Once upon a time, Anansi and the big alligator were good friends. One night when Anansi was out late, he went to the alligator and said, “Dear brother, it’s quite late. Will you please let me sleep here tonight?”
“No problem, you can stay here for the night,” the alligator said politely.
Anansi said to the alligator, “Thank you very much for letting me stay, but I don’t want to bother you much. So I will make myself comfortable in your kitchen, and you can sleep comfortably in the house.”
During those times, there was usually a kitchen built of stone outside every house. Anansi wanted to stay in the kitchen for the night.
“Alright, Anansi. If you insist, you can sleep in my kitchen.”
The alligator’s daughter Ama was a wise girl. She knew that Anansi definitely had some motive behind sleeping in the kitchen. She had overheard the conversation between Anansi and her father.
Ama had an idea. She went out and caught as many scorpions as she could. Ama knew that at night Anansi would definitely look into the kitchen pots for some food. So, she carefully placed the scorpions into the empty pots.
The alligator and Anansi both wished each other goodnight and went to their respective places to sleep.
It was completely quiet at night and one could hear nothing except for the palm trees swaying in the wind. Anansi waited for everyone to fall asleep. At midnight, he got up quietly and crawled towards the pots. Anansi had seen Ama fill some of the pots with scorpions. He did not touch them and took out food from the rest of the pots. He ate all he could and was very contented.
After finishing the food in the kitchen, he started yelling and sucking his hand. The alligator woke up with the noise and asked Anansi if he was comfortable.
“Dear brother, the dog fleas are eating me alive. I cannot stay here anymore,” Anansi said and left the house immediately. After all, he was scared that the scorpions would escape from the pot and bite him at night.
Ama was suspicious of Anansi. She checked if all the food in their pots was intact. She was shocked to find that Anansi had eaten up all the eggs that they had stored in the pots.
“Daddy, Anansi has eaten up all our eggs. Please go out and catch him immediately,” Ama said to the alligator.
The alligator rushed out of his house. While being chased by the alligator, Anansi finally reached the river bank
Anansi saw a boat man preparing his boat for sailing. “Take me to the other side of the river and I will give you half my land,” Anansi said to the boatman. The boatman agreed at once and Anansi quickly slipped into his boat. The alligator swam after him but could not catch the boat.
Once the boat reached the shore, Anansi asked the boatman to wait, and said that he was going to speak to his father about the land. The boatman waited patiently.
Anansi went to his father and narrated the entire incident to him. He instructed his father to tell the alligator and the boatman that he did not know where he was. Anansi started climbing the nearby tree.
After a while, the boatman came to Anansi’s father and asked about him.“I haven’t seen him in days. I have no ideas where he might be,” the father told the boatman.
A little while later, Anansi saw the big alligator approaching him and climbed another tree. Anansi called out to find out if the big alligator could see him.
The alligator looked everywhere but could not find him.
“I will never live in a house again if I can’t find you now,” the alligator said.
He looked and looked but could not find Anansi and started living in the water ever since.
For more interesting African Folk Tales for kids, go to: Indian Folk Tales
For other interesting stories for kids, browse though our huge collection of short stories here: Stories for Kids
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Very good for me