How Anansi tied Tiger

One day, Anansi was very hungry and couldn’t find anything to eat. He decided to take a basket, along with a large pot, and headed toward seaside to go fishing. The Spider then made a fire for his pot and called out to the sea, “Hey Big fish come!” Huge fish came and he caught some of them, placing them in his basket.

Anansi shouted “Big fish go, make little fish come!” next, scaring the big fish away. Smaller fish then came and he caught them also, placing them in his basket. Anansi repeated this until he filled both his pot and basket with a variety of fish, then sat his basket aside. Anansi spared no time cooking all of the fish he’d captured inside his pot and ate them. Anansi then collected his things once he was full and headed back toward his home, hiding his now-empty pot in a bush along the way. Eventually, Anansi met Tiger on his trek back home, and was frightened, because Tiger was very intimidating. Tiger demanded to know what Anansi had in his basket.

Anansi replied in a feeble voice that his basket was empty. Tiger let the Spider go about his way, but remained suspicious of Anansi, and decided to spy on the Spider once the two had gained some distance between each other. Tiger watched as Anansi soon sat near a tree and opened the basket with the fish he’d caught earlier that day. Next, Anansi began to remove each of the fish he’d caught and gloated over them; first a yellow-tail, then a snapper, and finally, a jack-fish. Tiger then sprung out of hiding and confronted Anansi about his deception.

Tiger caught Anansi in his lie and noted that the Spider had said he didn’t have any fish when they’d last spoke. Anansi made an excuse, however, and said that he’d gone to take a bath after they met and caught some fish while he was out bathing. Tiger thus demanded that Anansi give him all of the fish he’d caught, and the Spider obeyed. Tiger devoured all of Anansi’s fish and left only the bones for Anansi to eat, who took them up reluctantly and ate those instead. Anansi complained under his breath that all of his hard work had gone to waste and decided to spy on Tiger, planning to trick him. The two continued down the road and saw a fruit tree; knowing Tiger was greedy, Anansi remarked that there were pretty fruit in the tree. Tiger ordered Anansi to climb the tree and fetch some of the fruit, unaware of Anansi’s plot. Anansi conceded.

Anansi reached the top of the fruit tree and noticed Tiger was standing directly beneath him; the Spider warned Tiger that he could see lice in his hair. Tiger fell for Anansi’s ruse and demanded that Anansi catch the lice for him, but Anansi told Tiger that he needed him to lean against the tree first. Tiger agreed and Anansi came down, pretending to search for the lice he claimed to have seen. Soon his scheme was successful; Tiger fell asleep while Anansi did so, because of how long it was, and the Spider wasted no time tying Tiger’s hair to the fruit-tree. When he was finished, Anansi woke Tiger and told him that he couldn’t find any other lice in his hair. Tiger demanded that Anansi capture them all, but Anansi refused to help him. Tiger tried to attack Anansi in anger but was stuck; Tiger realized what Anansi had really done while he was asleep and ordered Anansi to untie his hair, but Anansi refused to and taunted Tiger, bragging that he’d tied him like a hog. Anansi was no longer afraid of Tiger and left his rival behind, heading home. Tiger, however, was not so lucky: a hunter soon saw Tiger by the fruit-tree and killed him.

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