Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Liar's Contest

Anansi the spider had a run in with a mosquito, a fly, and a moth.  To determine a winner, Anansi challenged them to a liar's contest.  Mosquito tells a story of how he plants and harvests his father's crops because  he was very ill.  And to think he did all of this work before he was even born.  Anansi believed the story.  Fly's story was he attacked a tiger turning him inside out, freeing a sheep that the tiger swallowed whole.  Anansi believed fly's story. Moth told of his hunting expedition where he killed, then cooked an antelope in a high tree.  He was so full he could not climb down the tree to go home. So he got a rope from his house and lowered himself down from the tree and went home.  Again Anansi believed the story.  Now Anansi told this story. He found a coconut and planted it. Over night the plant produced a tree with three coconuts. Chopping open the coconuts from each flew a mosquito, a fly, and a moth.  Because the coconuts belonged to him its treasure belonged to him. So he decided to each them.  But they flew away.  Anansi told them it was his lucky day because they were his mosquito, fly and moth.  Knowing they had lost the contest the three flew away in different directions.  Now if Anansi catches them in his web he eats them as a reward for winning the liar's contest.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Moss Covered Princess

A great and mighty King died leaving behind a wife and daughter.  The King's brother became king.  Although he took this brother's wife and daughter into his home, he treated them with cruelty.  Afraid his brother's daughter was more beautiful than his own daughter he order that she be clothed in the skin of the Nya Nya Bulemba.  The magical creature from swamp skin was covered in green moss and had long fangs.  The magical skin permanently wrapped around the princess and she was forced into the fields to scare away the birds.  The King then gave his daughter a beautiful leopard-skin skirt. Even though she was banished to the fields, the moss covered princess and the king's daughter became friends. One day the beautiful princess was captured by a large bird that carried her away to a far far kingdom in the north.  At first sight the king fell in love with her and married her.  Her father never knew what happened to his daughter and mourned his loss.  One day Bulemba met a old man carrying a stick. He gave her the stick and told her it was magic.  If she waved the stick in the air the bird would scatter without her chasing them. He also told her if she carried the stick in the water her true body would return while she bathed.  But she must never let go of the stick or the magic would be lost.  One day a King came through the village looking for a wife.  He saw Nya Nya Bulemba in the field. He watched as she entered the water and her green skin floated away.  The young king saw her beauty and took her for his wife. He did not care about the curse.  On the day of the wedding Nya Nya Bulemba stepped in the pool to bathe.  Her green skin came off and a bird swooped down and took the skin away.  When she appeared at the wedding all agreed that she was the most beautiful queen the village had ever known.

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Two Skins of the Spider Woman

King Eyamba of Calabar was was very powerful, but he had no children. He had more than 100 wives, but no children.  His advisers suggested that he marry the daughter of the spider, because the spider people have many children.  The king didn't want to marry the spider woman because she was not beautiful.  But he married her anyway.  The spider woman had a secret, she had two skins.  One was ugly and hairy and the other was beautiful.  She promised her mother that see would never show anyone her beautiful skin until they loved demonstrated their love for her.  She only wore her beautiful skin at night, while she was alone, never in the day.  Each day she brought her new husband food and drink and spoke to him with kindness and wisdom.  Soon the King fell in love the Spider's daughter, that night she came to his hut dressed in her beautiful skin. The King could not believe how beautiful she was in her other skin. But it really didn't matter to him how she looked on the outside, it was her inner beauty that impressed the king most. Soon the King had many children with the daughter of the spider. Moral: True beauty is visible through eyes of the heart.