74. The Spider Puts on a Disguise (1)

Spider found the skin of a dead Bushbuck and put it on. Then he went to see Bushbuck.
When Bushbuck opened the door, he was shocked. "My poor brother!" he shouted. "What happened to you?"
"Spider spit on me," said Spider from inside his disguise. "Now I'm dying. I came to warn you before I die: beware of Spider!"
Then Spider limped back into the forest, groaning.
The next day Spider showed up at Bushbuck's house.
"Feed me!" he said. "Or else I'll spit on you."
Terrified, Bushbuck gave Spider all the food he had in the house.
Spider smiled.
[a Temne story from Sierra Leone]


Inspired by: "Mr. Spider and the Rotten Skin" in Anthropological report on Sierra Leone: Stories by Northcote Thomas, 1916.
Notes: You can read the original story online. These are Temne stories; the Temne text is available there. "Mr. Spider" is Panisa. To find out what happens next, see: Spider, Bushbuck, and Rabbit.


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