke up, he said, “Hey, where are my wings?”
Greedy Anansi then 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.
But Beetle wasn’t really dead: he had fooled Anansi! Then Beetle ate everything.
Next, Beetle found Anansi in the woods. He hid in the bushes, shouting, “Heard the news? Heard the news?”
“What news?” said Anansi.
“Anansi killed Beetle! They’re coming to get him!”
Anansi ran away into Dead Man Country; there he stays.
112. Butterfly’s Revenge
Butterfly was tired of Anansi’s tricks. He wanted revenge, so he 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 him, 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 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, after Cockroach was gone, Anansi started to sing: “Garden too far, too hot, rikity-tikity-tot. Garden too hot, too far, rikity-tikity-rar.”
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.
Then 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 will marry the one with the most money.”
Beetle filled 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 dung.
“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.
That’s Anansi’s fault, because he tricked the Bullfrogs long ago.
Anansi went 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 both pulled so hard they died.
117. Anansi and Whale
Anansi was stuck on an island.
“Help!” he yelled.
“I’ll carry you to shore,” said Whale. “Jump on!”
Anansi jumped on.
“I’m hungry!” said Anansi. “I want fish!”
Whale tossed a fish up to Anansi.
Then Anansi muttered to himself, “My children will kill Whale and we’ll eat him on shore.”
“What’s that?” asked Whale.
“I just said I want some more!”
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 Anansi’s body with sand.
That was the end of Anansi.
118. Anansi, Shark, and the Fish
Anansi was talking with 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 and Anansi cooked a pot of pepper-pot soup.
Then Alligator challenged Anansi to a diving contest. “Whoever wins gets all the soup!”
“Okay,” said Anansi. “You go first.”
Alligator dived deep deep deep down into the river.
Meanwhile, Anansi ate the soup.
When Alligator emerged, 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 song: “We love pepper-pot, we love pepper-pot soup!”
The Monkeys sang the song.
When Alligator heard them singing, he shouted “Thieves!”
Alligator ate all the Monkeys!
120. Anansi and the Crabs
Anansi dressed up in a black preaching-gown and preached to the Crabs in Crab Town.
But the Crabs ignored Anansi.
The next time Anansi went to Crab Town, 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 all danced, shouting “Hallelujah!”
Next Anansi said, “It’s baptizing time!”
First 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 his 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 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, Anansi grabbed the Fish-Children.
“HELP! 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 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 washed his hands carefully and came back through the ashes.
“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.
When Anansi came to the pond, Turtle told him, “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 river! 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 caught Turtle in a trap.
“I’ll cook you for 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.
Anansi thought the water was boiling, so he took Turtle out of the pot and went to set the table, singing, “Turtle supper, yum-yum-yum!”
When Anansi returned, 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.
Not wanting to be blamed, he put the cow in a mango tree.
“Let’s pick mangoes!” he then told Tacoomah. “Whack the tree with your stick.”
The cow fell down!
“You must tell the king you killed his cow,” Anansi said.
But Tacoomah decided to trick Anansi.
“I confessed,” Tacoomah said later, “and the king rewarded my honesty by giving me the beef.”
Anansi ran to the king. “I killed the cow! It should be mine to eat!”
The king kicked Anansi, breaking him into thousands of pieces.
That’s where little 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, hiding his face.
As the king passed, Anansi 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 Anansi 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 a watermelon.”
The king grabbed 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 Anteater.
They went together inside 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.
“Whoever can dance this big stone into smoke will marry the princess,” said the king.
Men came and danced on the 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.
Anansi danced on the big stone, singing “Ying-ee-ding-ee-ding, princess for me,” and he let the ashes fly.
“Ying-ee-ding-ee-ding, princess for me,” Anansi sang, letting 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.
“Whoever can make the princess talk will marry her,” said the king.
Anansi wanted to marry the princess, so he asked Hog for 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, and Peacock 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 the king painted Peacock 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
“Bring my timber from the woods!” commanded the king.
Nobody could move the timber except one old man.
He had a magic spell that made the timber leap.
Mile by mile by mile, the old man made the timber leap.
Finally the timber landed in the palace.
Anansi ran there first. “I brought the timber!” he shouted.
“Put the timber there in the corner,” said the king.
Anansi couldn’t move the timber.
The old man came and used his magic to move the timber.
To escape the angry king, Anansi hid under a rock, and 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 came to investigate.
“I’m an angel!” said Anansi. “I’ll take you to heaven. Just get in this sack!”
Anansi then flew around with the sack. “You have an earthly possession that’s holding you back,” he said.
“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 when she found the priest there in the morning.
142. Anansi and the Six Sons
A mother had six sons.
When she got sick, her sons looked for a doctor.
“I’m a doctor!” said Anansi. “To cure your mother, I need yams, plantains, and butter.”
The six sons brought Anansi yams, plantains, and butter.
“Now lock me and your mother in the kitchen for seven days,” said Anansi.
Anansi ate the yams, plantains, and butter. He ate the mother too!
That was the first day. Then Anansi ran off.
After seven days, the sons opened the door.
No Anansi, no mother.
No yams, no plantains, no butter.
Just the 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, Anansi wanted to hide the pot in a tree. He 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, fool!” he said.
This made Anansi mad, and he realized he didn’t have all the wisdom after all.
Anansi threw down the pot. It broke, and the wisdom inside spread everywhere.
144. Anansi and the Cooks
Anansi went walking.
He smelled yams cooking. Anansi wanted yams!
“Tie this string around my waist,” Anansi said to the cook. “Then tug when the yams are ready.”
Anansi kept walking.
Next, Anansi smelled beans cooking. Anansi wanted beans!
“Tie this string around my waist,” Anansi said, “and tug when the beans are ready.”
Then Anansi smelled greens. Another string around his waist.
Stew. Another string around his waist.
Finally the yam-cook pulled the string.
The bean-cook pulled too!
And the greens-cook. And the stew-cook.
All the strings pulled tight around Anansi’s waist. 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?”
Finally the man realized Anansi had eaten his horses.
“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.
Goolin offered a reward if someone could make his wife 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’da-a-a!
The wife hummed softly.
Anansi sang louder; Goolin’s wife sang softly.
Anansi sang louder; she sang louder too!
Then Goolin jumped out, his wife 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 the Spotted Cow
A man had itch-bean plant in his field.
“If someone cuts down the itch-bean without scratching,” he said, “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—” Anansi scratched his arm. “And a spot here—” He scratched his leg. And so on.
Anansi kept on cutting and talking till he finished.
Anansi hadn’t scratched; he was just talking about his old cow’s spots!
The man had to give Anansi a cow.
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.
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!