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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

Ananzi (Spider) Stories

Ananzi and the Baboon

Recorded by Sir George Dasent

ANANZI and Baboon were disputing one day which was fatter. Ananzi said he was sure he was fat, but Baboon declared he was fatter. Then Ananzi proposed that they should prove it. So they made a fire, and agreed that they should hang up before it, and see which would drop most fat.

Then Baboon hung up Ananzi first, but no fat dropped.

Then Ananzi hung up Baboon, and very soon the fat began to drop, which smelled so good that Ananzi cut a slice out of Baboon, and said:

“Oh! Brother Baboon, you’re fat for certain!”

But Baboon didn’t speak.

So Ananzi said:

“Well, speak or not speak, I’ll eat you every bit to-day”—which he really did.

But when he had eaten up all of Baboon, the bits joined themselves together in his stomach, and began to pull him about so much that he had no rest, and was obliged to go to a doctor.

The doctor told him not to eat anything for some days; then he was to get a ripe banana and hold it to his mouth; when the Baboon, who would be hungry, smelled the banana, he would be sure to run up to eat it, and so he would run out of his mouth.

So Ananzi starved himself, and got the banana, and did as the doctor told him; but when he put the banana to his mouth, he was so hungry he couldn’t help eating it. So he didn’t get rid of the Baboon, which went on pulling him about till he was obliged to go back to the doctor, who told him he would soon cure him. He took a banana and held it to Ananzi’s mouth; and very soon the Baboon jumped up to catch it, and ran out of his mouth; and Ananzi was very glad to get rid of him. And Baboons to this very day like bananas.