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How the Desert Came Into the World

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Long agoKweku Ananse and his friend Akwasi were the best farmers in the world. Their farms were so large that there was everything in it. People came from far and near to buy foodstuffs from them. And so they became very rich.

One day the rains stopped comingand for one whole year there was no rain. Ananse and Akwasi Owusu didn't know what to do. All the streams and rivers had dried upand people stopped buying from them because there was nothing on their farms.

Akwasi decided to go to Nana Nyankoponthe creator of the universeto solicit his help. So one Thursday morninghe called on Nana Nyankopon and said to him"Nanathere has not been rains for many days. All the streams and reivers have dried up. Al l the crops on my farm have dried up and wilted. Pleaselet me get some rains."

God was moved and said to him"I have delegated some of my work to peoplebecause I get so tired of small requests from people. I have given the task of wind to Paa Kwesithe task of sunshine to Yeboah and the task of rain to Nsiahthe hunchback. I f you want raingo and see Nsiah the hunchback and ask him to give you some rain."

Akwasi was very happy and thanked Nyankopon. He set off to look for Nsiah the hunchback.

Presentlyhe came across him sitting under a tree taking a rest from the heavy task God had given him. He greeted him politely and told him that God had told him to come and look for him to give him some rain. "If it is God who sent youI cannot refuse to give you any rain. Take a small stick and beat my back" he said.

Aswasi picked two small sticks and gently hit Nsiah's back two timesthanked him and went home. In the morninghe went to his farm and sure enoughthere had been a heavy shower. And all the plants were standing upright and green.

Ananse passed by Akwasi's farm the next morning. He was so happyhe almost jumped and touched the sky. He punched the air and yelled "Yippee!" He thought the rain had fallen on his farmtoo. But alas when he got to his farmhe realised with shock that the rains had stopped at the boundary. There had not been any on his farm. But why had rains fallen on Akwasi's farm? Surelythere must be an answer to this. He became suspicious of his friend and decided to go and ask him how on earth he got rains on his farm.

Akwasi did not want to tell Ananse about God's rainmaker because of Ananse's sly nature. But later he decided to do soso he told Ananse about God's rainmaker.

As soon as Ananse heard thishe also decided to go and look for the rainmaker. He combed the forest for many hours and at long last came upon him sitting under a tree taking a rest from the heavy task God had given him. As soon as Ananse saw himhe picked up a big club and hit the hunchback's back with all his might. The hunchback cried in pain. But Ananse continued hitting him at the back with all his might with the heavy club. The hunchback fell down pantingbut still Ananse continued hitting him with brute force. After continuous beatingthe hunchback lay stillnot moving. Ananse called out to the hunchbackbut there was no response. Ananse had killed the rainmaker. He had killed God's rainmaker. He became frightened. "Oh dearwhat have I done? I have killed God's rainmaker." He wanted to runbut realised that when he runs away he will put himself in a jam. Because his friend Akwasi will know he had killed the rainmaker.

So sly was Ananse thatit wasn't long before he came out with a solution on what to do. He picked up the dead body and went to hide it in the middle of a mango tree.

He then went to call on Akwasi and told him that he had seen a mango tree which was full of ripe mangoes. He told Akwasi that they should go and pluck the mangoes. Akwasi liked mangoes very much but he was reluctant to gobecause he didn't trust Ananse. But he later changed his mind and went with Ananse. When they got to the mango treeAnanse told Akwasi to climb up the mango tree and shake it . So Akwasi climbed the mango tree and when he got to the topstarted shaking it vigorously. Suddenly there was a big crash. The body of God's rainmaker had fallen from the tree top when Akwasi shook the tree. Ananse started shouting and wailing. "Akwasisee what you have done. You have killed God's rainmaker. He must have been hiding in the tree taking a rest from the heavy task that God had given him. See what you have done nowyou have killed him. What will God say now." Akwasi became confusedhe didn't know what to do.

He got down from the tree quietlybut then as he was getting down his mind worked like lightening. He pretended to be shocked and said he was going to see God about it. He went away after saying this. Ananse was very happy and jumped and clapped his hands. "FoolI have put you into trouble. God will really punish you." Unknown to Kwaku Anansehis friend Akwasi had also gone to make a plan to teach Ananse that he wasn't a fool after all.

So very soon Akwasi Owusu came with the people and told Ananse that there was no problem at all. God was happy that the rainmaker was dead. He had been lazy at times and refused to work. "I am going to reward you for killing him" God said. And Akwasi started singing and dancing happily. He said again that he had come with God's messengers to carry the dead body to God. Ananse at once became furious when he heard this. He said angrily "LookAkwasidon't try to be too clever. I killed him! I was afraid God was going to punish methat's why I hid the body in the tree. I am going to claim the reward." So he carried the body on his shoulders and quickly went to God's Palace to tell him that he had killed the hunchback and that he should be rewarded.

God was so furioushe punished Ananse severely. After the punishmentno rain ever fell on Ananse's farmand up till today if you look at the desert there is no rain. Ananse's farm is where the desert is now.




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