Anansi is a minor ancestor. He plays the fool in the stories of Mboshu. He often has grand plans and ambitions that don’t survive reality. He is frequently pulled out of messes of his creation by the other Great Ancestors. The only thing that Anansi truly excels at is weaving.

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A Song of Anansi

One day, after the Greatmother went to sleep in the mountain, Mad Jenny asks Stormhammer if he would come to the beach to chase crabs with her. Stormhammer says “Go away Mad Jenny! I’m sleeping!” and goes back into his den.

So Mad Jenny goes to the beaches to chase crabs by herself. They were the pretty jewel crabs. When she catches them she pets them and coos over them and gives them a kiss before she drops them in the water.

Anansi the spider sees this from where he is weaving. He sees that Mad Jenny’s hair is the color of summer grasses, and her lips are like the petals of the flower. “I would very much like a kiss from Mad Jenny,” he says to himself. So Anansi takes a piece of lapis, and a piece of obsidian, and a piece of moonstone and makes himself a pretty cover. Then he goes scuttling across the beach sideways like a crab.

And when Mad Jenny caught Anansi up he had to bite his fingers to keep from giggling. She stroked the fine shell he made for himself.

“You are the prettiest crab of all!” Mad Jenny exclaims and she holds him close to her breasts.

Anansi is just about ready to faint with all his glee and the strain of keeping quiet. And Mad Jenny kisses him with her lips like flower petals.

At that moment, just before Anansi can declare his love for Mad Jenny, she drops him in the water. Because he had affixed stones to himself he quickly drowns.


Cartographies and Colonies LXV LXV