The Legendary Kweku 3
Ananse continued, “When Crocodile takes ten handfuls of the ‘eto’, I will say ‘Kumnu-afa’, meaning, cut him into two.”
Early in the morning, they set out to the riverside with the ‘eto’. Crocodile smelt the food and came out from the river to eat with his friend, Ananse – the spider.
Ananse waited patiently and when Crocodile took ten handfuls of the ‘eto’, he shouted, ‘Kumnu-afa!!”
Ntikuma raised the cutlass from his cloth and cut Crocodile very hard. With a deep cut, Crocodile hurried into the river. In his anger, Ananse started to abuse Ntikuma for the following day, Ananse’s wife, Kor norle (Aso) went to the riverside to wash. She saw Crocodile lying on its back at the riverbank.
She ran home quickly to tell Ananse. He became very excited and called Ntikuma to help him bring the body of Crocodile to the house.
He said to Ntikuma, “When we reach the riverbank, go near Crocodile and open his mouth. Put your hand deep into his throat. If he doesn’t bite that means he is dead.”
Ntikuma did as his father had told him and nothing happened. Ananse went forward to drag Crocodile. Immediately he touched Crocodile, he turned and grabbed him. Crocodile put him on his back and sailed with him into the deep river.
Just before they went under the water, Ananse who was then crying, shouted to Kornorle and Ntikuma, “Tell all my children, Nyiwankonfwea, Afudotwedotwe, Ntikelenkele (Tikonokono) and all my relations that I’m gone forever.”
From that day whenever a spider falls into water it floats for fear of Crocodile.
THE BIG HEAD OF KWEKU ANANSIS
Once upon a time, Kweku Ananse went in search of adventure. He met some spirits and ‘Mmoatia’ (fairies) in a river. They were making parts of the river to dry so as to catch the fish. Ananse asked if he could join them. They agreed and took off the skull of Ananse. They told him to splash the water with it .as they were doing.
They started to sing, “We are spirits, We fish with our skulls. We take our skulls to splash the water and get fish. Since creation nothing like this has been seen. Oh! we are spirits and we fish with our skulls.”
They got plenty of fish and gave four basketfuls to Ananse. He had many hands so he was able to carry all the four baskets.
When he was on his way home, he started to sing the song the spirits were singing. He had already been warned by the spirits not to sing the song anywhere.
His head then fell from his neck. The head started shouting from the ground, “Save me spirits, save me spirits.”
The spirits came and put the head on Ananse’s neck. They again told him not to sing the song. Ananse loved the song ‘so
much that he started to sing it again. His head fell from the neck again. He called the spirits many times but they never came.
His head became so big on the ground and when he was about to die, Nyankopong – the sky-god had mercy on him and put the head on his neck.
This is why Ananse has a big head.
ANANSE AND THE CROCODILE’S CHILDREN
Ananse, having failed with his plan to kill Crocodile had been taken prisoner under the river. He was placed under a big basket and a heavy stone laid on it.
Crocodile then asked Ananse, “Which kind of vegetable if cooked with your meat will make delicious soup?”
Ananse quickly replied, “There is a special onion in my mother’s village.”
He then showed Crocodile the way to his mother’s village which was far away.
The following day, Crocodile left his under water house early in the morning to search for that special onion.
Crocodile had three children. They were Aga (grass-hopper), Abee (butterfly) and Obreku (Cuckoo bird). As soon as Crocodile left the house, Ananse called the children and asked them, “Is your father good to you?”
They all said, “No.”
Ananse asked again, “Is your father wicked towards you?”
They all shouted, “Yes!!”
Ananse continued, “I will do some magic for you which will make your father willing to give you anything you need. Your father brought me here to do some magic for him.”
Ananse looked around and said to the children, “Bring me plenty of ground pepper. That is all I need to do the magic for you.”
The children went out and brought the ground pepper. He then said to them, “Take the big stone off the basket.”
Crocodile had not yet told the children why he brought Ananse home and kept him under the big basket.
They rolled the big stone off the basket and set Ananse free. Ananse then took the ground pepper and blew it into their eyes.
Whilst they were shouting and crying, Ananse ran away.
When Crocodile returned home, he asked the children in anger, “What is happening? Where is Ananse?”
All that Abee (butterfly) could do was to open his wings and close them although not flying. This is to say, “I’m not saying anything.” Abee has been doing this since then.
Crocodile turned to Aga (grass-hopper) and asked, “What is happening?” All that Aga could do was to jump from one grass to another. The hot ground pepper was too much for him. Since then this has been his habit.
Crocodile finally asked Obreku (Cuckoo bird), “Where is Ananse?”
The eyes of Obreku was so red and he could not say anything but at intervals he sang, “Kou-kou, kou-kou, kou-kou, kou-kou, kou-kou.”
Since then most villagers tell the time by Obreku’s song. His eyes had also remained red till today.
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