Anansi and the bag of Wisdom


This is the story of how wisdom came to the world and it starts with a spider... Anansi was king of the spiders. He lived deep in Africa, among haughty giraffes, friendly zebras and chattering monkeys. One afternoo, as he basked in the sun, the sky god appeared before him. "Anansi," said the god, "I have a very important job for you.! "Something only a king can do, I expect," Anansi said, nodding. The god held out a patterned bag. "This bg contains all the wisdom in the world." "All of it?" said Anansi, in excitement. "Every last scrap," said the god. "I'm giving it to you, but I wnt you to spread it around Promise me you'll share it." "If you want...." Anansi said, carelessly. As soon as the god had left, he looked in the bag. It was bursting with brilliant ideas. Anansi frowned. He didn't see why he should share the wisdom with the giraffes, the zebras and the monkeys, or the humans he sometimes saw. "I'm going to keep it all to myself," he decided. "I'll be the cleverest creature in the world and even the sky god won't be able to outwit me. I'd better hide the bag." Clutching it tightly, he scurried off to the tallest tree he could see. Then he hooked the bag around his neck so it hung down his front. Anansi's son had seen the god give his father the bag, and followed him. "What are you doing, Dad?" he asked. "Oh, just putting this old bag in the tree out of the way," Anansi replied, with a shrug. He began to climb the trunk but the bag banged against his middle and he kept losing his hold on the tree and falling to the ground. After watching his father fall off for the fourth time, his son made a suggestion. "Why don't you put the bag on your back?" he said. "It won't get in the way and you'll be able to climb the tree." Anansi twisted the bag around, so it was on his back, and tried again. His son was right. He scuttled up the tree n no time, but he wasn't happy. He was outraged. "How did you know I needed to put the bag on my back?" he shouted to his son. "I'm the one with the bag of wisdom. I should have known the answer for myself." With a scowl, he ripped the bag from his back and threw it from the tree. The bag went plummeting to the ground and burst open. Wisdom flew out, curling up into the air, and floated away on the warm breezes. It reached into every corner of the world. And that is why, today, everyone knows something... but no one knows everything.


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