Anansie and the Giant Bird
The giant bird was thinking. He had to find a solution to this problem. For, if nothing is done about the famine, not only would the fowl folks perish, but he will as well starve to death.
Suddenly Okodie had an idea. “Your people must start sowing crop n-ow. So that by the time the famine reaches here, it would be harvest time and we shall have enough food in our barns.”
But great one, it is dry season now and the rains are not falling.’ One of the chiefs reminded Okodie, “How would the crops grow without rainfall?
“Yes, it is dry season and the rains are not falling But are the lakes and rivers dry too?”
No!” chorused the king acid chiefs of Nkukokrom.
“Then you must water the land and crops with the water from the lake and rivers.” suggested Okodie he had seen many farmers in the plains practicing irrigation and he knew how effective that was.
So the leaders of the fowl folks agreed to do as Okodie had told them. They cleared large farmlands and grew different kinds of crops. They worked tirelessly and soon the crops were growing. The fowl folks were very happy. They were full of praise for Okodie. They said many good things about him.
“Okodie is the ultimate. He is majestic and he is wise.” were a few among the things that the fowl folks said about Okodie. But they failed to realize that it is Nana Onyankopon who owns the earth and it is He who makes plants grow. They foolishly bestowed Nana Onyankopon’s praise upon the giant bird. No sooner had the fowl folks began to praise the giant bird than their waters begin to dry up. Soon there was no water in the lakes to water the plants, nor was their water in the rivers. Nana Onyankopon made all the water bodies dry up. He wanted the fowl folks to know that he owns everything.
Soon the beautiful plants that they had grown began to dry up. In the long run all the plant died. The old trees died as well. Even the giant tree that Okodie lived on died. There was no home for the giant bird anymore
Okodie was now forced to hide himself in an old cave.
He had lost face. His plans had failed and he did not know what to tell the fowl folks.
Now the fowl folks had eaten up all their food. There was nothing left in their barns. Okodie had as well eaten up all his food. The giant bird was very hungry. He could no longer hide in his cave. He had to come out and find a solution to the problem lest he starves to death.
One day when Okodie could no longer bear the hunger. He visited the king of the fowls in his palace. The king and his chiefs were very glad that at last the giant bird had come.
Okodie had grown lean, so were the king and his chiefs. However, they held out hope that Okodie would help them.
“You are welcome. great one.” The king of the fowl folks greeted Okodie, We have been looking for you all over the place. but there was no trace of you. Where have you been?”
The giant bird cleared his throat and spoke, “I went to a pilgrimage in the land of the spirits. I needed to pray for our survival. Now my prayers have been answered. The spirit people have shown me the solution to our problems…
The fowl folks were eager to know what trie solution to their problem was. They strained their ears to listen to the giant bird. Seeing that he had gotten their attention, Okodie began his tale.
“Your women lay many eggs and they hatch most of them into chicks, don’t they?” he asked earnestly.
`Yes, they do.” The fowl folks chorused in inison.
“The solution to this famine is very simple. You will have nothing to lose if you do away with some of those chicks and stay alive till the famine is over.’
“What does that mean?” asked the king of the fowl folks.
“What it means is that you must kill your chicks and let us have them for food if you want us to survive.” said the hungry giant bird.
“Nonense. That is absolute nonsense!” The king of the fowl folks said angrily. now Nana Onyankopon has opened his mind to let him see that all this while Okodie has been fooling them. He suddenly realized that Okodie was a liar, “Go away you blatant liar. We heard that you were hiding in a cave. We shall not kill our chicks for you to eat. Go away!”
Okodie was very ashamed. But he was determined to kill the chick if the fowls would not kill them. A few days later, the fowls realized that their chicks and eggs were disappearing in a large number. They also noticed that Okodie had begun to grow fat.
There was nothing they could do to stop the giant bird. The king and his folks went back to Nana Onyankopon and begged him to help them kill the giant bird. But Nana Onyankopon refused to do their wish.
He only advised them to flee the island for the land of men. He told them that they would be happy there and mankind would take good care of them. The fowls refused to leave their island, they loved the place so much and they found it difficult to part with their beautiful homes.
So Okodie continued to kill the chicks. This time he killed them openly and there was nothing anyone could do about it. They only cried and cried and soon their cry made Nana Onyankopon unhappy.
One day, a brave hunter called Kweku Ananse was very thirsty. He looked for water throughout the forest but did not find any.
He walked a long distance in search of water. Finally he found a pond near the island. He began to quench his thirst. But just as he was doing so, he heard a strange noise. He stopped and traced the sound. The sound got closer and closer until he finally reached the scene.
He found a giant bird trying to kill a little chick. Ananse felt pity for the. little chick, he immediately ran towards the evil bird and struck him with the edge of his gun. The evil bird groaned and flew up into the sky.
The giant bird was wounded. He became very angry and wanted to fight back. So he got down angrily and took aim at the hunter. Ananse was a wise man. He knew that most birds could not swim. So he ran into the pond and awaited the bird.
“Come here, you.” He shouted. “I challenge you to a fight.”
The ignorant bird did not know that the hunter was trapping him. he followed Ananse into the pond and attempted to peck him with his strong beak.
But the hunter held him by the neck just as he was about to peck him. He fought fiercely with the giant bird and drowned him in the pond. Later, Okodie’s body was found floating helplessly on the pond. The fowl folks were very happy. They ran to the hunter and thanked him.
The fowl folks gladly followed Ananse to the land of mankind. There was plenty of food there and mankind took good care of them.
Since then the fowl folks had remained in the land of Mankind. Okodie the giant bird survived. But he never attacked the fowl folks again
The fowl folks had learnt their lessons; They would never put their trust in any creature, except God.
That is why they thank God by raising their heads up whenever they are drinking water.
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