Once upon a time there lived a wise man called Kwaku Anase. He was also very greedy as he wanted to be the only wise person in the village. He wanted the rest of the village to be without wisdom so that he could easily cheat them.
One day, Kwaku Ananse made up his mind and went out and collected up all of the wisdom in the village. He put it into a big pot. Kwaku Ananse put the pot on top of a tall palm tree where only he can reach it so as to keep it all to himself.
He wanted to keep the pot of wisdom hidden away from people and he started climbing the tall palm tree with the pot on his belly. After climbing for a few minutes, Kwaku Ananse started sweating. He was starting to slip and could no longer climb up with the pot on his belly. He became stuck high in the palm.
Ntikuma, the son of Kwaku Ananse, was watching what was going on.
Ntikuma yelled, “Father please put the pot on your back – that will make it easier for you to go up”.
Kwaku Ananse changed the position of the pot as Ntikuma instructed and he started climbing again. It was very easy for him to go up after a short time.
Kwaku Anase became angry and he said, “Does it mean that I could not collect all the wisdom? Why should this little boy teach me what to do” Kwaku Ananse got so angry that he dropped the pot.
The wisdom pot broke into pieces and scattered through the village. The people who were alert and saw what had happened arrived early and were able to collect a lot of wisdom.
Those who did not go and collect wisdom from the pot had very no wisdom at all.
Kwaku Ananse became ashamed so he changed himself into a spider and hid in the ceiling so that the people of the village could not see him.
To this day in Ghana the meaning of Ananse is spider.
About this story:
Isaac Boateng, working with the Book Club International program in Ghana wrote this story in 2011. Isaac is a student at the Methodist J.H.S.A. School in Elmina and wrote this story when he was 15 years old.