By then it was late in the day, so Fish Mother insisted Anansi stay overnight. Anansi was hungry and Fish Mother kept a barrel of her eggs in the kitchen, so Anansi asked to sleep near the fire. In addition to being hungry Anansi was cunning, so he left one egg behind while he poached the rest in the ashes. Each egg went “pop!” when it was done.
Fish Daughter hollered, “What’s that stranger doing?”
Anansi hollered back, “That’s just my knees settling down for the night!”
Fish Mother hollered, “Treat your elders with respect, child!”
The next morning, as was her custom, Fish Mother asked the children to bring the eggs to her to be counted. Anansi said, “Let the children rest, I’ll do the heavy lifting.” He carried the remaining egg to Fish Mother. Fish Mother counted it. Fish Daughter gave him the side-eye, and marked the egg. Anansi carried the egg back to the kitchen, wiped it off, and carried it in again. They continued in this fashion until he had accounted for the entire barrel.
After that, Anansi was quite ready to leave. Fish Mother sent two of her children with him to row the canoe across the river. They were about halfway across when Fish Mother yelled out, “Bring that stranger back here! He’s eaten all my eggs!”
The children turned to Anansi and asked, “What did Mother say? We couldn’t hear her over the wind.”
Anansi gestured at the cloudy sky and said, “Your mother said you must row quickly, there’s a storm coming.” The children rowed with a will and quickly reached the other side, Anansi picked up the children, put them in his bag, and took them home to be his next meal.