Ananse is the folkloric Spider, keeper of stories and a notable trickster.He had always been clever, but he wanted to make sure he was the absolute cleverest— so one day, he set out and collected all the world’s knowledge.
He put this knowledge in a great ceramic pot.To keep the hoard safe, he decided to place his pot atop the tallest tree in the savannah. He roped the pot around his belly, and attempted to climb up the tree. But his eight little legs couldn’t fit around the wide pot, and he didn’t get very far. He struggled for a few hours before his daughter came along and stared at him curiously. “Father,” asked the young spider, “why didn’t you tie that pot to your back?”
Ananse thought about his daughter’s advice. He wondered why he hadn’t come up with the idea himself, given that he had all the world’s knowledge tied to his belly. Then, he realized that having a great pot full of wisdom is different from putting that knowledge into practice. Ananse grew angry and threw his pot onto the ground— where it scattered into thousands of pieces and let all the contained knowledge escape back into the world. And that’s why, today, knowledge is available for everyone to collect for themselves.
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