An
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Clever Trickster
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Yeabou and Anansi

There was once a sweet girl from Ghana by the name of Yeabou who was thought to be very kind and generous but also very gullible. Her favorite thing to do was to help her grandmother in her garden since her grandfather had died last winter. Thinking about the ceremony for her grandfather’s death brought a slight smile to Yeabou lips. It was the biggest ceremony she could remember seeing as her grandfather had been well-respected, kind, and very wise. Although she missed him very much, she was very proud and fortunate to have had him as her grandfather.

Her grandfather was very wise because he knew that Yeabou was far too trusting and gullible, so shortly before he died he gave her a special rock that would protect her from others who might try to take advantage of her. The rock was round and very shiny. In fact, the more Yeabou held and rubbed the rock the shinier it became. She never let anyone else play with it.

One regret grandfather had, was that he was unable to recover the moon that that had been stolen twelve years earlier by Anansi the coyote. Anansi had tricked Grandfather into letting him hold the moon and that was the last Grandfather or any of the people of Ghana had seen of the moon. Although he was gone from the earth, he was not gone from Yeabou’s life. He was always around, whether in the trees or flying high above. He would have to help her.

One day as Yeabou was out beyond the village walking, tossing her golden rock into the air, and not thinking about much of anything she came upon a coyote in a grove of trees with the friendliest smile she could remember. She didn’t have anyone to play with so she decided to ask the coyote to play. When the coyote saw the golden ball he jumped at the chance to play a game with this simple little girl. The coyote’s name was Anansi and he already had stolen the moon twelve years ago and now he wanted the most beautiful golden ball he had ever seen. It should be easy to trick this girl into letting him play with the ball.

He asked Yeabou if he could look at the beautiful, shiny rock. She said he could look but not touch it because it was the most special rock in the world. When Anansi heard this he became even more intrigued. He wanted that rock more than anything. A rock that golden and shiny had to have special powers. The more he thought about the more convinced he became that the rock controlled the sun. Its round shape, golden color, and shimmering shine were more than Anansi could stand. He would give anything to get that rock.

That is when Anansi the coyote knew what he had to do. He would trade for the golden rock. He would give Yeabou something just as shiny to play with-the moon. Later when she was asleep he would steal it back from the tired little girl and then he would be the master of both night and day. Anansi told Yeabou that he wanted to show her a rock just as pretty as hers. So he went and got the moon and showed her its translucent glow and asked her if she wanted to hold it. She thought it was spectacular and she very much wanted to have the moon forever.

To hold the big, heavy moon she would have to put down the golden rock. She handed Anansi the golden rock and held onto the moon in exchange. Anansi was overjoyed. He tossed the golden rock into the air in celebration of his victory over Yeabou. Now he had the light of the day and would soon retrieve the light of the night. Without warning, though, a large winged creature swooped down from the trees and snatched the golden rock from midair and beat its wings furiously as it flew north away from the village. Yeabou was too busy playing with the moon to notice as the coyote chased the flying thief for miles until he could no longer keep up.

Yeabou eventually wandered back home still playing with her new toy. When she arrived the whole village came out to greet and congratulate her on returning the moon to its rightful place. Although Yeabou didn’t completely understand what all of the commotion was about, she was pleased that everyone else seemed so excited.

After such a busy day Yeabou was tired and ready to go to sleep. She returned home and as she was climbing into bed there on the pillow was her beautiful, golden rock. Yeabou decided that the coyote didn’t want to play with it any more and he returned it. She was anxious to go out to see if she could find him again tomorrow.