Anansi's Cunning Revenge


In a town not far from Anansi’s home, there lived a great king with three beautiful daughters. The king kept their names a secret from everyone except his family. One day, he proclaimed that any man who could discover his daughters’ names would be given their hands in marriage. Anansi, known for his cleverness, set out to uncover the secret.

Anansi devised a plan to learn the princesses’ names. He bought a large jar of honey and headed to the princesses’ bathing place. Once there, he climbed a tree bearing delicious fruit. He picked some fruit, poured honey over it, and waited for the princesses to arrive.

The Princesses’ Revelation

As the princesses approached, Anansi dropped the honeyed fruit on the ground. Each princess, upon tasting the sweet fruit, called out to her sisters by name, exclaiming its deliciousness. Anansi, listening intently from the tree, learned all three names.

The King’s Challenge

Anansi hurried into town and summoned all the great men to a meeting at the King’s palace the following day. He also visited his friend, Lizard, asking him to act as a herald at the court and reveal the princesses’ names through his trumpet when the time came.

At the King’s court, Anansi reminded the King of his promise to give his daughters to the man who discovered their names. When prompted, Lizard sounded the names through his trumpet, much to the surprise of the King and courtiers. The King, bound by his word, gave his daughters to Lizard.

Anansi, furious at Lizard for stealing his wives, demanded that he receive at least two of the princesses, while Lizard could have the third. The King refused, and Anansi, unable to secure even one princess, vowed revenge on Lizard.

The Wicked Plot

Anansi devised a wicked plan to punish Lizard. He requested the King’s help, asking him to command the royal cock to crow the following morning so that Anansi could start his journey early. The King agreed.

That night, Anansi snuck into the cock’s sleeping place, killed it, and carried it to Lizard’s house. He cooked the cock, placed the feathers under Lizard’s bed, and left some of the flesh on a dish near Lizard’s hand. Anansi then poured boiling water into Lizard’s mouth, rendering him mute.

The next morning, when the cock failed to crow, the King ordered a search for the thief. Anansi cunningly suggested that Lizard, known for stealing his wives, might be the culprit. The King’s men searched Lizard’s house and found the evidence planted by Anansi.

The Unjust Punishment

Lizard, unable to speak due to Anansi’s cruel act, could only move his head helplessly when questioned. The King, unaware of Anansi’s trickery, believed Lizard was refusing to speak and found him guilty of theft. As punishment, Lizard’s wives were taken away and given to Anansi.

From that day forward, lizards have been known to move their heads up and down, as if asking, “How can anyone be so foolish as to trust Anansi?” This tale serves as a reminder of the consequences of betrayal and the importance of being cautious when dealing with those who are known for their cunning and deceit.

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