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by Richard Paglinawan

On the island of O'ahu, in Waimalu Valley near Aiea, lived many truck farmers, most of them Japanese. A lone Hawaiian family lived near the single gate which allowed passage into and out of the valley. A Hawaiian farmer and his Hawaiian wife lived at this site with twelve of their own children as well as 8 boys and 2 girls who had been unofficially adopted (hanai) by them.

The Hawaiian house, a modest little home, had features which incorporated both the western and Hawaiian forms. In addition to the main house was a kitchen that was separate from the house but still under one roof. Typically Hawaiian, the kitchen had a bare dirt floor, four walls, a few benches and tables, a sink and a wood burning stove. The family ate together in the kitchen enjoying their meal after a hard day in the fields.

After eating, one of the daughters was washing the dishes when she saw the "tail" of a rat wiggling through the cracks of the wall in front of her. She didn't take too much notice at first, as she simply splashed water at it. To her annoyance, the "tail" kept coming back. The daughter grabbed a meat cleaver and was about to strike at the tail, but before she could swing the cleaver, a "hand"-- or something like a hand--reached out and grabbed her throat. When she screamed, the rest of the children, who were eating, became very frightened. The girl fell to the ground, bleeding profusely from a very large wound under her jaw.

Her father received the cause of the attack on his daughter and told his wife that all of the children must stay inside the house. The man then told his wife that he would undress and run around the house and that, in time, he would call out for her to quickly open the door to let him in.

The father undressed, opened the door, and ran outside circling the house. Noises could be heard as if someone or something were chasing him. The man ran for what seemed to be a long time. Finally, he called out to his wife to let him in, which she did so. When he came in, the man collapsed on the floor from exhaustion.

In his hands was a weed, an herb that was applied to his daughter's wound. This process was repeated for several nights. Finally, the wound healed and to this day the daughter still bears a large, prominent scar on her jaw.