One day Anansi, the spider, harvested some of the best yam and vegetables from his back garden and prepared them for lunch.
The sweet smell emanating from the pot made Anansi very hungry, but this time he restrained himself from eating directly from the pot as he was used to. He wanted to eat the food in style. Do justice to it 🙂.
He meticulously prepared the table and got ready to "judge" the food by doing some crunches.
Just as he was taking the first morsel, he heard a knock on the door.
"Who might this be?" cursed Anansi.
On the door stood the turtle looking tired and hungry.
It was the custom of the land to share food with the visitor. Anansi had no choice but to invite the turtle in for lunch.
"Welcome turtle. You are just in time for lunch", said Anansi reluctantly.
"Thanks, Anansi, how are you? " asked the turtle as he reached for the bowl of yams.
"Mayoo! I am fine", answered Anansi.
"But your hands are very dirty! You must wash your hands before you eat."
The turtle looked sadly at his hands. They had become dirty during the long journey to Anansi's house.
"Aaah! You are right, I'll be right back", admitted the turtle.
The turtle slowly crawled to the washing basin at the back of Anansi's hut and thoroughly cleaned his hands.
As soon as the turtle was out of sight, Anansi started eating as fast as he could. He gobbled and munched the food like nobody's business. It was as if the spirit of hunger had possessed him.
When the turtle got back, only a small portion of food remained.
Disappointed the turtle exclaimed, " You have eaten almost all the food!"
"You see...", stummered Anansi.
"I had to eat before the food got cold. Anyway, there is still plenty of food, help yourself."
The turtle reached for the boul of vegetable soup.
'"Ala! Stop!" shouted Anansi.
"Your hands are still dirty. please go back and rewash them."
The turtle took a look at his hands and confirmed that they were indeed dirty again. They got dirty as he crawled through Anansi's unkempt house. Despite the tiredness and hunger, he went back to the basin and washed his hands. Only this time, he covered his hands with a piece of cloth, determined not to make them dirty again.
He hurriedly crawled back only to find that Anansi had finished all the food except for a mouthful of vegetables that he left for him.
The turtle grudgingly ate the leftover but swore to pay back for the humiliation.
"Thank you for the lovely meal. I would love to invite you over to my place for a feast on the day of the full moon.", said the turtle.
Anansi gladly accepted the invitation. It was common knowledge that the turtle was the best cook. He could already imagine eating the magnific meal.
When the day finally came, Anansi the spider arrived on time. He went by the riverbank under which the turtle lived.
"Welcome, dear friend. Supper is ready. Come on down", called the smiling turtle. He had already laid out the table with all sorts of delectable food.
"Splash", Anansi excitedly jumped into the river. He was very eager to devour the sumptuous meal after being hit by the sweet aroma. However, he couldn't sink to the bottom due to his weight. He kicked and swam as best as he could, but still, he floated.
"Hurry! hurry! Dinner is getting cold! " shouted the turtle as he watched with amusement as Anansi struggled to reach his house.
Finally, an idea struck him. He put some rocks in the pocket of his jacket and jumped into the river. The weight of the rocks, made him sink to the turtle's house.
"Mhmm, this sure does look good", acknowledged Anansi as he reached for a bowl of food.
"Wait", cried the turtle.
"You know you can't sit down for dinner with your jacket on. It is a taboo in our land. Please take it off."
"But turtle, if I take it off..."
"You must take it off if you want to eat. I didn't make the rules", cut the turtle.
As soon as he took off the jacket, Anansi shot back to the top of the river. He could only admire the turtle as he ate every bite of the feast.
Dejected, Anansi started walking back home. It immediately occurred to him that the turtle had tricked him just as he had done to him earlier.
As Wahenga always say, what goes around, comes around.