Anansi Tries to Steal All the Wisdom of the World

Read by Nick Cannon

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Anansi Tries to Steal All the Wisdom of the World

Anansi, which means "spider" in the African language of Akan, prided himself on being clever, but knew that he was not very wise. So one day he came up with a clever idea to become wise easily.

He picked up a hollow gourd, and thought to himself, "If I fill this gourd with wisdom, then I can keep it all to myself, and I'll be wiser than anyone in the world!"

Excited about his new scheme, he went from door to door asking for advice and wisdom. He thought he was being clever by stealing everyone's wisdom, but everyone he met happily shared their advice with him, for they could see that Anansi needed wisdom more than anybody.

Finally when he had filled his gourd with all the advice, ideas and wisdom he could carry, he scuttled back to his home excitedly.

But then, he had a thought: "What if someone else comes and tries to steal all my wisdom?"

He decided that he should hide his wisdom in a safe place. So he saw a tall tree, and figured that it would be a good hiding spot. He clutched the gourd close to his body with two of his legs, and tried to use his other six legs to climb the tree. But the gourd was too big! Each time he went to try to climb the tree, the gourd got in his way.

Just as he was growing frustrated, his young son came by and said,

"Why don't you just tie the gourd to your back, daddy?"

His son's wise words made Anansi realize that wisdom was best used if shared with others.

So he tied the gourd to his back, climbed up to the very top of the tree, and held the gourd up to the sky. All of the wisdom in the gourd spilled out into the wind and flew away, far and wide, and that is how wisdom came to the land.