One sunny day, Anansi the spider was walking through the forest when he stumbled upon a strange, moss-covered rock. What Anansi didn’t know was that this was no ordinary rock. Whenever anyone looked at it and said out loud, “What a strange moss-covered rock,” they would instantly fall asleep.
As Anansi was a great talker, he looked at the rock and said, “What a strange moss-covered rock,” and immediately, he fell asleep. After a short while, he woke up confused but continued on his journey.
Soon, Anansi encountered his friend Monkey. Seeing an opportunity for mischief, Anansi led Monkey to the moss-covered rock but didn’t tell him about its peculiar effect.
When Monkey saw the rock, he exclaimed, “What a strange moss-covered rock,” and instantly fell asleep. While Monkey was asleep, Anansi snuck off and stole all the ripe bananas that Monkey had gathered.
Anansi played this trick on all his friends, each time leading them to the rock and stealing their food while they were asleep. However, Anansi’s tricks did not go unnoticed. Wise old Elephant had observed Anansi’s trickery and decided to teach him a lesson.
Elephant went to the moss-covered rock and pretended to fall asleep. When Anansi tried to steal Elephant’s pile of delicious fruits, Elephant caught him in the act.
Ashamed and embarrassed, Anansi had to return all the food he had stolen, and he was given a stern warning by Elephant. From that day on, Anansi promised to be more honest with his friends, learning that trickery wasn’t the way to earn one’s food.
This story, like many Anansi tales, imparts a moral lesson, this time about honesty and the consequences of deception.