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by Richard Paglinawan

One day, on the Island of O'ahu, a young woman in labor pain called to her brother to help her. When the brother heeded her call, she had already given birth and had wrapped the baby in a blanket. The mother of the baby was crying when her brother arrived. He asked her why she was crying. She told him to open the blanket and look at the child. He did as she had asked and saw that the baby had a body of a shark but the head of a human. The surprised brother told her to release the baby into the ocean or the child would surely die. She refused to listen to him because the child was still hers regardless of its form. Finally, the brother con- vinced her of the futility of her wishes and that release of the child into the ocean was in the baby's best interest Both of them traveled to Black Point at Kahala and when they arrived, the brother placed the baby into the water. While placing the child in the water, the brother spoke to it in Hawaiian. The baby then gave a single splash with its tail fin and swam away.

Every morning, the mother would return to the same spot to pick seaweed. While she worked, the baby shark would appear and feed on her breasts. As time passed, the baby shark grew into a complete shark form.

One morning, as the mother was picking seaweed, a school of sharks began to swim around her. Suddenly, her shark child appeared next to her and slapped her with his tail fin, tossing her into the shallow water and away from the other sharks. The guardian shark then met the larger school of sharks, and a fierce battle ensued. The mother did not know of the outcome of this battle and she never again saw her "baby."

The mother of the shark baby eventually returned to her birthplace on Maui Island. One day, after ten years had passed, she and her mother were gathering limpets ( opihi ) at the shore but failed to return home. Her brother and friends began to search for them. The search group found the two women, dead and floating together with their opihi bags still on them. The group tried to rescue the bodies, but a large shark seemed to prevent the group from obtaining the bodies. The brother recognized the shark as his sister's lost offspring, the baby shark.