Jamaican Stories

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

Monkey and Anansi (Samuel Christie, St. Anne's Bay)

Reading time: 2 minutes. Word Count: 200 words

Here is a story where, once again, Anansi is able to trick everyone around him - and he seems to be doing that for the sheer pleasure of tricking them!

Anansi and Monkey were travelling; they were two good friends together. Anansi ask Monkey, "Brer Monkey, how much cunnie you have?" Said, "Brer, me have plenty plenty!" Anansi said, "Brer, me only have one one-half; I keep the one fe meself an' give me friend the half."

Trabble on, trabble on, until they see Tiger in one deep hole. Anansi say, "Brer Monkey, you have plenty cunnie an' long tail; sen' down tail into the hole an' help Brer Tiger!" While him sen' down him tail, Anansi climb one tree. Tiger come out of the hole now, lay hold on Monkey, say, "I nyam you t'-day!" Anansi on the tree laughing.

Monkey into a fix now, don't know how to get away. So Anansi call out to Tiger, "Brer Tiger, you ketch Monkey now you gwine eat him?" Tiger say, "Yes, I gwine eat him." Anansi say, "Do like me, now. Open you two hand an' clap wid joy, say, 'I get Monkey!'" That time he open his two hand, Monkey get free. Tiger run after Monkey, Anansi mak his way down from the tree, go home.

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

  • how did Monkey rescue Tiger?
  • what was Tiger going to do to Monkey?
  • how did Anansi make it possible for Monkey to get away?

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