A very long time ago, all animals lived together in Animal Kingdom.

The animals loved each other very much.

They helped each other whenever one was in need. No animal preyed on the other.


The sheep and the lion were great friends. Mr. Hawk took care of Miss Hen’s chicks when she went out to visit her best friend, Pastor Ant.

The animals had no king because they believed they were all equal.

There was peace between them.

They were very happy

One day, during their monthly party, Mr. Ananse brought up a great idea.

“My brothers and sisters,” Ananse began. “I have been thinking about something. It is really beating my mind.”

“Something always beats your mind, Brother Ananse,” said Doctor Lion with a chuckle. “Now, what is it this time? Bring it out and let us see how best we can help!”

“Well, we all know that the dry season is approaching rapidly, and all our food would get finished quickly because the land would become so hard. Most of us become famished, and we lose some of our brothers to hunger!

Ananse had a great idea

All the animals nodded in agreement. The acute shortage of food during the dry season had always been a source of worry to the animals. They had never been able to find a lasting solution to it.

“We keep facing that problem each year,” said Engineer Pelican. “There’s nothing we can do about it!”

“Oh, yes, there is!” Ananse said. “There’s a simple solution to our problem.”


“Let’s hear it then,” said Captain Elephant, the astronaut.

“We all have small farms from which we get our food,” Ananse continued excitedly. “Individually, our farms are not big, and do not yield much food. However, if we find the most fertile land and work on it together, we can have a very huge farm. We can harvest the food and eat what we can. We can then store up the rest for the long dry season! When we do this, we shall have food all year round!”

All the other animals applauded.

They were amazed at how wise Ananse was.

“That is such a brilliant idea!” Mrs. Bee shouted. “Why haven’t we thought about it before? Ananse, you are indeed the wisest amongst us!”

Mrs. Bee praised Ananse

The animals began to make a gigantic farm. They planted all kinds of food in the farm.

The rains came, and the sun shone, and the animals’ farm flourished. It became filled with a lot of food. All the animals were so surprised. The food was so much that they wondered if they could find a place big enough to store them. They knew that for the very first time in ages they would not go hungry in the dry season.

They built a gigantic store room, and harvested the crops. They shared the food equally, and sent the rest of the food to the store house.

They were all happy…except one animal!

Ananse was furious!

“Who do they think they are?” he said to his wife angrily. “How come they shared the food equally? The nitwits! I was the one who brought the idea of a common farm! I shouldn’t have worked on the farm, but I worked with them day and night! I built the store house with them! They should have given me more food! If it hadn’t been because I am so clever, wouldn’t they have gone through famine this year too?”

“We have enough food!” his wife told him patiently. “We don’t need any more food for now! This can last us until the onset of the dry season!”

Kweku Ananse would not listen. His greediness and selfishness began to dominate his mind, and he began to plot on how to punish the other animals.

When they met the following day, Ananse again had a great idea!


“Brothers and sisters,” he said with a smile. “We now have enough food, and have stored enough to last us through the dry season. However, some of us might be tempted to go for the food in the store house. We need to guard the store house so that none of us can secretly go and take food from the store without the consent of the others!”

“Yes, that’s a good idea!” said Hyena, the Accountant.

“We shall take turns to guard the store house,” Ananse said. “Please let me offer myself as the first guard!”

The other animals agreed to Ananse’s plan.

They were touched by his selfless urge to guard the storehouse.

That night, Ananse went to guard the store house. He did not go directly though. He went first to the house of Mr. Lion.

“Mr. Lion, you know how weak I am!” Ananse began. “I need a weapon, but looking around the kingdom, I don’t see anybody as strong as you, Mr. Lion. Please lend me your claws so that I will fight off anybody who attacks! I shall bring them back to you in the morning!”


Mr. Lion became swollen-headed by Ananse’s praises, and so he gave his front paws to Ananse.

Next, Ananse went to Elephant with more flattery, and he succeeded in getting the trunk of elephant.

Ananse went from house to house the whole night. He did not even bother to go and guard the storehouse.

By the time morning came, he had managed to get Miss Bee’s stings, Lawyer Snake’s venom, Mrs. Bird’s feathers, Actor Giraffe’s neck…and many other valuable weapons from the animals.

Ananse took Snake’s venom too

In the morning, Ananse went to the store house with his family. He opened the gigantic doors, and they went inside.

Now he was ready for the other animals.

The other animals waited in vain, but Ananse didn’t bring back their weapons. They thought to themselves that Ananse was an honourable animal, and would bring back their weapons in due course… but they were wrong!


They went to Ananse’s house, but Ananse and his family were not there.

They waited for many weeks but Ananse never came back!


Soon the dry season set in. The land became hard and unyielding. Plants died, and the food got finished in the great farm.

There was a great famine in Animal Kingdom. The animals met and decided to go and take food from the store house.

Ananse put on Giraffe’s long neck and saw the animals coming from a long way off. He put on the feathers of the bird next and flew to meet the animals. He attacked them with Lion’s paws and Snake’s venom. He used Elephant’s trunk to uproot huge trees and dropped them on the animals. He stung them with Bee’s stings and burned them with Dragon’s fire.

Ananse attacked them

The animals fought back, but they were no match for Ananse because he had all the weapons.


Finally, the animals fled from Ananse with fear.

They realized then what a terrible trick Ananse had played on them!

Ananse wanted to eat all the food in the store house with his family alone!

“How could Ananse treat us like this?” they asked miserably.

Back in the storehouse, Ananse felt proud!

None of the animals was as clever as he was! He had used them to work, and now he was eating all the food alone! That would teach them a good lesson!


Meanwhile, hunger went on raging in Animal Kingdom. It was worse than any other time because none of the animals had bothered to save any food. They had all put their hopes on the food they had stored up.


When the hunger became too much, they rushed at the store house, but each time Ananse met and defeated them with the weapons he had taken from the animals.

When they saw that they could not defeat Ananse, the animals began to plead with Ananse. They came to the store house and cried, begging him to spare them a little food.


Greedy Ananse only laughed at them. Sometimes he threw rotten food at them.

The animals became weak with hunger. Some of them began to die.

Still, Ananse would not have any pity on them!


He ridiculed and insulted them. He told them he would eat up all the food. He and his family became fatter and stronger whilst the other animals became thinner and weaker.

One evening, Ananse found to his horror that the water they had stored up was all gone! The tank had developed a leak, and all the water had run out!


“Oh, what have I done?” Ananse wailed.

“What’s up, my dear?” his wife asked.

“I forgot to trick Mr. Fish and take his gills!” Ananse moaned. “Now the water is all gone, and we can only get water from the river Mr. Fish lives in. The river must have dried up as usual in the dry season, but Mr. Fish has clean water under the muddy pool he lives in! If only I had gills I could have swum into the pool and gotten us some water!”

“Are we going to die of thirst, father?” Ananse’s children wailed.

Before Ananse could reply, he saw to his amazement that Mr. Fish himself was approaching the store house with a huge pan of water on his head.

Mr. Fish smiled at Ananse.

“It’s all good! I brought you some water,” Mr. Fish said with a huge smile. “I saw that all your water has leaked out of the tank. I shall bring you more water every day! Love is all that matters!”


Ananse and his family were taken aback by this show of extraordinary kindness on the part of the starving fish.

Mr. Fish set down the pan of water and walked away without asking for food.

Mr. Fish brought water

Ananse burst out laughing.

“Oh, the animals are so stupid, but Mr. Fish is the most stupid of them all!” he said.

The other animals could not believe what Mr. Fish had done.

“How could you be so stupid?” Mr. Lion roared angrily. “After the inhumane treatment Ananse has meted out to us, you still went ahead to give him water?”


“It’s all good!” Mr. Fish said and grinned. “Love is all that matters!”

“You are such a stupid fish!” the other animals said. “This could have been our advantage!’


Each day Mr. Fish brought water to wicked Ananse and his family. Ananse took the water but never gave Mr. Fish any food in return. The animals were so weak now that they could no longer fight Ananse.

One evening, however, Mr. Fish did not bring Ananse and his family any water. They were so thirsty, and they kept looking out for Mr. Fish, but he never appeared.


“What can be happening to that stupid fish?” Ananse asked in a worried voice. “I feel so thirsty! Let’s hope he brings us more water tomorrow!”


The next day passed, and Mr. Fish did not bring any water.

Ananse and his family could bear the thirst no more.


Finally, on the third day, Ananse sent out Ntikuma, his son.

“Go to stupid Mr. Fish’s house,” Ananse ordered. “Find out why he has not brought us water!”

Ntikuma went to Mr. Fish’s house. He found Mr. Fish flapping lazily in a muddy pool of water.

“My father wants to know why you have stopped supplying us with water!”


“It’s all good!” Mr. Fish said. “I forgot all about bringing you some water. Here, take one of my gills. We can swim down together so that you shall fetch some water for your family!”


Ntikuma took the gill and was able to swim like Mr. Fish into the depths of the muddy water. Soon they came to a clean pool of water under the muddy water. At the foot of the water was Mr. Fish’s house.

“Come into my house, and I shall give you a pan to fetch the water with!” Mr. Fish said.

As soon as Ntikuma entered the house, Mr. Fish took back his gill and swum upward quickly.

“Don’t leave me here!” Ntikuma cried. “Please don’t leave me here! I can’t swim through the water without the gill!”

“Love is all that matters!” Mr. Fish cried as he left Ntikuma in his house.


Ananse waited, but his son did not come back. Ananse was afraid now. He wondered what had happened.

“What is that stupid fish up to?” he asked worriedly.


He sent his only daughter, Bombo to go and find out.

Bombo found Mr. Fish swimming in the muddy water. Once again, Mr. Fish gave Bombo one of his gills, and they swam down to the pure water beneath, and into his house.

Again he took his gill from Bombo and trapped her under the water.

Ananse became frantic when his daughter did not come back.

“Go to Mr. Fish,” Ananse said to his wife. “Tell him I am sorry I called him stupid. Tell him that if he would not give us any more water, he should release our children. Tell him I beg him!”


Mrs. Ananse went to Mr. Fish and found him swimming in the pool of water. She fell to her knees and begged him to release her children.

“It’s all good!” Mr. Fish said and smiled foolishly. “Love is all that matters! I have trapped your children under this muddy water. Here, take one of my gills. Let’s swim down so that you can take your children home!”


Mrs. Ananse was happy. She took the gill, thanked Mr. Fish, and they swam down together. As soon as Mrs. Ananse found her children, Mr. Fish took his gill, and swam upward, trapping Ananse’s family under the muddy pool.


Ananse was in a dilemma. He had lost his family. Mr. Fish had taken them all!

Ananse loved his family. He could not live without them. He was also dying of thirst. He wondered what had happened to them.

Finally, he could no longer take it. He put on Bird’s feathers and flew fast to Mr. Fish’s place.

Ananse saw that Mr. Fish had summoned all the other animals to his muddy water.

Ananse pulled the Snake’s venom and Bee’s sting and aimed it at Mr. Fish.

“Release my family or I shall kill you!”

“It’s all good!” Mr. Fish said. “You can kill me, but if you do, your family shall be trapped under my pool forever!”

Ananse knew he could not swim and go down to save his family. He did not have Mr. Fish’s gills.

“Please let my family go, and I shall give you all the food you need!” Ananse pleaded.

He realized that Mr. Fish was not a fool at all. He was a very clever animal.


“It’s all good, but not good enough!” Mr. Fish said with a foolish smile. “Give back the weapons of the animals, and I shall release your family. Refuse, and your family shall remain trapped under this muddy water!”

Ananse began to cry. He knew then that Mr. Fish had trapped him, just as he had trapped the other animals! There was nothing he could do. If he refused Mr. Fish’s offer, he would not be able to eat all the food alone, and without water he would die. Without his family, he would be lonely and sad. He knew he was trapped.

He began to cry as he handed back Mr. Lion’s paws, Elephant’s trunk and the other weapons he had taken from the animals.

Mr. Fish then went down and brought him his family.

All the other animals went to the storehouse and began to eat. Although the other animals forgave Ananse for what he had done, Ananse was so ashamed that he took his family and fled from Animal Kingdom.

Mr. Ananse fled

He made a web in the corner of buildings, and dwelt there. His wife and children were also ashamed of him, and they left him. This is why Ananse can always be seen living alone in his web.

All the animals were very proud of Mr. Fish. They had thought he was so stupid, but he had proved to be the wisest by outwitting the greedy Ananse.

As the other animals thanked and praised him, Mr. Fish only smiled.


“It’s all good, friends!” he said softly. “Love is all that matters!”

And they all lived happily in Animal Kingdom forever.


Give it up for Mr Fish!

Wow, that was some really brilliant stuff from the ‘foolish’ one, wasn’t it? Yes, we should learn a lesson from this. No one should be considered an outcast!

We shouldn’t think we are more important than others, because everybody has his own special value!


Comments are closed.