Jamaican Stories

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

Horse and Anansi (Alexander Archibald, Mandeville)

Reading time: 3 minutes. Word Count: 300 words

Here comes the Goat again - and this time he is compared to the Horse. Anansi is able to trick the Horse pretty well - but the Goat is able to out-trick Anansi (and not for the first time!).

Anansi call Horse a go bush cut plantain. When dey cut done, dey carry out in de open, dey begin to play stick, lick stick. Den Anansi said, "Brar Horse, we hungry now, we don' have no fire fe roast plantain." So say to Horse, "Go see fire quite yonder? Go deh, go tak fire come, mak we roast plantain!" Horse fling up him tail on back, gallop, gone.

Meanwhile him gone, Anansi 'trike him tinder-box an buil' a fire roast every plantain; eat all de plantain, leave only four. Horse gallop away an' kyan' ketch de fire an' turn back. Anansi say, "Brar Horse, when you gone, one man pass heah gi' me fire an' me roast de plantain; as me roas'ee done, one man come beat me an' tak away de plantain on'y lef' dem four heah gi' me!" So Brar Horse say, "Never min'! you tak two, me tak two." So Horse takee.

Dat time Brar Goat go bush kneel down watch Brar Anansi, watch what take place; so de nex' day, Goat say him will go wid Anansi. Dem two go, dem two cut plantain, an' dem come out 'pon de open an' dem play. So Anansi said, "Brar Goat, we hungry now an' we ha' no fire. See fire quite yonder? gallop go get fire an' come." Goat gallop, go roun' clump of bush, go kneel down on knee go watch him. Him 'trike him tinder-box mak a fire, peel ev'ry plantain put a fire. When de plantain roast, he 'crape ev'ry bit. As him 'crapee, Goat get up a come. Goat cut 'tick an' him jump one side so him put circle roun' de fire-side, an' say to Anansi, "Put you han' in now, sah!" an' jump de odder side an' put circle again. So den Anansi begin to beg, an' Goat tak away eberyt'ing didn't gib him one!

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

  • how did Anansi cheat the Horse out of almost all the plantain?
  • how did the Goat trick Anansi?
  • how much plantain was the Goat willing to give to Anansi?

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