Origin of Beasts and Serpents

A Tale of Disobedience and Consequences

In a time of great famine that lasted nearly three years, Kweku Tsin searched the forest daily for food. One day, he discovered three palm kernels on the ground and picked up two stones to crack them. However, each nut slipped from his grasp and fell into a mysterious hole behind him.

Determined to retrieve his lost nuts, Kweku descended into the hole, which turned out to be the entrance to an unknown town. As he entered, an eerie silence enveloped him. He called out, “Is there nobody in this town?” and heard a voice respond. Following the voice, he found an old woman sitting in one of the houses.

The Old Woman’s Guidance

The old woman, kind and sympathetic, promised to help Kweku. She instructed him to go into the garden and listen attentively to the yams. He was to choose the yam that said, “Do not dig me out!” and bring it to her. Kweku followed her instructions, and the old woman told him to remove the peel and boil the rind, which would transform into a yam. They sat down to eat, and the old woman requested that Kweku not look at her while she ate, which he politely obeyed.

In the evening, the old woman sent Kweku to choose a drum from the garden. She warned him to take the drum that said “Ding-ding” when touched and to avoid the one that sounded “Dong-dong.” Kweku obeyed and brought back the correct drum. The old woman revealed that by beating the drum, he could summon plenty of food whenever he was hungry. Grateful, Kweku returned home.

Feeding the Village

Kweku gathered his household and beat the drum, causing an abundance of food to appear before them. The next day, he assembled the entire village and beat the drum once more, providing sufficient food for every family. The villagers thanked Kweku for his generosity.

Kweku’s father, Anansi, was jealous of his son’s ability to feed the whole village. He believed that he, too, should possess such a drum and be the one receiving gratitude from the people. Anansi pestered Kweku until he revealed the story behind the magical drum.

Anansi set off towards the entrance hole, carrying an old nut to pretend to crack and throw into the hole. He jumped in after it and hurried to the silent village. Upon entering the first house, he rudely demanded food from the old woman.

Anansi’s Disobedience

The old woman directed Anansi to choose the yam that said, “Do not dig me out,” but he arrogantly refused, opting for the one that wanted to be gathered. When told to boil the rind, Anansi again disobeyed, throwing away the peel and boiling the inside, which turned into stones. Reluctantly, he followed the old woman’s instructions, and the rind transformed into a yam.

During the meal, Anansi disregarded the old woman’s request not to look at her while she ate. He insisted on eating at her table and consumed both his and her portions. When choosing a drum, Anansi deliberately selected the one that said “Dong-dong,” believing the old woman was trying to trick him.

The Disastrous Consequence

Returning home, Anansi eagerly gathered the villagers to demonstrate his new power. However, when he beat the drum, instead of summoning food, beasts and serpents of all kinds rushed towards him. The terrified villagers fled, leaving Anansi to face the consequences of his disobedience.

From that day forward, the animals roamed wild in the great forests, a result of Anansi’s arrogance and refusal to heed the old woman’s guidance. This tale serves as a reminder of the importance of humility, respect, and the consequences of disobedience.

Similar Posts