The Spider and His Two Friends

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The Spider and His Two Friends

A Nigerian story by Abimbola Alao


Alantakun the spider had two friends. One lived in the village on the right; the other lived in the village on the left.

One day, the friend from the village on the right came to visit Alantakun. When he arrived, he said: ‘I am calling the entire village to a feast today; the event starts at 6pm prompt and I would like you to be my guest.’

Alantakun was very pleased and excited to receive such an invitation. He laughed heartily as he spun a web. Then he gave one end of the web to his friend. ‘Here is the plan,’ said the spider, ‘take the end of my web back to your home. When the food is cooked and ready to be served, just pull on the web and I will know the feast is ready. When the web is pulled, I will come to your home straight away.’

And so, with Alantakun’s web in hand, the friend said goodbye and headed back to his home in the village on the right.

It was not long after this that Alantankun’s friend who lived in the village on the left came to visit. As he entered through the door, he said to the spider: ‘I am calling the entire village to a feast this evening at about 6pm and I would like you to be my guest.’

Alantakun was very pleased and excited to receive such an invitation. He did not think twice about it, nor consider the fact that his other friend had just invited him to a feast on the same day. He laughed heartily as he spun a web. Then he gave one end of the web to his friend. ‘Here is the plan,’ said the spider, ‘take the end of my web back to your home. When the food is cooked and ready to be served, just pull on the web and I will know the feast is ready. When the web is pulled, I will come to your home straight away.’

And so, with Alantakun’s web in hand, the second friend said goodbye and headed back to his home in the village on the left.

Soon after his visit to the greedy spider, the friend on the right had finished cooking. At the very same time, the friend on the left had also finished cooking.

The friend on the right took a hold of Alantakun’s web and began to pull.

Because he too had finished, the friend on the left took a hold of Alantakun’s web and also began to pull.

The more the two friends pulled, the more Alantakun became entangled in his own web. The greedy spider began to yell and struggle, but neither of his friends could hear his cries for help.

When neither one could see Alantakun at their feast, they both pulled even harder on the ends of their webs, each friend thinking that the spider must have fallen asleep.

Little did they know that Alantakun was at that very moment experiencing a very unpleasant lesson. The spider had become completely tangled up in his own web and could find no way of escaping no matter how hard he tried. It was then that Alantakun had to admit to himself that the reason he was so tangled up was all because he had been so greedy.