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[I seem to be on an Anansi kick right now. Maybe it's April Fool's or my Story Spider coming out...]


Mr. Fox was tired of competing with Anansi the Spider Man for good jokes. Anansi always seemed to beat him to the punch, playing pranks on everyone. So, he decided to get rid of Anansi once and for all.

Mr. Fox took a bunch of tar, like they make into highway roads, and put it in a big pot. Then he started a fire under that pot, cooking and melting down the tar. The black tar bubbled up in the pot and got stickier and mushier, like Play-doh ® coated in honey. Mr. Fox put on his very special gloves and began to sculpt and mold the tar into the shape of a little boy- with a round head, and body, and arms. He look like a snowman made of tar. Then he carried this little Tar Baby to the road in front of Anansi’s house. After he set the Tar Baby on Anansi’s driveway, he jumped in the bushes, hiding and seeing what would happen.

  As the sun warmed the Tar Baby, it kept getting stickier and stickier, yet never losing its shape. By the time, Anansi walked out of his house and saw the Tar Baby, it was stuck fast to the road and not wobbling a bit.

Anansi saw this strange creature standing in the middle of his driveway and thought it mighty odd. First he tried being friendly. He gave the Tar Baby a great big grin and waved a couple of his arms.

Tar Baby didn’t do anything.

Anansi tried again- smiling even wider, waving his arms and yelling as loud as he could, “Good morning, Stranger!”

Tar Baby didn’t do anything.

Anansi sidled up to the Tar Baby, a little upset now. “Listen,” he whispered, fiercely. “When a person smiles and waves and says ‘Good morning’ to another, that person is supposed to smile and wave and say ‘Good morning’ back! Otherwise that person is snobby and rude.”

Tar Baby didn’t do anything.

Anansi was mad now. “You listen here, you rude person! If you don’t say ‘Good Morning’ to me or even ‘Howdy-do!’, I’m going to whomp you upside the head!”

Tar Baby didn’t do anything.

So, Anansi hit it upside the head... and his arm stuck in the sticky, sticky tar. Anansi put another hand on Tar Baby to pull loose and that hand stuck too. Anansi has eight legs, like any good spider man, so he began to flail about, hitting and kicking and pulling and pushing.

And Tar Baby didn’t do anything.

With all that hitting and kicking and pulling and pushing, Anansi managed to only get one thing accomplished. He got more stuck.

And Tar Baby didn’t do anything.

All eight arms and legs and his head were stuck deep in the tar and Anansi was yelling up a storm.

And what did Tar Baby do? Tar Baby didn’t do anything.

But Mr. Fox stepped out from his hiding place, laughing his head off. He pointed to Anansi and laughed some more. He was laughing so hard that he could barely speak.

“Oh ho ho ho, Anansi Spider Man, I’ve got you good! Now, I’m going to get rid of you forever. Then I’ll be the great trickster in the village. Maybe I’ll stick you in a big pot and make me some spider stew.”

“Oh no, Mr. Fox,” said Anansi, “That would be horrible... but at least it’s better than being thrown up in that tall oak tree over there.”

“Well, maybe I’ll do something even worse then... I know, I’ll tie you up in the village and let everyone you’ve ever tricked hit you like you’ve hit my poor Tar Baby.”

“That would very terrible, Mr. Fox... but at least it’s better than being thrown up in that tall oak tree over there.” said Anansi, solemnly.

“Seeing as how you are so reluctant to fly, Anansi, throwing you really high in the tree sounds like the best idea of all!” And with that, Mr. Fox grabbed the Tar Baby with his special gloves and hurled Tar baby, Anansi the Spider man and all high into the air, straight at the old oak tree.

When the Tar Baby hit the trunk of the tree, it broke into a thousand pieces, setting Anansi free. He immediately threw out a cobweb thread unto a branch and began to build a safe new house, far above Mr. Fox’s head.

“Mr. Fox, if you had only listened to yourself, you could have had me. But I’ve spent my whole life building houses far up in the air, safe & sound in tree branches and stairwells.” Anansi laughed at Mr. Fox, who simply watched as the Spider Man climbed higher and higher, planning another trick for another day.

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Tags: African, Anansi, tricksters


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