Ekewaka lived with his mama
on the big island of Hawaii. They lived in a little grass hut and slept on
the dirt floor, on top of mats made of woven palm leaves. Ekewaka went
fishing every day so that he and his mama would have some food to eat.
Each morning, his mama picked bananas, mangoes and papaya from the trees
and gathered coconuts that had fallen to the ground.
Ekewaka’s favorite thing to
eat was macadamia nuts. He’d only tasted them a few times, but he
remembered their delicious taste. He’d often dream about his mama dropping
nuts into his mouth, one after another, and never, ever running out.
One morning, when the sky
was blue and the gentle trade winds were blowing softly across the island,
Ekewaka went for a walk along the beach. He had gotten up early to hunt
for seashells for his mama. She love to put them around the hut and
sometimes made necklaces out of the small ones. He had collected an armful
of big shells and was on his way home when three older boys came running
towards him. They stopped in front of Ekewaka and one of them knocked the
beautiful shells out of his hands. They dropped onto the sand. The boys
picked them up and threw them back into the water where the waves carried
them back out to sea.
Ekewaka stood silently,
watching the shells disappear. He noticed one of the boys take a handful
of macadamia nuts. The boy noticed Ekewaka staring at them. "What are you
looking at? Oh, so you see my magic macadamia nuts, do you?" he asked,
winking at his two bully friends. "These are magic nuts. If you plant
them, a big palm tree will appear and it will grow huge coconuts made of
gold. Would you like these macadamia nuts, Ekewaka?" he teased.
"How can macadamia nuts
turn into coconuts?" he asked.
"They’re magic. Since my
friends tossed your seashells away, I’ll be the nice one and give you my
magic nuts," the boy said, placing them in Ekewaka’s hands. "Now be sure
to plant them. Don’t eat them."
Ekewaka ran home quickly,
holding the nuts tightly in his hand. The three bullies laughed at him as
he ran away. "Stupid Ekewaka," one of them called.
"What a fool!" said
another. None of the boys knew those really were magic nuts.
Ekewaka wanted to eat the
nuts. He was hungry and they looked delicious, but he ran straight home.
Using his hands, he dug a deep hole in the rich, brown earth. He dropped
the magic macadamia nuts into the hole and covered them up, patting the
dirt down gently. He was about to run and find his mama, but decided to
wait and surprise her with the golden coconuts.
His mama walked into the
little shack carrying some bananas and a coconut. She was wearing a few
pretty red hibiscus and plumeria blossoms behind her ear, tucked in her
hair. "You were awake very early this morning, Ekewaka. Did you go for a
walk on the beach?" she asked.
"I went to find you some
sea shells," he answered. He didn’t want to tell her about the bullies.
Quickly changing the subject, Ekewaka asked, "Can I have some coconut
His mama took a large knife
and chopped the top off the hairy, brown coconut. It was filled with
white, watery milk. She handed it to him and he slurped it down. She
peeled a banana and shared it with her son. "Will you catch us a fishfor
supper tonight?" she smiled. Ekewaka nodded yes. Some days he tired of
eating bananas, coconuts and fish.
He watched his mama as she
gathered the washing. She hung it out on a vine to dry. He remembered
cutting the vine and tying it to the trees for her. Ekewaka felt sad that
his mama had to work so hard. "Soon she won’t be tired or sad any more,"
he whispered. While his mama worked out in the garden, Ekewaka went back
to the beach and caught a fish for supper. That night he stood at his
bedroom window and watched the moon shine down on the mound where the
magic nuts were buried. The next morning Ekewaka jumped up from his
palm-leaf mat. He ran to the window and there stood a huge palm tree full
of coconuts. His eyes opened wide with excitement. He shook his mama
awake. "Mama, come and see the tree."
"Where did that come from?"
she asked. She saw the thick gathering of coconuts at the top. "Ekewaka, I
don’t know how that coconut palm got there, but please climb up and gather
some of those big ones," she begged.
He ran outside and climbed
the tree. He hit two of them and they fell to the ground. They looked like
normal coconuts to him. He climbed down and carried them into the shack
and gave them to his mama. She chopped the stringy green husk off and she
reached in to pull the smaller coconut out. She let out a gasp. "It’s a
golden coconut." It shone and sparkled with the sun’s rays. It looked like
a coconut with two holes. When she hit the holes, coconut milk spilled
out, but there was no meat inside, just pure, solid gold. She began to
laugh. Ekewaka laughed with joy as he poured the coconut’s rich milk into
his mouth. "Climb up and get the other coconuts, Ekewaka," his mama said.
He cut a few more down. She chopped them open and they were all made of
Just as he climbed down
from the tree with the last coconut in his hand, the tree disappeared. All
that was left was the small mound of dirt he’d buried the macadamia nuts
in. He dug up the hole. The nuts were gone. There was nothing there.
Ekewaka went back into the
grass shack. His mama was crying. "What’s the matter, Mama? Aren’t you
happy?" he asked.
"I’m happy, Ekewaka. Never
again will we be poor. Never again will we be hungry or have to catch our
own fish or gather papaya," she sobbed. "With these golden coconuts, we
can have all the things we need, and more." And they did.
Ekewaka could have all the
macadamia nuts he wanted from them on. And he did. His mama could have all
the mangoes, guava and pineapple that she wanted. And she did. She could
buy herself a brand new muumuu and Ekewaka a pair of sandals. And she did.
They could live happily ever after. And they did.