Anansi and the Box of Stories: A West African Folktale by Stephen Krensky

By Stephen Krensky

The sky god Nyame retains all of the world's tales locked in a field. but when Anansi can trick many of the earth's fiercest and fastest creatures, Nyame will percentage his tales. Will Anansi be successful?

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To learn more about Anansi and African folklore, see Timeless Tales of Anansi by Nathaniel Hosea Ormsby, Tiger Soup: An Anansi Story from Jamaica by Frances Temple, and A Pride of African Tales by Donna L. Washington. 48 THE SKY GOD NYAME OWNS ALL THE STORIES IN THE WORLD. He keeps them to himself in a box in his kingdom in the clouds. But Anansi thinks the stories should be shared by all creatures. So one day he strikes a bargain with the sky god. If Anansi can trick some of the earth’s fiercest and quickest creatures, Nyame will share his stories.

A trickster is a character who uses tricks to do certain tasks. Tricksters also like to break the rules set by the gods or by nature. A trickster can be a good or a bad character. Anansi uses his tricks to do something good. He brings stories to Earth so that all creatures can enjoy them. Other parts of Anansi and the Box of Stories are taken from Akan and Ashanti culture and folklore. For example, the fairy Mmoatia has backwards feet, as fairies do in West African tales. And the sky god, Nyame, wears kente cloth.

Quickly, Anansi spun his strongest web string around the leopard and the sticks. ” Osebo roared. ” 36 “True enough,” Anansi admitted. ” Anansi returned to the sky god. Nyame was not surprised to see him. “I will take the leopard,” he said. ” Mmoatia the Fairy Anansi was happy he had captured three of Nyame’s creatures. But how would he ever capture Mmoatia? ” he asked Aso. “You cannot find her,” Aso said. ” Anansi started by carving a wooden doll. When he was finished, the doll looked almost real.

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