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|Anansi Becomes a God|
May 27, 2013
Anansi was not always so powerful. Once upon a time he was a little spider spirit living in the palace of the Spirit that ruled all Spirits. Shangdi was one of five such rulers. Anansi's only power was his mind, and some say it is the greatest power of all.
One day on the crystal mountains, Shangdi declared he was bored and would grant one wish to the spirit that proved most worthy. All the spirits gathered at his temple and declared their worth at the foot of his flaming throne. He asked them impossible questions and for impossible feats: "quench the sun," or " burn the waters"
The most beautiful of spirits, Bai Mudan, declared she should have it as her beauty could woo the hearts of any being that saw her face. Shangdi agreed that her beauty had no bounds and asked how she would move a mountain. She smiled and replied in a voice like gold "With my smile". Impressed, he asked her;
"Very well, what would your wish be?"
She smiled, her teeth more perfect than the greatest of pearls, her lips redder than rivers of blood, the most beautiful smile in the creation of all smiles. "I wish for your throne old one. I wish it to be mine so all may adore my beauty". Darkness fell upon Shangdi's mountainous face, but he was bound by his word, so he gave her his throne.
No other spirit proved themselves as worthy. It appeared Bai Mudan would be become his successor. Then Anansi, who had been watching the event from his web scuttled before the throne. Shangdi saw him and took Anansi into his hand. "Speak tiny spider, why do you deserve my power?"
Anansi smiled and declared "I AM ANANSI AND I CAN DO ANYTHING". The entire palace fell silent. Bai Mudan laughed.
"Pathetic creature, how dare you fill my ears with such lies! I will have your skin torn from your flaming body as I tear off your legs!" she screeched.
Anansi remained calm and declared, "I AM ANANSI AND I CAN DO ANYTHING!". Shangdi became curious.
"You truly can do anything little spider?" Anansi nodded, "Then I ask from you the most impossible of all tasks, bring to my feet the other spirit gods; The Tiger, The Python, The Hornets and The Dwarf. Can you do this little spider?"
Anansi smiled and nodded. Bai Mudan became furious as her chance at power was being stolen from beneath her. "LIES! This creature is all lies. None can do as you ask. Not him! Not you! Not even I!" Shangdi considered this slowly, then put Anansi down.
"Very well little spider prove it to me." With that, Anansi scuttled away to the North.
He went to the palace of The Python. He stood outside the window to The Python's throne and debated aloud whether The Python was truly longer than a palm tree like his wife claimed. The Python overheard and, when Anansi explained the debate, agreed to lie along the trunk of a tree. Because he cannot easily make himself completely straight, a true impression of his actual length is difficult to obtain, so Python agreed to be tied to the branch. Anansi then took him to the throne beneath Shangdi's feet.
Then Anansi traveled to the East. He dug a deep hole outside the cave of The Tiger. When The Tiger fell in the hole Anansi offered to help him out with his webs. Once The Tiger was out of the hole he was bound in Anansi's webs and was carried away.
Anansi went to the West to catch The Hornets. Anansi filled a gord with water and poured some over a banana leaf which he poured over his head and some over the nest, calling out that it was raining. He suggested the hornets get into the empty gord, and when they obliged, he quickly sealed the opening. He presented the gord to Shandgi and traveled west.
To defeat The Dwarf, Anansi went to the monastery. In the middle of the night, he made a man out of tar and sticks. He placed him in the Dwarfs' rice field and shouted, "Help! Help! Thief! Thief!". The Dwarf ran out into the field, he asked the tar man to explain himself. When the tar man didn't answer The Dwarf grew angry and struck him. His hand became caught and he struck him again.
"Listen here!" he cried "I have two strong legs and I will hurt you if you don't let go!" The tar man did nothing, so The Dwarf kicked. When they too were caught, he struggled until he could no longer move. Anansi then carried them both and presented him to Shangdi.
Shangdi was impressed by Anansi and asked him what his wish was. He could have power, wealth, beauty, anything. Anansi simply replied, "The stories." Bai Mudan laughed at such a wasted wish, but Shangdi silenced her with a bolt of lightning. He now saw Anansi for what he truly was and rewarded him with the stories. And that is how Anansi became the god of stories.
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