| One day, the King of
Sharks saw a beautiful girl swimming near the shore. He immediately
fell in love with the girl. Transforming himself into a handsome
man, he dressed himself in the feathered cape of a chief and
followed her to her village.
The villagers were thrilled by the
visit of a foreign chief. They made a great luau, with feasting
and games. The King of Sharks won every game, and the girl
was delighted when he asked to marry with her.
The King of Sharks lived happily
with his bride in a house near a waterfall. The King of Sharks,
in his human form, would swim daily in the pool of water beneath
the falls. Sometimes he would stay underneath the water so
long that his bride would grow frightened. But the King of
Sharks reassured her, telling her that he was making a place
at the bottom of the pool for their son.
Before the birth of the child, the
King of Sharks returned to his people. He made his wife swear
that she would always keep his feathered cape about the shoulders
of their son. When the child was born, his mother saw a mark
upon his back which looked like the mouth of a shark. It was
then she realized who her husband had been.
The child's name was Nanave. As
he grew towards manhood, Nanave would swim daily in the pool
beside the house. Sometimes, his mother would gaze into the
pool and see a shark swimming beneath the water.
Each morning, Nanave would stand
beside the pool, the feathered cloak about his shoulders,
and would ask the passing fishermen where they were going
to fish that day. The fisherman always told the friendly youth
where they intended to go. Then Nanave would dive into the
pool and disappear for hours.
The fishermen soon noticed that
they were catching fewer and fewer fish. The people of their
village were growing hungry. The chief of the village called
the people to the temple. "There is a bad god among us,"
the chief told the people. "He prevents our fishermen
from catching fish. I will use my magic to find him."
The chief laid out a bed of leaves. He instructed all the
men and boys to walk among the leaves. A human's feet would
bruise the tender leaves, but the feet of a god would leave
Nanave's mother was frightened.
She knew her son was the child of a god, and he would be killed
if the people discovered his identity. When it came turn for
the youth to walk across the leaves, he ran fast, and slipped.
A man caught at the feathered cape Nanave always wore to prevent
him from being hurt. But the cape fell from the youth's shoulders,
and all the people could see the shark's mouth upon his back.
The people chased Nanave out of
the village, but he slipped away from them and dived into
the pool. The people threw big rocks into the pool, filling
it up. They thought they had killed Nanave. But his mother
remembered that the King of Sharks had made a place for her
son at the bottom of the pool, a passage that led to the ocean.
Nanave had taken the form of a shark and had swum out to join
his father, the King of Sharks, in the sea.
But since then, the fishermen have
never told anyone where they go to fish, for fear the sharks
will hear and chase the fish away.