The Foolish Spider
The Foolish Spider 1
Publication Information

The Lion King: A Nature Fun and Learn Series




Rafiki Remembers


1995 – 1997



Story Guide

How Crab Lost His Head


Why Wild Dog Hunts

Don't make idle boasts, lion cubs. And take food when you can get it.

The Foolish Spider is a story from the Rafiki Remembers magazine collection. It was published in the 1990s as part of The Lion King: A Nature Fun and Learn Series.


In order to prove to his wife that he is the best at finding food, Anansi employs Coucal the bird to help him set traps. The first animal they catch is a squirrel. After this success, Anansi wonders what they will catch next, and Coucal predicts that they will catch a bushbuck. Anansi reasons that a bushbuck is bigger than a squirrel, so he allows Coucal to take the squirrel home for dinner.

The next day, Anansi and Coucal find a bushbuck in their trap. Once more, Anansi wonders what they will catch next, and Coucal says that they will probably catch a wildebeest. Since a wildebeest is larger than a bushbuck, Anansi decides that Coucal can take the bushbuck home, while he will wait for a wildebeest.

When Anansi returns home, his wife asks why Coucal has been feeding his family so well, while Anansi has been bringing home nothing. Anansi simply encourages her to be patient, for he will soon bring home the most powerful animal of them all.

For days, Anansi and Coucal catch bigger and bigger animals, but still, Anansi waits for the best catch and allows Coucal to bring the prey home. At last, Anansi and Coucal catch an elephant, which Anansi believes to be the most powerful animal ever, but Coucal explains that there is a more powerful animal still. Hearing this, Anansi lets Coucal have the elephant.

When they return to their trap the next day, the two find a foul-smelling mouse lying at the bottom. Coucal explains that the mouse's stench can overpower an elephant, and Anansi agrees to take it home. However, when he shows the mouse to his wife, she orders him to take the mouse out of her house and to never come back. Anansi flees, dropping the mouse, and creeps back into the house later that night to hide in the eaves. To this day, that is where he stays when he wishes to remain out of sight.