Kwaku Ananse: The Pot and The Whip

Once upon a time, there was famine in Kweku Ananse’s village. Ananse went into the forest every day to find food for his family.

One day, as he roamed the forest, he saw a beautiful pot and said, “Pot, you are beautiful.”

The pot replied, “I am called Let-it-be-full- and-eat.”

Ananse shouted, “Let-it-be-full-and-eat.”

To his astonishment, the pot immediately became full with

groundnut soup, meat and fufu (pounded cassava, plantain, yam or cocoyam)

Ananse ate heartily because he had not eaten any good food in a long time.

When he was finished, he called the name of the pot again.

This time, he ate hurriedly and asked the pot, “What do you hate?”

The pot replied, “Gunpowder and calabash.”

Ananse took the pot home and hid it in the ceiling of his room.

He did not tell his family about the pot but continued to go to the forest to collect food. Whenever his wife called him to join the family to eat he would refuse, saying he cared only for his family and not himself. He would rather die than share the little food they had.

He would later climb up to the ceiling, say the magic words and eat to his satisfaction

Ananse continued to go up to the ceiling every day until his eldest son, Ntikuma became suspicious. One day, he followed him quietly and saw everything that happened. His father, however, did not see him.

The following day, when Ananse had gone to the forest, Ntikuma called his mother, Kornorle, and his brothers -Tikenenkene the big head, Afudotwedotwe the big belly and Nyiwankonfwea the thin legs.

They went to the ceiling and Ntikuma said the magic words, “Let-it-be-full-and-eat.”

The pot became full with groundnut soup, meat and fufu which they ate. He repeated the words several times and each time the pot became full.

After they had eaten to their satisfaction, Ntikuma asked the pot, “What do you hate?”

The pot replied, “Gunpowder and calabash.”

Ntikuma then asked Tikenenkene to fetch the items. He touched the pot with the gunpowder and the calabash.

A while later, Ananse returned from the forest and climbed up to the ceiling to eat.

He said the magic words, “Let-it-be-full-and-eat.”

There was no reaction

“Is it because I have not bathed?” he said angrily.

He went downstairs and took a bath. He put on his beautiful kente cloth and black ahenema sandals. He climbed up again and repeated the magic words several times but nothing happened. He looked around and saw the gunpowder and the calabash. In his anger, he took the pot, threw it away and broke it.

He came down from the ceiling and went into the forest to find something to eat. On the way, he found a whip. He said, “You are a beautiful whip.”

The whip replied, “My name is Whip-a-little.” Ananse repeated, “Whip-a-little.”

The whip whipped Ananse mercilessly until a green bird flying across advised, “Say cool down.” Ananse quickly said so.

Immediately, the whip stopped. Ananse took it home and hid it in the ceiling. His wife gave him food but again he refused to eat.

He went to the ceiling and spent some time there then came down and went to the backyard to hide.

Ntikuma called his mother and brothers and they went up to the ceiling. He saw the whip and said, “Whip, you are beautiful.”

The whip replied, “My name is Whip-a-little.” They all shouted, “Whip-a-little.”

The whip went into action and whipped them severely. From his hiding place, Ananse shouted, “Beat them well,

especially Ntikuma!”

When the whip had whipped them for hours, Ananse said to the whip, “Cool down.”

The whip stopped and he took it and broke it into piece.

 

By: Ananse Stories, SWL