Anansi and the Turtle
Welcome to Quatr.us Study Guides!

Anansi and the Turtle

West African mud turtle

One day, Anansi the spider picked some yams from his garden. They were extra beautiful delicious yams, so he baked them carefully in the fire. Then he sat down to eat them up.

Just as Anansi was about to put the first bite in his mouth, he heard a knock on his door. "Oh, no!" thought Anansi. "Who can that be?" But he opened the door. There was Turtle, who looked very tired. Turtle said, "Anansi, please let me in. I've walked so far today, and I'm so tired and hungry." So what could Anansi do but let him in?

But Anansi was too selfish to share his beautiful delicious yams with anybody else, even a guest. So he came up with a nasty plan. Just as Turtle sat down at the table and began to reach for some yams, Anansi yelled at him, "Turtle, your hands are all dirty! You can't eat with your hands all dirty! Go wash them." Turtle's hands really were dirty, from walking on them all day. So Turtle slowly crawled to the river and washed his hands, and then slowly crawled back to the table.

But meanwhile Anansi started gobbling up the yams. By the time Turtle got back, the yams were half gone. And just as Turtle sat down and reached for the yams again, Anansi started yelling again, "Turtle, your hands are still dirty! Go wash them again!" And they were dirty, because Turtle used them to crawl back from the river. Sadly, Turtle got up and went to wash his hands again.

By the time Turtle had crawled all the way back, he saw that greedy Anansi had eaten up the other half of the yams, and the yams were all gone. Turtle looked at Anansi and said, "Thank you for inviting me to dinner. If you're ever near my house, please come by and let me return the favor." And Turtle began crawling slowly away to his house.

More of this story

You might want to compare this Anansi story to the Br'er Rabbit stories, or to the Roman story of Baucis and Philemon.


Bibliography and further reading:



African languages and literature
Ancient Africa
Quatr.us home


Celebrating Black History Month with the pharaoh Hatshepsut, the queen Shanakdakhete, the poet Phillis Wheatley, the medical consultant Onesimus, the freedom fighters Toussaint L'Ouverture, Denmark Vesey, Yaa Asantewaa, and Samora Moises Machel, and the civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.
Please help other teachers and students find us: link to this page from your class page.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter.
Cite this page
  • Author: K.E. Carr
  • Title:
  • Site Name: Quatr.us Study Guides
  • Publisher: Quatr.us
  • Date Published:
Proud of your class page, homework page, or resource page? Send it in and win a Quatr.us "Great Page!" award!
Sign up for more free articles and special offers in Quatr.us' weekly newsletter:
We will never share your e-mail address unless you allow us to do so. View our privacy policy. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email.
Comment on This Article

Cool stuff we've been enjoying: Looking for birthday gifts? Check out these new Chromebooks - all the computer you need for only $229.00!. Then study in peace with these Beats wireless headphones - for the exact same price! When you're done, show off your presentation or watch a movie with this excellent smartphone projector for only $39.99!


Does your class page honor diversity, celebrate feminism, and support people of color, LBGTQ people, and people with disabilities? Let us know, and we'll send you a Diversity Banner you can proudly display!
Looking for more?
ADVERTISEMENT
Quatr.us is loading comments...
(Comments will appear after moderation, if they are kind and helpful. Feel free to ask questions, and we'll try to answer them.)
Cite this page
  • Carr, K.E. . Quatr.us Study Guides, . Web. 27 February, 2017
ADVERTISEMENT