A thatched hut in a village on the south coast of Sierra Leone.

A thatched hut in a village on the south coast of Sierra Leone.

“The Spider, Kayi, and the Bush Fowl” is a story from Sierra Leone, and it’s pretty funny. It was recorded by Ruth Finnegan in Limba Stories and Story-Telling in 1967, but I read it in Fearless Girls, Wise Women & Beloved Sisters edited by Kathleen Ragan.

The spider and his wife, Kayi, lived in a hut. One day the spider trapped a bush fowl and killed it. He brought it home and told his wife there was food and to lay it down, which she did. Kayi pounded the millet for the meal, put it down and went to get water. When she was gone the spider ate the millet. When Kayi came back she asked who ate the millet. The spider blamed the bush fowl. She questioned him but the spider said it was true so she only replied, “Well, all right.”

Later, the spider got up to tap his palm tree. While he was gone, Kayi prepared the bird, boiled it and cooked more millet. Then she ate it all. When the spider came back, he asked if there was any left for him. She said no. She told him the bird ate all the millet. When the spider asked what about the bird, was there any left, she responded, “The bush fowl has gone, gone off to the bush.”

Instead of getting mad when the spider says the dead bush fowl at the millet, Kayi lets it go- and then gets back at him later. Really, what could the spider say, she was using his own trick. Can’t you just picture his expression – well if he were a person, not a spider?

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Thursday’s Tales is a weekly event here at Carol’s Notebook. Fairy tales, folktales, tall tales, even re-tellings, I love them all. Feel free to join in.

Stop by and visit Melissa at Mommy Wants to Read. Today she’s featuring The Gingerbread Man.