~ 116. Anansi, Whale, and Elephant ~

"I'm so strong!" boasted Whale.
"I'm stronger!" boasted Anansi. "I'll pull you onto the land."
Whale just laughed. "I'd like to see that!"
Then Anansi went to Elephant. "I'll pull you into the ocean!"
Elephant just laughed. "I'd like to see that!"
Anansi tied a rope to Elephant's tail. "I'll tell you when I'm ready!"
Next, he tied the rope to Whale's tail. "I'll tell you when I'm ready!"
Anansi hid in the bushes. "I'm going to pull now!"
So Elephant pulled.
And Whale pulled.
"Anansi really is strong!" they thought.
Whale and Elephant both pulled so hard they died.

Inspired byFolklore of the Antilles by Elsie Clews Parsons.
Notes: You can see Parsons' story and notes here; she heard the story from Thomas Bailly. In the story, the whale and elephant don't die, and they are both mad at Anansi when they figure it out, so Anansi puts on a sheep disguise.


  1. Classic brain v brawn story. Brainy Anansi survives whilst brawny but stupid Whale and Elephant strain so hard with their muscles that they both die, leaving Anansi to laugh at their gullibility!

    1. I prefer stories where strength wins, not deception.

    2. Like I've always said, brain is better than brawn! Who needs big muscles anyway?