Anansi and the Turtle

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Anansi The Spider African Folktales

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(Mrs. Anansi and Anansi are in the kitchen)


MRS. ANANSI: The table is set, Anansi.  While you eat I’m going to visit my mother.


ANANSI: The sweet potatoes smell quite delicious.  I can’t wait to taste them!.


MRS. ANANSI: Now sit down and eat them.  I’ll be back in about an hour.  And you better finish everything on your plate!.


ANANSI: Don’t worry, I will!. (Mrs. Anansi leaves the stage.  Anansi is about to eat a piece of potato when there’s a knock at the door) Who could it be at this hour?.  I really don’t want to open the door, because if I do, then I will have to share my meal.  No way, this is my food! (There’s another knock at the door) I’m coming!.  I’m coming!. (he opens the door) Turtle what do you want!.  I mean, how are you?.



TURTLE: Oh, Anansi, I’m so tired.  I have been traveling all day, and it’s really hot out there.


ANANSI: Come in.  Would you like a glass of water?.


TURTLE: Yes, that would be great!.


ANANSI: Wait here.


TURTLE: What’s that smell?.


ANANSI: I don’t smell anything.


TURTLE: It smells like… let me guess…sweet potatoes!.


ANANSI: Oh, that.   Would you like to join me for dinner?.


TURTLE: Sure!. (they sit at the table) Oh my, look at all this food!.  The rice looks delicious… and the meat… and the salad!.  And my favorite… sweet potatoes!.


(Turtle reaches for a bowl of sweet potatoes)


ANANSI: Wait!.  Your hands are dirty, you must wash them before you eat.


TURTLE: You’re right Anansi.  I traveled all day and I didn’t have a chance to clean up.  Where’s your bathroom?.


ANANSI: Go straight down the hall and then turn to the right.


TURTLE: I’ll be right back. (leaves the stage)


ANANSI: (begins to eat) I better hurry before he comes back!. (fills his mouth with food.  He eats, and eats, and eats)

(Turtle enters the stage and sits)


TURTLE: Oh, there is almost no food.


ANANSI: Sorry, you are very slow, and the food was getting cold so I began to eat.  But you are here now, join me, Turtle. (Turtle reaches for what’s left of the sweet potatoes) Wait!.  You still have dirty hands!.


(Turtle looks at his hands and sees that they are dirty from crawling on them to get back to the table)


TURTLE: Oh, sorry, Anansi.  I’ll wash my hands once again. (Leaves the stage.  Meanwhile Anansi eats what’s left of the food.  He enters the stage and sits) There’s nothing left.  Anansi… you ate all the food!.


ANANSI: I couldn’t wait for you, the food was getting very cold.


TURTLE: Oh well, it’s getting late.


ANANSI: I’m sorry that you have to go.


TURTLE: Thank you anyway.


ANANSI: Oh, and next time you come to visit me, wear your shoes.


TURTLE: Oh, I almost forgot, would you like to have dinner with me some time?.


ANANSI: Sure!.  When?.


TURTLE: How about tomorrow?.


ANANSI: Tomorrow is fine with me.


TURTLE: Excellent!.


ANANSI: See you tomorrow.


(Turtle stands and walks through the stage)


TURTLE: Anansi tricked me!.  He ate all the food while I was washing my hands. Hmmm… I have a plan. Oh Anansi, I will teach you a lesson!. (leaves the stage)




(The Turtle is in the bottom of the river.  The table is set for two.  Anansi is standing near the riverbank.  Turtle sees him)


ANANSI: I’m here, Turtle!.


TURTLE: Anansi, I am glad you came to share the meal with me.  Come on down here!. (He sits and begins to eat her meal.  Anansi jumps into the water but he can’t get down to the bottom of the river) Are you having trouble getting down here?.


ANANSI: Just a little.


TURTLE: Try diving!.


ANANSI: I already did, but I keep popping back up to the surface.


TURTLE: Try running jump!.


ANANSI: It doesn’t work either, I keep floating to the top of the water.


TURTLE: Hurry, dinner is getting cold!.


ANANSI: I can’t sink to the bottom!.


TURTLE: Well think of something.  Think, think, think!.


ANANSI: I have an idea!.  (he grabs stones and rocks and puts them inside his jacket pockets.  Then he jumps into the water and sinks down to the bottom and was able to take his place at the table) You are a great cook, Turtle!.  You have many tasty foods…  I can’t wait to start my meal. (he reaches to take a bowl of food)


TURTLE: Wait Anansi!.  It’s not polite to eat with your jacket on. Look at me, I am not wearing a jacket.


ANANSI: But Turtle…


TURTLE: Please, take off your jacket!.


( Anansi takes off his jacket, and as soon as it is off of his shoulders, he goes zooming like an arrow back up to the surface and popps out onto the riverbank.  Anansi sticks his head down into the water and sees Turtle eating all the food)


ANANSI: Good-bye my friend.  It’s impossible for me to join you, but I appreciate your invitation.  Enjoy your meal!.


(Anansi leaves the stage)




Author:  West African Folktale


Adapted by:  K I D S I N C O


Moral of the story: What goes around comes around.


Related Playscripts:

Anansi and the Pot of Wisdom


Anansi and The King’s Drum


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