Caribbean Literature: Anancy and Commonsense by: Louis Bennet

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  • Sunday, 26 October 2014 18:03
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Once upon a time, Anancy, feeling very greedy for power and wealth decided to collect all the commonsense there was in the world. He thought that everyone would then have to come to him with their problems and he would charge dear for his advice. So, he set out to collect all the commonsense in the world.

He collected and collected, all that he found, he put in a large calabash. When he could find no more commonsense in the world, he sealed the calabash with a roll of dry leaves. Then, he decided to hide all the commonsense, at the top of a very high tree, so that no one else could get at it.

Anancy tied a rope to the neck of the calabash, tied the two ends of the rope together and put the loop over his head, so that the calabash rested on his stomach.

He started to climb the tree, but found that the calabash was getting in his way. He tried again and again, but all in vain. Suddenly, he heard someone laughing behind him, and looked around to see a little boy.

‘Stupid fellow’ cried the little boy, ‘if you want to climb the tree, why don’t you put the calabash behind you?’

Anancy was so annoyed to hear this little bit of commonsense coming from a little boy, when he, Anancy, thought that he had collected it all, that he flung the calabash at the foot of the tree and broke it.

And so, commonsense was scattered in little pieces, all over the world, and nearly everyone got a bit of it.

Anancy is the cause.

Review by: Astrid, Images: Africanlife


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Lauren, a professional communications expert from South Africa, loves to learn new languages and cultures. She is always willing to share her expertise on the African culture and lifestyles. Through her social interactions with others, she decided her own social projects in her homeland to launch Africa.

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