~ 88. The Law against Insults ~


"No insults!" said the king. "If you insult someone, you'll drop dead!"
That gave Anansi an idea!
He got a hoe and dragged it back and forth across some rocks.
Hog was watching. "What are you doing?" Hog asked Anansi.
"I'm planting crops!" Anansi said.
"Crops won't grow on rocks," Hog said. "You're an idiot!"
Hog dropped dead, and Anansi ate him. "Delicious!"
Anansi dragged his hoe across the rocks again.
This time, Duck was watching. "What are you planting?" Duck asked.
"Who plants crops on rocks?" replied Anansi. "You're an idiot!"
Anansi dropped dead, so Duck ate Anansi. "Delicious!"


Inspired byJamaica Anansi Stories by Martha Warren Beckwith
Notes: This is story 32 in the book. Beckwith heard this story from George Parkes who says he heard it on the ship coming from Africa; additional information in Beckwith's notes. Parkes's story is longer with more victims that Anansi tricks and eats. When Duck comes, he talks about needing to find a way and that is what Anansi badmouths him about, but I just stuck to the foolish act of trying to grow crops on a rock. In another version that Beckwith collected, it's Guinea-chick who tricks Anansi instead of Duck. In Sherlock's "Anansi and the Old Hag" version, Anansi tells Tiger he dreamed about Old Hag who told him to put a stop to animals insulting each other; he tells this to Tiger and, fearing the Hag, Tiger makes it a law.


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