Ananse Returns: A Modern Fable

(This story is purely fictional but all the characters are based on real people, and real incidents.)

Way back in 1993, a baby girl named Izzy was born to loving parents in a jewel like town, aptly named La Jolla.  Izzy seemed to be very much of a average child until the age of 6 at which time her parents boosted her up on a horse named Twilight.  For the next ten years Izzy lived on her horse,  6 feet above the ground.  She made her first friends on Twilight — there was Lauren, Ali, and Victoria,  and posses of other children from the neighborhood living on their high horses.   She was served her meals and drank the offered Kool-aid atop her lofty perch. She embraced the view from above, loving every minute of it. Who could blame her?  The temperature was perfect, the sun always shining, an ocean view to the west, mountain vistas to the east.  Both Izzy and her horse were well schooled and cared for lovingly. Twilight and Izzy traveled the world. And life was good,  life seemed balanced.

And then on one of the rare, not so perfect hot and hazy days in paradise, Twilight rounding a corner, did not notice the low lying branches well above her sight line but smack dab at Izzy’s eye level.  Savvy and practiced in the art of avoiding obstacles, Izzy ducked averting disaster, or so she thought.  As the palm fronds bushed her golden flowing hair, Ananse, the spider, worked  feverishly to spin just a few more strands of  spider silk so his magical web would adhere to just one stray tendril.  Once attached, he knew he could work his magic, one more time.  Yes, Ananse is the very same spider who for centuries has appeared in Ghanaian fables as a  symbol of wisdom, creativity and the complexities of life.  Ananse had been biding his time for the last decade in that straggly, neglected palm frond plotting his fabled return.

As Izzy became entangled in the most massive spider web she had ever seen, she panicked. Twilight sensing her every emotion, over reacted.  Together they lost their sense of  the familiar.  It all had gone exactly as Ananse planned. The tangled mess of a web landed Izzy firmly on the ground for the first time in years,.  And before he took his last breath, Ananse was able to make his way to Izzy’s ear and whisper these words:

Nan barizi ni tin tula
A person who rides a horse does not know the ground is hot.
Ghanaian Proverb