Jamaican Stories

Week 8: African Traditions - Assignments - Reading - Resources - Images

The King's Two Daughters (William Forbes, Dry River)

Reading time: 3 minutes. Word Count: 350 words

In the last story you saw Anansi trick a powerful rival, the lion. This time his rival is the tiger. What technique did he use to trick the lion? Compare that trick with what he does to tiger here. Is it the same trick - or different?

Deh was Anansi. He go out an' court two young lady was de king daughter an' mak dem a fool, an' dem ketch him an' tie him, an' de two sister go an' look a bundle a wood fe go an' mak a fire under a copper fe bu'n him wid hot water. An' after when dem gone, he see Tiger was coming. Anansi said, "Lawd! Brar Tiger, I get into trouble heah!" An' said, "Fe wha'?" An' say, "King daughter wan' lib wid dem, come tie me." Tiger say, 'You fool, mak y' loose an' tie me!"

Anansi tie Tiger dere now an' Anansi go to a grass-root an' dodge. An' when de misses go t'row down de wood at de fireside, de littlest one say, "Sister! sister! look de little uncle wha' we tie heah, him tu'n a big uncle now!" Sister say, "I soon 'big uncle' him!" an' dem mak up de fire bu'n up de water, tak two ladle an' dem dashey upon Tiger. An' him jump, an' jump, pop de rope, tumble dump on de grass-root whe' Anansi was. Anansi laugh "Tissin, tissin, tissin!"

An' Tiger jump 'pon Anansi, say, "We mus' go look wood gwine to bu'n your back!" Tiger see some good wood on a cotton-tree well dry, an' Tiger say, "I don' care wha' you do!" An' when Anansi go tip on cotton-tree, him chop one of de limb pum! an' 'top, an' chop again pum! an' holla, "None!" Tiger say, "Cut de wood, man!" An' holla again, "None!" Tiger said, "Cut de wood, I tell you, come down mak I bu'n you." Anansi say, "You stan' upon de bottom say 'cut de wood, but you know Hunter-man look fe you las' yeah track? Wha' you t'ink upon dis yeah track worse!" an' Tiger run, Anansi say, "He run, Massa Hunter-man, gone up on hill-side, gone dodge!" He move from dere gone on ribber-side. Anansi holla, "Him gone, Massa Hunterman, a ribber!" Tiger wheel back. An' Anansi holla to him say go to a sink-hole, an' Anansi get rid of him an' come off.

Questions. Make sure you can answer these questions about what you just read:

  • how did Anansi trick Tiger into taking his place?
  • what did the king's daughters do to Tiger?
  • how did Anansi manage to escape from Tiger?

Source: Jamaica Anansi Stories by Martha Warren Beckwith (1924). Weblink.

Modern Languages / Anthropology 3043: Folklore & Mythology. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one.
Page last updated: October 9, 2004 12:52 PM