~ 139. Anansi and Ballinder Bull ~


"We need a hero to kill Ballinder Bull!" proclaimed the king.
A little boy took his seven arrows and shot that bull: an arrow in each foot and ear, and one for the head. He took the bull's golden teeth and tongue as proof.
Anansi then found the dead bull, and he cut off the bull's head.
"I'm the hero!" Anansi sang, waving the bull's head.
"But I've got the bull's tongue and the teeth!" shouted the boy.
"You are the hero!" said the king to the boy.
Anansi ran and hid under the woodpile, and he's hiding there still.


Inspired byJamaica Anansi Stories by Martha Warren Beckwith
Notes: This is story 89 in the book. Beckwith heard this story from Richard Morgan; additional information in Beckwith's notes. I've zoomed in on the Anansi segment at the end where Anansi is the "false hero" but the main focus of the story is the young boy who has a lifelong connection to the wicked bull: the bull "bucked" the boy out of his mother's womb, so when he kills the bull, he avenges his own mother's death. Beckwith also collected similar story about a boy who defeats a cannibal bird, with the same head versus tongue-and-teeth motif: Bird Arinto. The story also appears in Jekyll: Man-Crow. Dance also collected a version of this story: Gashany Bull.



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