Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, April 7, 2014

F is for...

Click HERE for a list of all
the participants!
For this, my 5th year doing the Challenge, it's the
A to Z of Anansi the spider.

So, did you survive the first week? Are you ready for week two? Then let us being!

F is for Food

Food figures prominently in the Anansi stories. Why? If you think about it's really very simple.

Mangoes and hibiscus at Gladys's Cafe, St. Thomas.

The Anansi stories belonged to the slaves. The slaves, after working all day, most of them in the fields, returned to their huts and had to work their own small plot of rocky ground in which they grew things like pigeon peas (gondules), okra, and kalaloo (a green used like spinach), to off-set what meager supplies the plantation owner might provide. They also fished, raised chickens, and foraged for various tropical fruit. Sounds pretty good, but the weather is fickle in the tropics. Droughts were not uncommon. So were floods, and hurricanes. And, in those bad old days, so were epidemics like cholera, yellow fever and small pox which could decimate the population, making even more work for those who survived.

Hunger and famine were constant companions to the slaves.

Thus, a LOT of Anansi stories have to do with finding and eating food. In many cases the stories are about catching and eating someone. When you're hungry all the time, food becomes the main topic of interest.

F is also for Fiddle  Why? Because the fiddle is what the music loving Anansi plays. He will play for food. He will play for money. He will play to trick you out of something. And, he will play just for the sake of playing.


  1. That's a bleak picture - working all day and then when the rest of us would just like to collapse with fatigue, having to pull together a meal for yourself to have the strength to do it all again the next day. Ugh!

  2. A reminder that so many stories, and spirituals come from real life tribulations...

  3. That would really make you appreciate the food you eat, wouldn't it?

  4. With animals, food is definitely a priority.

  5. Hi Bish - and so it was, and for poor workers all over the world, but slaves or dictatored regimes suffer the worse.

    Anansi I expect rested up during the day while the workers were out - before scuttling around foraging for her food, perhaps occasionally fiddling for it ..

    Lovely photo and the words remind me of 12 Years A Slave - such a good movie .. it makes you think.

    Cheers Hilary

  6. I've always wanted to play the fiddle. Anansi is a lucky spider.

  7. I loved Anansi for his fiddling talent. What clever guy he is.

    When I'm hungry, you might just as well steer clear. I'm very grumpy.

  8. You remind me that I haven't had lunch yet, and I'm DYING of starvation. Time to go fix that. =)

  9. Am enjoying the Anansi stories!

    Slavery, here or there, is a horror and a crime against all people. Thanks for sharing this.

  10. I'll be sure to stay away from any fiddling playing spider I come across.

  11. As a nursery nurse I have known and loved the Anansi stories for years :)
    Suzanne @ Suzannes Tribe

  12. In the ol days nothing went to waste. I dare say these guys ever had to worry about burying anyone.


  13. For the slaves, yes, but isn't that the life of almost all people. They work all day and after the day's work, they eat with gratitude.

  14. You're driving me wild. I have been craving mangoes and I mean good mangoes, like 'Jewelies'(sp?). I have yet to find them anywhere in the States.

  15. Great explanation as to why the slaves thought about food so much and what their normal existence must have been like. Powerful and compassionate post! :)

  16. Wow. NIce to see that Ansi is really into music.

  17. What a tough, challenging life. Yes, food would be a huge issue.

  18. So much of life centers around food on the table. It's how stories are often passed down, from generation to generation. Music is another thing, and playing the fiddle...hey, it promotes family values and relationships, something that is very important indeed.

    MJ, A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    Writing Tips
    Effectively Human
    Lots of Crochet Stitches


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!