Mythology Monday: Anansi vs. Death

Anansi_(cropped)

Hello again! This week, I’ve decided to take another look at the Ashanti trickster figure, Anansi the spider. So here’s a story about how Anansi managed to beat death.

Spoiler alert: it’s through trickery.

So, Anansi is walking around one day when he notices this super old dude sitting out in front of his house. Anansi, curious, approaches the old man and asks him for a drink of water, since he’s been walking around the bulk of the day and is very thirsty. The old dude doesn’t answer him.

Anansi, assuming the elderly gentleman is hard of hearing, yells his request one more time. And, again, he receives no answer. Anansi then decides to take this as an invitation to come into the house and eat all the old dude’s food. Which he does, before taking off.

The next day, Anansi brings his oldest daughter with him to the old man’s house, and thanks him for the food earlier. He’s so grateful, in fact, that he’s going to leave the old dude his aforementioned daughter to be his wife. The old man still isn’t answering, so Anansi goes back home, leaving his daughter behind. Father of the year, everyone.

Anyway, Anansi decides to pay his daughter and new son-on-law a visit the next morning, but comes to find that there’s something very wrong. Namely, his daughter is nowhere to be found. Anansi looks around the hut for her, and eventually finds his daughter’s ring in Oldy McOlds’s oven. Which is a great sign for her.

So Anansi goes back to the old man and demands he tells him where her daughter is. This time, though, he actually answers Anansi. He’s like, “You’re annoying as shit; also your daughter was super ugly so I ate her. By the way, I’m the personification of death, and you also look pretty tasty to me.”

Anansi does the only thing he can do in this situation: he runs like hell. Death, though, is faster than he looks, and is right behind the spider.

Eventually, Anansi makes it back to his house, and is like, “Death’s coming for me, grab all the kids and go up into the ceiling!” His wife, however, can’t hear what he’s saying, so Anansi decides “fuck it” and grabs his family himself before skittering onto the ceiling.

So Death shows up with a burlap sack to find Anansi and his family hanging from a beam. Basically all he has to do at this point is wait, and this proves to be the winning strategy as Anansi’s family falls into the sack, one by one.

Eventually, Anansi is the only one still hanging onto the beam, and his own grip is about to go. However, he is known for being extremely clever, so he tells Death that since he ate all Death’s food, if he falls on the floor he’s likely to explode into a bunch of spider chunklets, which probably wouldn’t be pleasant to eat. So he asks death to go grab a nearby barrel of flour which will not only keep his body intact, but also give him some lovely breading.

This sounds like a good idea to Death, so he goes and grabs the barrel. Then, when he’s hovering over it to make sure it’s properly positioned, Anansi jumps down onto his head, shoving it into the barrel. Anansi then uses Death’s temporary flour blindness to grab his family and get the fuck out of there.

And that, folks, is why spiders like to spin webs on your ceiling.

(So, just a quick announcement that I would like to make before closing this out. I’m making some changes to the blog’s update schedule. So here’s how it’s going to go down:

The Mythology Monday and Short Story Saturday posts will go on as scheduled. However, every Thursday I’m going to alternate between my Star Trek recaps and other stuff I want to talk about. Also, I’m putting the Star Trek: Discovery recaps on hold for right now, mostly because I want to focus on getting out the TOS recaps. I’m also planning on starting a Let’s Play channel at some point. I’m not sure exactly when, but probably within the next few months. 

I think that this is a change that will diversify the blog’s content a bit, as well as keep it updated more regularly. 

Of course, if you donate to myPatreon, you get to see these posts a day early as well, so that’s something to think about ;))

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