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MARTIN

Anansi and the Market Pig
a Jamaican Folk Tale retold by Phillip Martin
 

Anansi spider stories traveled from West Africa and into Jamaican folklore by way of slaves who found themselves in the Caribbean. On both sides of the planet, Anansi is a crafty trickster. Sometimes he pulls tricks on others that backfire and teach him a lesson. Other times, his clever ways work for him. Whatever happens to him, it's always an entertaining read.

 

Nobody could deny it. There was nobody else in the village who could sweep the marketplace like Anansi. Of course, having eight arms and legs gave him a wonderful advantage. He kept the market spotless. And, he was paid well for his services.

One day after cleanup, Anansi bought himself a pig. But, with the pig there was also a problem that the spider never really anticipated. No, he hadn't thought about it before he bought the pig. How was he going to get that critter across the creek on his way home? He really couldn't carry it. And, he wasn't about to pay anyone else to do it. Spider might have been paid well for his work, and he had enough money to pay for the job, but he was too greedy for that. He wanted to get the pig over the creek for free. "Free" was one of Anansi's favorite words.

Then, came a dog trotting down the path.

......."Br'er Dog, I have a favor big. Will you please bite down on my pig?

.......A little nip, right over here, and Pig will jump the river clear.

.......Then I'll be happy on my way and we will both get home today."

But, the dog just shook his head.

......."No, not to him and not for you. You ask me something I won't do."

Then, came a stick walking down the path.

......."Br'er Stick, please beat this lazy dog so he will bite down on my hog.

.......A little nip, right over here, and Pig will jump the river clear.

.......Then I'll be happy on my way and we will both get home today."

But, the stick just shook his head.

......."No, not to him and not for you. You ask me something I won't do."

Then, came a fire burning down the path.

......."Br'er Fire, come and help me quick and blaze upon this stubborn stick.

.......So he might beat this lazy dog so he will bite down on my hog.

.......A little nip, right over here, and Pig will jump the river clear.

.......Then I'll be happy on my way and we will both get home today."

But, the fire just shook flames at Anansi.

......."No, not to him and not for you. You ask me something I won't do."

Then, came some water streaming down the path.

......."Br'er Water, come and douse this flame. Yes, make him sorry that he came.

.......So he might come and help me quick and blaze upon this stubborn stick.

.......So he might beat this lazy dog so he will bite down on my hog.

.......A little nip, right over here, and Pig will jump the river clear.

.......Then I'll be happy on my way and we will both get home today."

But, the water just froze in his tracks.

......."No, not to him and not for you. You ask me something I won't do."

Then, came a bull grazing down the path.

......."Br'er Bull, come drink this water up. Yes, all of it. I have a cup.

.......So he might come and douse this flame and make him sorry that he came.

.......So he might come and help me quick and blaze upon this stubborn stick.

.......So he might beat this lazy dog so he will bite down on my hog.

.......A little nip, right over here, and Pig will jump the river clear.

.......Then I'll be happy on my way and we will both get home today."

But, the bull stopped grazing and looked Anansi in the eye.

......."No, not to him and not for you. You ask me something I won't do."

Then, came a butcher strolling down the path.

......."Br'er Butcher, come with a sharpened blade. It's time a hamburger is made.

.......So he might drink this water up. You see, I even have a cup.

.......So he might come and douse this flame and make him sorry that he came.

.......So he might come and help me quick and blaze upon this stubborn stick.

.......So he might beat this lazy dog so he will bite down on my hog.

.......A little nip, right over here, and Pig will jump the river clear.

.......Then I'll be happy on my way and we will both get home today."

But, the butcher put his blade away.

......."No, not to him and not for you. You ask me something I won't do."

Then, came a rope rolling down the path.

......."Br'er Rope, come here a noose to make. The butcher has made a mistake.

.......So he might come with sharpened blade. It's time a hamburger is made.

.......So he might drink this water up. You see, I even have a cup.

.......So he might come and douse this flame and make him sorry that he came.

.......So he might come and help me quick and blaze upon this stubborn stick.

.......So he might beat this lazy dog so he will bite down on my hog.

.......A little nip, right over here, and Pig will jump the river clear.

.......Then I'll be happy on my way and we will both get home today."

But, the rope tied himself up in a knot.

....... "No, not to him and not for you. You ask me something I won't do."

Then, came some grease slipping down the path.

......."Br'er Grease, come loosen up this knot. Untangle it, for I cannot.

.......So he might now a noose to make. The butcher has made a mistake.

.......So he might come with sharpened blade. It's time a hamburger is made.

.......So he might drink this water up. You see, I even have a cup.

.......So he might come and douse this flame and make him sorry that he came.

.......So he might come and help me quick and blaze upon this stubborn.stick.

.......So he might beat this lazy dog so he will bite down on my hog.

.......A little nip, right over here, and Pig will jump the river clear.

.......Then I'll be happy on my way and we will both get home today."

But, the grease would not loosen up the knot.

......."No, not to him and not for you. You ask me something I won't do."

Then, came a rat sneaking down the path.

......."Br'er Rat, come gnaw this grease for me, a task you can do easily.

.......So he might loosen up this knot. Untangel it, for I cannot.

.......So he might now a noose to make. The butcher has made a mistake.

.......So he might come with sharpened blade. It's time a hamburger is made.

.......So he might drink this water up. You see, I even have a cup.

.......So he might come and douse this flame and make him sorry that he came.

.......So he might come and help me quick and blaze upon this stubborn stick.

.......So he might beat this lazy dog so he will bite down on my hog.

.......A little nip, right over here, and Pig will jump the river clear.

.......Then I'll be happy on my way and we will both get home today."

But, the rat would not do that.

......."No, not to him and not for you. You ask me something I won't do."

Then, came a cat strutting down the path.

......."Br'er Cat, come eat a tasty treat. For you alone enjoy rat meat.

.......So he might gnaw this grease for me. A task he can do easily.

.......So he might loosen up this knot. Untangel it, for I cannot.

.......So he might now a noose to make. The butcher has made a mistake.

.......So he might come with sharpened blade. It's time a hamburger is made.

.......So he might drink this water up. You see, I even have a cup.

.......So he might come and douse this flame and make him sorry that he came.

.......So he might come and help me quick and blaze upon this stubborn stick.

.......So he might beat this lazy dog so he will bite down on my hog.

.......A little nip, right over here, and Pig will jump the river clear.

.......Then I'll be happy on my way and we will both get home today."

And, the cat said,

......."You know, my friend, I can do that and, yes, for you I'll eat that rat."

And, the rat said,

......."I've changed my mind, so let's make peace. For you I'll gnaw upon the grease."

And, the grease said,

......."No need to gnaw today, I hope. For you I'll gladly grease the rope."

And, the rope said,

......."No need for grease to get me loose. I'll make for you a sturdy noose."

And, the butcher said,

......."No hanging now. That will not do. Would you like one paddy or two?"

And, the bull said,

......."I hate your barbeque to burst, but suddenly I have a thirst."

And, the water said,

......."No need to drink a drop of me. That fire will be history."

And, the fire said,

......."No need to tamper with my flame. That stick will never be the same."

And, the stick said,

......."No need to burn a twig or log for I will beat that lazy dog."

And, the dog said,

......."No need for beating anyone for I will bite that pig for fun."

And, the pig said.

......."You shut your mouth. No need to bite." He took a leap and then a flight.

.......Across the creek the piggy flew, a task they thought he couldn't do.

.......Then Spider walked up to his friend and both of them went home.

The end.

MARTIN
Copyright 2019 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.