No one knows when he or she would die but that wasn’t the case with Ananse ,one day Ananse called a family meeting between his wife, two children and himself. He declared to them that he would be dying the following day. This came as a surprise to the entire family but they listened attentively to him as he spoke.
Ananse further gave instructions that he should be buried at his farm, cooking utensils and ingredients should be kept there, his coffin was not to be nailed and finally no one was to visit the farm land until after a year. As an authoritative man he is, he didn’t allow anyone talk. He rose up and left. His wife was in tears whereas the children were confused since they didn’t understand that which was going on.
Early morning the next day, Ananse’s wife went to check on him and realized he was breathing after thoroughly checking his pulse. She started wailing. The people close by were signaled and quickly rushed into Ananse’s compound only to be given the news of the sudden demise of Ananse. The people irrespective of their dislike for Ananse due to his actions and behaviors they still felt the pain of losing him. After hours of mourning Ananse was taken to his farm land where he was buried. Ananse’s wife and children cried uncontrollably for a while. After hours of crying and mourning everyone including Ananse’s family left the burial grounds. If anyone was to return to the farm then it should be after a year.
As soon they left Ananse who was supposedly dead jumped out of the coffin gasping for air to breathe. “See them with their false tears. None of you liked me when I was alive. Now you are here crying. Well I don’t really care. It’s now time to enjoy the fruit of my labor. I’ve toiled on this piece of land day and night and now I’m going to enjoy alone” So this has been Ananse’s plan all this while. But wait! Can he? Well time will tell. It was now time to eat so Ananse quickly moved into other parts of his farm to go get some crops to prepare food with.
He returned with a basket full of yam, cassava, tomatoes, pepper and onion amongst other foodstuffs. Ananse being a good cook prepared fufu with kontomire soup. He ate everything, washed the utensils and placed them at their respective positions. He went back to lay in his coffin just in case someone came around to inspect.
Back at home Ananse’s wife and children were still mourning him. Life without him was unbearable to them. He was the one taking care of their needs and now that he’s no more, it meant that they will feed for themselves alone. Unfortunately for them Ananse left a strict rule that one visits the farm till after a year. So they lived by begging for food from neighbors. Many gave up on them after a while. Ananse’s children had had enough of begging. They just couldn’t accept the fact that they had one of the best farms in the community but couldn’t feed from it so they decided to go there.
Nut no matter how many times they tried their mother found a way to prevent them from doing that. She believed that the wishes of the dead person is sacred and must be carried out completely. On the farm, Ananse continued his mission. He ate deep into the farm. It was surprising though. He completely forgot about his family.
One day as Ananse was relaxing on his farm after eating he heard footsteps coming towards him. He was alarmed thus he quickly positioned everything and went back to lay in his coffin. He opened the coffin a little bit to peep through only to realize that it was a goat. He stepped out and chased it away. He dug holes in which he played the game of ‘oware’ alone. He continued to play one game from the other till it was sunset. He stopped the game and quickly went in to get some foodstuffs to prepare. He prepared his favorite delicacy which happens to be “mportor mportor”. After eating he went straight to bed.
The next day, Ananse’s children decided to go to the farm without telling their mother. When they got to the farm they realized that some frivolous activities have been going on. They thought to themselves that probably thieves have been taking place on the farm because they’ve not been visiting it. They saw a spot where food preparation had taken place.
They quickly went home and reported to their mother even checking on their father’s coffin. Their mother was in awe as she couldn’t believe what she was told. The children planned to put up a statue made from wood in the form of a human being to deter people from coming there constantly. The next day Ananse’s kids designed the statue and took it to the farm. They positioned it very well for easy sighting, They left afterwards.
Ananse after sunset came out of the coffin to eat. As he was searching for the right foodstuffs to take he saw the statue and thought it was a human being. He forgot he was ‘dead’ so quickly rushed towards it. He slapped and his palm got stacked. He slapped with the other palm and that one too got stacked. He kicked with both legs and they all got stacked. He used his stomach and that one too got stacked. Now he couldn’t move. After struggling constantly he fell asleep.
He woke up the next day to realize he is still stacked. In no time he heard footsteps of people who happen to be his kids coming towards him. He hid his face when he saw them coming. The kids started shouting in chorus “thieve thieve thieve” till most people from the community gathered around Ananse. They ordered for the face of the person to be shown and to their bewilderment they saw Ananse.
The people around started murmuring and casting glances at Ananse. He confessed his doings to the wife and children after been questioned severally. His wife bowed down in shame with tears flooding down her cheeks. She divorced Ananse and with the kids packed their belongings and left. Ananse was left untouched.
After days of being stacked on the statue he gave up the goose. The people came to know this so they went for him and buried him. This time for good. The wife and children came back to the house and started eating from the farm as they work on it as well. They lived happily ever after.