The night of the party was only a
week away. All of the children in the village were busy getting their
costumes ready. There would be prizes given for the most original costume,
the most colorful costume and for the best all around costume. Kawika
wanted to win one of those prizes. He came up with a great idea for his
costume. He wanted to go as the great Hawaiian king, Kamehameha. His
father had told him that he was a Hawaiian and should be proud of it. At
school, Kawika tried to talk to the other children about their costumes,
but everyone wanted to keep their ideas a secret.
His mother and little sister,
Kamalani, were helping him make a robe. They decorated it with feathers,
made him a hat of flower petals and a grand ceremonial staff covered with
bright yellow flowers.
Each day his mother asked him to
stop at the roadside stand on his way home from school and pick up a
pineapple to eat with that night’s supper. When he got home, his mother
would be sitting in a chair, working on his costume. She’d take the
pineapple into the kitchen and slice it up to eat. Kawika, Kamalani and
their mother loved juicy, sweet pineapple.
When he went to bed each night,
Kawika dreamed that he was King Kamehameha going into battle in the
mountains of Hawaii.
The week passed quickly and the
night of the big party arrived. Kawika put on his costume. Kamalani helped
him add the finishing touches. When his mother told him that he looked
just like the real king, he felt so proud.
Kawika wandered around, looking at
the other costumes. Lahani was dressed up as a hula dancer. Kona was a
surfer with a surfboard. Suki was wearing a palm tree costume. Melina
looked just like a pineapple with spikes and wore a green, leafy top on
her head. Kawika laughed at her costume and made sure he didn’t get too
close and get poked.
As he walked past some of the other
children, they whispered things to each other about him. The surfer said,
"Oh, if it isn’t King Kamehameha. Your Highness," and bowed. All the other
children started to laugh. Everywhere Kawika went, the children bowed to
him and said, "Your Highness." He felt sad that they were making fun of
him. He’d felt so proud earlier.
It was soon time for the judging.
All the children lined up in their costumes against the wall. The judges
walked past each one of them, looking carefully and writing notes. When
they finished, one of the judges stood up and announced, "We’ve made our
decision. For the most original, we’ve selected the pineapple costume."
Everyone clapped as Melina walked up to receive her prize.
"For the most colorful costume we’ve
selected the hula dancer," the judge announced. Everyone clapped when
Lahani went to get her prize. "And for the best all around costume, we’ve
selected the one that had a lot of work put into it. The winner of the
best all around costume is King Kamehameha. Would you please come up,
He walked up to the front of the
room. A few of the children grabbed the back of his robe and carried it as
he walked up. He felt happy inside. "King Kamehameha, we award you the
first place prize!" The judge handed Kawika a shiny gold trophy, a can
filled with macadamia nuts and the biggest pineapple he had ever seen.
"Congratulations!" The whole room
called out to Kawika. He had his picture taken wearing his costume and
holding his prizes. He was glad when the children apologized for teasing
That night when Kawika went to bed,
he took the trophy with him to cuddle to.
The can of half-eaten macadamia nuts
sat on the shelf next to the pineapple. He dreamed of great battles,
outrigger canoes, drums and war paint. When his mother came in to kiss him
goodnight, she saw the smile on his face. She took the trophy out of his
hands and put it on the shelf next to his can of nuts. She turned to leave
the room, but stopped at the door and looked once more at her proud little