Jamaican Stories

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

Cunnie-More-Than-Father (George Parkes, Mandeville)

Reading time: 5 minutes. Word Count: 500 words

And now you will see the conclusion of the story: because Cunnie-More-Than-Father fell asleep, Anansi is able to catch him and proceed to get rid of him for good. But the plan fails, and Cunnie-More-Than-Father is able to fool his father Anansi, so that in the end you will see the trickster tricked. Why is Cunnie-More-Than-Father able to trick his father? What weakness of Anansi is he going to rely on?

So Anansi an' Tiger ketch him an' make a coffin an' put him in. Anansi tell Tiger he mus' take him t'row him far away in the sea where he kyan't come back again. Tiger lif' up the coffin, put it on his head an' start on the journey. On reaching to a bush he help down the coffin an', as the sun was so hot, went underneath a tree an' fall asleep. Now there was a little hole in the coffin, an' looking thru that hole, Cunnie-mo'n-father saw an ol' man comin' along drivin' a flock of sheep. He began to cry, sayin' they want him to go to heaven an' he don' ready to go yet. The ol' man said, "Bwoy, you too foolish! Heaven's a good place an' you don' ready to go there yet? You open the coffin put me in!" The ol' man open the coffin, Cunnie-mo'n-father come out, put in the ol' man an' nail up the coffin back with him in it. He then drove the sheep a little way up inside the bush. Tiger now wake out of his sleep, lif' up the coffin an' away he went to the sea with it, an' go as far he could an' t'row the coffin down in the sea drown the ol' man, fe' a heaven he want to go! He then go back to Anansi yard an' tell him that he has finish with the fellow,--no more of him, fe' he has drown' him in the deepest part of the sea.

Later in the evening, while Anansi an' Tiger was sitting down an' talking about the badness of Cunnie-mo'n-father, Anansi look an' see a flock of sheep was coming up to his house an' some one driving it. The driver was Cunnie-mo'n-father. Anansi says to Tiger, "But now look at the bwoy what you drown' to-day, look at him driving a flock of sheep coming up!" Tiger said, "No! 'cause I t'row him in the farthest part of the sea!" They waited until he drove them up to the yard. Tiger said to him, "Boy, don't it was you I t'row into the sea to-day?" Cunnie-mo'n-father said, "Yes, the place whe' you t'row me I get these sheep, an' if you did t'row me a little further, I would get double more than this!" Anansi, hearing that, said that he would like to get some himself an' Cunnie-mo'n-father mus' carry him an' t'row him at the part where he can get the sheep. Cunnie-mo'n-father then get a coffin make an' put Anansi in it carry him to the sea-side, hire a boat, an' carry him far far away in the sea an' drown him. An' that was, the las' of poor Anansi in that story.

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

  • how did Cunnie-mo'n-father get the old man to take his place in the coffin?
  • where did Cunnie-mo'n-father say he had gotten the sheep?
  • how did Anansi get drowned in the sea?

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