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.

Friday, April 11, 2014

J 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.

J is for Jamaica

The stories in my book, Anansi and Company, are Jamaican in origin. But that doesn't mean that they are exclusive to that island.

Anansi can be found throughout the Caribbean and the stories of his exploits have many common themes.

There was a story I heard in the Virgin Islands about a magic cow that was owned by Tacoomah, who is Anansi's friend. All Tacoomah had to do was crawl up inside the cow and cut out whatever he wanted and, voila! he had meat. Well, Anansi hears about this magic cow and wants meat for himself. After a good bit of hounding, Tacoomah finally to tells him the secret of the magic cow.

This handsome bull posed very nicely for me. At no time did
I feel threatened, considering the rather meager fence
that separated us.
"When you want to up inside the cow," says Tacoomah, "you must say 'Open sesame.' Then you can cut out anything you want. And when you leave you must say, 'Shut sesame.' " Then he warns Anansi, "But you see that thing that go, 'tick,' 'tick,' tick?' Don't cut it!"

Anansi does fine for a while. He goes up in the magic cow and cuts out what he wants. But eventually his greed and curiosity get the better of him. He wants to know what's so special about the thing that goes tick, tick, tick. He thinks if he can have it for himself he'll have all the meat he could ever desire. So, he cuts the thing that goes tick, tick, tick and of course the magic cow dies.

I tell that little story only to say that in my collection of Jamaican Anansi stories, there is a similar tale. 


  1. Never look a magic cow in the gut!
    He should be glad it didn't explode instead.

  2. This reminds me of the story of the Golden Goose :) And Alex's comment is too funny!!

  3. I thought it would explode. That tick tick would have most likely been a bomb in place of a heart.

  4. Hi Bish - well that's set everyone's imagination racing - what a great little parable ...

    I love the thought of Anansi .. cheers Hilary

  5. LOl! I loved Alex's comment. My grandpa was a rancher, so you've got my attention.

  6. There are similar stories that are a part of Indian folktales. Anansi's greed got the better of him.

    Bish, have you read the Panchatantra?

  7. That Anansi is always up to something, usually something that backfires!

    How did I know you'd blog about Jamaica today? Psychic, I guess. :-)

  8. Oh, Anansi! Your greed will always end badly in the cow.

  9. Kind of feel sorry for the cow! A great tale about greed.

  10. My goodness, that's quite macabre. Reminds me of Grimm stories. So many children fables are actually violent and creepy. lol

  11. You're right- his trickiness gets the best of him sometimes. :)

  12. Kindness, generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling are traits we all admire which come from the heart with the exception of green eyed monsters.

  13. Every culture seems to have their trickster. Anansi kind of reminds me of 'Coyote' in Navajo folklore. They each get into the same kind of trouble and help to teach certain moral lessons and explain some customs and norms.

  14. Hey Bish,

    At long last, I've returned. At two thirty on a Saturday morning, I have returned. Somebody lock me up!

    Jamaica! Never cut out the ticker in a magic cow. Sorry, my comment was a load of bull. I think Penny, when she's had a long nap, should take back over commenting.

    Gary :)

  15. Sounds like a very imaginative story. Do you live in Jamaica, or have you just spent a lot of time there?

  16. I feel bad for the cow. I would not mess with a ticking sound.


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!