8. The Witch and the Crab

"No food for you," the witch told her granddaughter, "unless you guess my name."
So the little granddaughter went hungry.
Crab pitied the girl, and when she came to fetch water, he whispered, "Her name is Sarjmoti-Amoa-Oplem-Dadja."
The girl thanked him and ran home, but forgot the name. She went back and begged Crab to repeat it. Reluctantly he whispered again, "Sarjmoti-Amoa-Oplem-Dadja."
The girl ran home and shouted, "Sarjmoti-Amoa-Oplem-Dadja, feed me!"
The witch realized Crab must have betrayed her. Crab ran, but not fast enough. She threw her calabash at him, and it stuck! 
That's how Crab got his shell.
[a Gurunsi story from Burkina Faso]

Inspired by: The Orphan Girl and other stories: West African folk tales by Buchi Offodile.
Notes: This is a story from the Gurunsi people of Burkina Faso: "How the Crab Got its Shell." You can read the original story at the Internet Archive. The full version of the story is full of wonderful details! Compare a similar story about Anansi from the West Indies: Anansi and the Witch's Name.

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