The story from Africa of how Anansi became a spider.

There was once a African king who had the finest ram in the world.

When this ram happened to be grazing on Anansi's crops one day, Anansi threw a rock at it, hitting it between the eyes and killing it.

Anansi knew that the king would punish him for what he had done to the prize ram, and he immediately schemed how to get out of the situation. Needless to say, Anansi resorted to trickery as always.

Anansi went to sat under a tree to think of an escape when, all of a sudden, a nut fell and struck him on the head. Anansi immediately had an idea.

First, he took the dead ram and tied it to the nut tree. Then he went to a spider and told it of a wonderful tree laden with nuts.

The spider was delighted and immediately went to the tree. Anansi then went to the king and told him that the spider had evidently killed the prize ram; the ram was hanging from a tree where the spider was spinning webs. The king flew into a rage and demanded the death penalty for the spider.

The king thanked Anansi and offered him a great reward. Anansi returned to the spider and warned it of the king's wrath, crying out to the whole world that the spider had killed the ram. The spider was very confused.

Anansi told the spider to go to the king and plead for mercy, and perhaps the spider's life would be spared. Meanwhile, the king had gone home for lunch and told his wife what happened.

The wife just laughed and said, "Have you lost your mind? How on earth could a little spider make a thread strong enough to hold a ram? How in the world could that little spider hoist the ram up there? Don't you know, Anansi obviously killed your ram! By now you should know, he is a trickster!".

The king was angry that he had been deceived and told his court to fetch Anansi immediately. When the king's men came for him, Anansi assumed that it was to bring him to the palace for his reward for turning in the spider. So Anansi went along willingly.

He walked into the palace as if he owned the place and then said to the king, "Well, what is my reward for the killer of your ram?"

This enraged the king so much that he kicked Anansi very, very hard, splitting him into two pieces; he was no longer a man, but a spider with long legs.