Anansie and the Giant Bird
Long, long ago. the fowl folks lived on a very beautiful island called Nkukokrom. The island was very fertile and filled with gold, diamond and silver. So, the fowl folks had a lot of food to eat and much money to spend.
They were very happy and content with what they had. They knew that Nana Onyankopon was the source of their blessing, and so they worshiped and praised Him always.
Nana Onyankopon was also very pleased with the fowl folks because of their act of gratitude. So he protected them and made their Island invisible to other people. He did this so that no one would attack them. He also blessed them with many children and made them live long.
Now, there lived a very proud bird. He was the only bird that lived in the forest, at that time. He was called Okodie, the giant bird.
Okodie was very brave and strong. He had a very strong beak and strong wings, and he could fly to any distance. He had fought 2 many battles and defeated many animals all alone. So many animals feared him.
Even Nana Gyata, the powerful king of the forest respected Okodie. The king and Okodie were very good friends. He had made Okodie one of his chiefs so they could remain friends. He did not want Okodie to become his enemy. He needed the giant bird so much.
The forest was unsafe without the giant bird. He was a very special animal. He could see things from a distance while flying in the sky. He could fight a large number of enemies with his strong wings. Nana Gyata, the king of the forest needed Okodie to guard his kingdom So he made Okodie the war lord of the forest.
One day Nana Onyankopon wanted to test the fowl folks. He wanted to know if they ‘truly loved him. So while Okodie was flying above the island, Nana Onyankopon opened his eyes and made him see the fowl folks. The fowl folks also saw him.
Okodie was shocked, so were the fowl folks. “What kind of birds are these?” Okodie pondered, ‘They look much like me but they are smaller in size and very many.”
“What a giant bird!” the fowl folks exclaimed in wonder, He looks much like us but he is bigger and done — he must be oru of our kind”
The giant bird was carried away by the crowd of fowl folks and the beauty of their chicks. He had all the time been thinking that he was the only winged animal on earth. But now he knew he was wrong.
Here is a large number of animals of his kind, more beautiful than himself and living on a beautiful island. He felt very curious and wanted to find out what kind of birds they were. So he decided to speak to them.
He flew to where the fowl folks have gathered and greeted them.
“Hello, my dear friends.” the giant bird greeted.
“Hello!” the fowl folks replied in a trembling voice. For, although they were very many, the size of the giant bird made them tremble with fear.
“Excuse my curiosity.” said the aiant bird, “I noticed that we look much alike and I wish to know what kind of birds you are and since when you have been on this island.”
“Okay,” answered the king of the fowls, we ace Nkuko, the fowl folks and our land is called Nkukokrom. We have been on this island ever since Onyankopon created the earth. Could you please introduce yourself as well?”
“I am Okodie, the giant bird.” Okodie said boastfully, stretching his wings to let the fowls see how large he was. “I come from the forest. I am the strongest animal in the forest.
“Because of my strength all the animals in the forest fear me. Even Gyata the king of the forest fears me. He has made me the war lord and the watcher of the forest because I am the strongest animal in the forest.
‘I was flying around the world and watching over my and when I suddenly found your island. It is such a beautiful Island and you all are very beautiful birds.
“But I am afraid you look very tiny and weak, and some day some wild animals may attack you and take your land.”
The fowl folks believed the giant bird. He looked very brave and had the looks of a great warrior. They were filled with fear. They did not want to be attacked, neither did they want their land to be taken away from them. They wanted the giant bird to help them.
So, when the giant bird had finished talking to them and he was about to leave, the king of the fowl folks called him back. “Please, Nana Okodie.” The chief called out to the giant bird respectfully, “can you do us a favour?”
“What do you want from me?” The giant bird asked proudly.
“We believe in you and we know that you can protect us from our enemies.” rep lied the king of the fowls. “So we have decided to make you our protector. Weihall give you a lot of gold bars if you accept our offer.”
“I need a few days to think over your offer.” replied the giant bird. “Expect my reply in a week or two.”
So saying the giant bird flew away whilst the fowl folks watched him in complete surprise and fright.
It was as though their end was coming -they began to tremble. They trembled at every sound that they heard; they trembled at the thunder claps; they trembled at the roar of the sea; they even trembled at their own crow.
The fowl folks waited eagerly for the coming of the giant bird.
“Okodie must come quickly and rescue us from our enemies,” they said to themselves. They had suddenly forgotten about Nana Onyankopon their creator, protector and provider, who had given them everything that they had. They ignorantly put their hopes in the boastful Okodie.
A week passed and Okodie had not arrived. Another week passed and the giant bird had still not arrived. The fowl folks became more eager and worried. They could not sleep a wink. They were awake throughout the nights.
They waited and waited for the giant bird but he was nowhere to be found. They waited for almost a month yet there was no sign of the giant bird.
Now the fowl folks were losing hope. They felt that their enemies would soon attack them and there would be no one to help them.
But one quiet evening. Okodie, the giant bird came back to the island. The fowl folks could not hide their joy. They danced happily around Okodie. A special party was thrown to him.
He was very pleased with the fowl folks. He revealed that in his speech: “I am very pleased by the way you have received me,’ He remarked, “and so I have accepted your offer.”
The fowl folks burst into a loud applause. Their hopes had been restored. Now they needed not to be afraid of their enemies, for Okodie was strong and capable of fighting any enemy.
Immediately, a giant tree was prepared for the giant bird. That was his new home. He was to be paid five hundred bars of gold every year. This pleased Okodie so much that he immediately decided to leave the forest and stay in his new home, among the fowl folks.
Okodie was well respected by the fowl folks. Even their chiefs and king treated him specially. They praised him all the time: they praised him when he flew into the sky and when he came down. And this made him prouder.
Now the giant bird had become very close to the fowl folks. He told both the fowls and their chicks about his adventures each day; he bragged about how he had flown to the forest and saved some animals from predatory animals.
He also told them about many interesting things that he had seen under the sea and the lake whenever he traveled around, and the fowl folks where very amazed by his stories.
Okodie told the fowl folks many interesting stories about certain animals and the sounds they make For example, he told them about some insects called bees.
“These insects are very forgetful.” He explained. “So whenever they are being sent by their queen, they hum whatever they had been asked to go and do in order that they might not forget. That is why bees hum.”
The fowl folks envied the giant bird so much; they wished they had strong wings and could fly up in the sky and see many interesting things like Okodie. They would have protected their own territory by themselves.
One fateful day when Okodie returned from his trip, he did not look cheerful at all. He called for a meeting with the king of Nkukokrom and his chiefs.
The king and his chiefs thought that Okodie was about to tell them some interesting stories. But when they met with him, he was not in the mood for story telling. He looked very sad.
You look very sad, great one.” The king of the fowls remarked, “What is the problem?”
Okodie could not speak immediately. He nodded and wept profusely. The fowl folks were very disturbed. They pestered the giant bird with lots of question until he finally told them why he was sad.
“There is a famine in the forest.” He began. “All the plants that the animals feed on are dead. There is neither food nor water for the animals.
“Most of my friends have died as a result of the famine. The famine is very severe and I fear that we may soon be affected ‘
“So what do we do now, great one’?” the king of the fowls asked eagerly. “we hardly know what a famine is, and we don’t know what to do when it comes.”
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