gathering all the wisdom up

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Anansi did once try to collect all the wisdom in the world up in one place for safe keeping. He went round sweeping bits of it up in the market place and on the highways and byways. Everywhere there was a scrap Anansi scooped it up. It was dirty work, but in the end he had accumulated pretty well all the wisdom that was available. He put it in a gourd and made a stopper for it.

But where to keep the gourd?

He decided to hide it in the tallest tree in the forest. He tied the gourd in front of him and tried to climb up the tree. But it was hot and his hands kept slipping. And besides the gourd was in the way.

Secretly his young son had followed him, and could keep quiet no longer:

“Father, if you tie the gourd behind you, you’ll be able to climb.”

Anansi was already hot and bad-tempered. Having his small boy tell him, Anansi, how to climb trees was too much. He lost it, shouted at his son to go home and – threw the gourd down. It broke and immediately all the wisdom started to escape. By the time Anansi was back at the bottom of the tree it was too late.

But the advantage was that, as the rain washed the wisdom into the rivers, and the rivers carried it to the sea, small amounts of wisdom were spread all over the world.

And, as Anansi said, what\’s the use of all that wisdom anyway if your small son can so easily put you right?

There are plenty of versions of this one on the internet, such as this one here.

There are book versions too, like this one:

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