The following is taken from Escape To The Tropics
by Desmond Holdridge, Harcourt Brace and Company, NY 1937.
The man referred to as Roy is the late Roy
Sewer, then seventeen years old. Roy Sewer was later to become
the Island Administrator for St. John and the principal of
the Julius Sprauve School.
Club refers to the old Virgin Island custom of
family and friends helping one another out when big jobs needed
to be done. The one holding club would traditionally prepare
food and beverages for the helpers and would be available if
called upon to do club work for someone else.
The term to resen means “to baptize”.
“Roy...heard the discussion,
and heard us speak of Anancy, the clever spider who figures
in West African folk tales as a kind of culture hero. That
night...Roy brought us some of the Anancy stories current in
St. John, all written out by himself. Here is one:
ANANCY STORY The Club
Once upon a time, there were two
spiders, one name Bru Tuckomar and the other Bru Anancy.
One day, Bru Tuckomar said to Bru Anancy, "Bru,
would like you to help me cut some wood."
Bru Anancy said, "Surely. I will willingly
So Bru Tuckomar said, "I will cook peas soup
for your lunch.”
So, when the day came for the wood to cut, he
cook the soup before they began to work. After he finish cook,
he said, "Let
us go to work." And
About 9: 30, Bru Anancy said, "Lord have
marsey, every day resenin' bastard child! Resenin' child so!"
But, before they went to work, he hang a pan in
the tree and whenever the wind blow, the pan made a loud sound
much like a bell.
So he would say, "Bru, I have to go to resen that child."
Bru Tuckomar said, "All right, you go." He
went right where the pot was and began to eat. He ate one third
of the soup and went back to work. When he reach, he said, "Well,
I resen the good-for-nothing!"
Bru Tuckomar said, "What the child's name?"
"Just Begin," said Anancy.
They work until about eleven and the pan made
the same noise. Bru Anancy stop work and listen. Bru Tuckomar
said, "I hear
a call, Bru. They must be calling you to a next resening."
Anancy said, "Hell! Then I wish all them
damn children would die. Anyway, me go."
And he went, and he did resen the child! He ate
about three fourths of the food and went back.
What this child's name?" said Bru Tuckomar.
"Half Gone," said Anancy.
Bru Tuckomar said, "Quare names, indeed!'
Anancy said "Half Gone" because there
was less than that in the pot from what there was at first.
So they work and conversed and, all of a sudden,
a big wind come and the pan call again for the rest of the food
to be finish. Bru Anancy made as if he didn't hear a sound and
Bru Tuckomar said, "Bru, them is call again for you to
resen another bastard child."
Bru Anancy made believe that he didn't want to
go. Bru Tuckomar said, "You
know it is your duty to go, so go.”
And Anancy began to swar and say all manner of
thing so Bru Tuckomar would think he didn't want to go. But it
was just from joy. He want to make a finishing touch.
He went and all was gone this time so, when he
went back, Bru Tuckomar said, "What's
"None Left for You!"
"What? None Left for Me! The idear of such
a name for a child!"
When the club finish, the two left for food and
rest. But, to Bru Tuckomar surprise, the pot was empty. They
look at one another.
Bru Tuckomar said, "I know the children had funny names!" and
he rush for Anancy. But Bru Anancy, being too fast, side slip
him, and cut his head off with a cutlash.