Once upon a time, a long time ago, there lived
a spider named Anansi. Anansi's wife was a very good cook. But
always, Anansi loved to taste the food that others in the village
made for themselves and for their families.
One day, he stopped by Rabbit's house. Rabbit
was his good friend.
"There are greens in your pot," cried
Anansi excitedly. Anansi loved greens.
"They are not quite done," said
Rabbit. "But they will be soon. Stay and eat with me."
"I would love to, Rabbit, but I have some
things to do," Anansi said hurriedly. If he waited at Rabbit's
house, Rabbit would certainly give him jobs to do. "I
know," said Anansi. "I'll spin a web. I'll tie one end
around my leg and one end to your pot. When the greens are done, tug
on the web, and I'll come running!"
Rabbit thought that was a great idea. And so it
"I smell beans," Anansi sniffed
excitedly as he ambled along. "Delicious beans, cooking in a
"Come eat our beans with us," cried
the monkeys. "They are almost done."
"I would love to Father Monkey," said
Anansi. And again, Anansi suggested he spin a web, with one end tied
around his leg, and one end tied to the big bean pot.
Father Monkey thought that was a great idea.
All his children thought so, too. And so it was done.
"I smell sweet potatoes," Anansi
sniffed happily as he ambled along. "Sweet potatoes and honey,
I do believe!"
"Anansi," called his friend Hog.
"My pot is full of sweet potatoes and honey! Come share my food
"I would love to," said Anansi. And
again, Anansi suggested he spin a web, with one end tied around his
leg, and one end tied to the sweet potato pot.
His friend Hog thought that was a great idea.
And so it was done.
By the time Anansi arrived at the river, he had
one web tied to each of his eight legs.
"This was a wonderful idea," Anansi
told himself proudly. "I wonder whose pot will be ready
Just then, Anansi felt a tug at his leg.
"Ah," said Anansi. "That is the web string tied to
Rabbit's greens." He felt another. And another. Anansi was
pulled three ways at once.
"Oh dear," said Anansi as he felt the
fourth web string pull.
Just then, he felt the fifth web string tug.
And the sixth. And the seventh. And the eighth. Anansi was pulled
this way and that way, as everyone pulled on the web strings at
once. His legs were pulled thinner and thinner. Anansi rolled and
tugged himself into the river. When all the webs had washed away, Anansi
pulled himself painfully up on shore.
"Oh my, oh my," sighed Anansi.
"Perhaps that was not such a good idea after all."
To this day, Anansi the Spider has eight very
thin legs. And he never got any food that day at all.