A certain chief who lived on the island of Oahu in the very misty memory of long, long ago thought he would travel over his lands and see their condition. So pleased was he that he boasted of his wide domain when he met a fellow-traveller. The man said, “I can see the lands of Wakea and Papa and they are larger and fairer than these fine places of yours.” Then they decided to go together to find that wonderful land of the gods.
Soon they passed a man standing by the way-side. The chief asked him what he was doing. The man replied: “I am Mama-loa [The very swift]. I am waiting for the sun to rise, that I may run and catch him.” They all waited until the sun appeared and started to rise above the island. The man ran very fast and caught it, tied it, and held it as a prisoner for a time.Then the three travelled together—the chief, whose name was Ikaika-loa (The very strong), and the man who could see clearly a long distance, whose name was Ike-loa (The-far-sighted), and Mama-loa. In a little while they saw two men sleeping by the path. One was shivering with cold; his name was Kanaka-make-anu (Man-who-dies-in-the-cold). The other was burning as if over a fire; his name was Kanaka-make-wela (Man-who-dies-in-the-fire). They warmed one and cooled the other, and all went on together.
They came to a field for rat-shooting, and found a man standing with bow and arrow, shooting very skilfully. His name was Pana-pololei (The-straight-shooter). They asked him to go to the lands of Wakea and Papa, so he journeyed with them. By and by they found a man lying by the path with his ear to the ground. The chief asked him, “What are you doing?” He looked up and said, “I have been listening to the quarrel between Papa and Wakea.” The man who was listening to their harsh words was Hoo-lohe-loa (The-man-who-could-hear-afar-off). They all journeyed on until they entered a land more beautiful than any they had ever seen before.
The watchmen of that country saw six fine-looking men coming and with them a seventh man, superior in every way. The report of the coming of these strangers was quickly sent to the chiefess who ruled the land under Wakea and Papa. She commanded her chief to take his warriors and meet these strangers and bring them to her house. There they were entertained. While they slept the chiefess gathered her people together until the enclosure around the houses was filled with people.
In the morning Ikaika-loa, the chief, said to the chiefess: “I have heard that you propound hard riddles. If I guess your riddles you shall become my wife.” The chiefess agreed, took him out of the house, and said, “The man who is now my husband is standing by the door of the house of Wakea and Papa; where is the door of that house?” The chief turned to Ike-loa and secretly asked if he could see the door of Papa’s house. He looked all around and at last said: “The door of that house is where the trunk of that great tree is. If you are strong and can break that tree you can find the door, because it is in one of the roots of that tree.”
Then the chief went out to that tree and lifted and twisted the bark and tore away the wood, opening the door.
After this the chiefess said: “There are three dogs. One belongs to our high chief, Wakea; one to his wife, Papa; and one is mine. Can you point out the dog belonging to each of us?”
The chief whispered to his servant Hoo-lohe-loa, “Listen and learn the names of the dogs.” So the man who could hear clearly put his ear to the ground and heard Papa telling her servants: “This black dog of Papa’s shall go out first, then the red dog of Wakea. The white dog belonging to the chiefess shall go last.” Thus the chief learned how to name the dogs.
When the black dog leaped through the door the chief cried out, “There is the black dog belonging to Papa.”
When the red dog followed he said, “That is the red dog of Wakea.”
Then came the white dog, and the chief cried out, “That white dog belongs to us, O Chiefess.”
After this they prepared for a feast. The chiefess said: “Very far is the sweet water we wish. You send one of your men and I will send one of my women each with a calabash for water. If your man comes back first while we eat, we will marry.”
The chief gave a calabash to Mama-loa and he made ready to go—a woman with her calabash standing by his side.
At the word they started on their race. The man ran swiftly, thinking there was no one among all men so swift as he, but the woman passed him and was leaving him far behind.
The chief called Pana-pololei, the straight shooter, and told him they needed his skill. He took his bow and arrows and shot. Far, far the arrow sped and whizzed just back of the head of the woman. She was so startled that she stumbled and fell to the ground and the man passed by.
After a time the chief said to Ike-loa, the far-sighted, “How are they running now?”
The servant said, “The woman is again winning.”
The chief said to his rat-hunter, “Perhaps you have another arrow?” and again an arrow sped after the swift runners. It grazed the back of the woman and she fell. Mama-loa passed her, rushed to the spring, filled his calabash and started back. But the woman was very swift, and, quickly dipping her calabash, turned and soon passed the man. An arrow sped touching the head of the woman, and she fell forward, breaking the calabash and spilling the water; but she leaped up and saved a little water and hastened after the man who had sped past her.
“Ah, how she runs! She flies by the man as they are almost at the end of their race,” exclaimed Ike-loa.
Then the chief called to his bowman: “O Pana-pololei! Perhaps you have another arrow?” The bowman shot a blunt arrow, striking the woman’s breast, and she fell, out of breath, losing all the water from her broken calabash.
The chief took the calabash from his man and poured water into a coconut-cup and gave to the chiefess to drink.
When the woman came the chiefess asked why she had failed. The woman replied: “I passed that man, but something struck me and I fell down. This came to me again and again, but I could not see anything. At last I fell and the calabash was broken and all the water lost, and this man won the race.”
Meanwhile Mama-loa was being ridiculed by the other servants of the chief. He asked: “Why do you laugh at me? Did you not see my victory?”
They laughed the more, and said: “Ka! If we had not aided you, you would have been defeated.” Then they told him how he had been watched by the far-sighted one and aided by the arrows of his friend.
The chiefess told the chief that she had one more test before the marriage could take place.
She said: “In this land there are two places, one very hot and one very cold. If you can send men to live in these two places we will marry.”
Then the chief said to Kanaka-make-anu, “You die in the cold, but perhaps you can go to the very hot place for the chiefess.” And Kanaka-make-wela who suffered from heat he asked to go into the cold. The two servants said: “We go, but we will never return. These are our natural dwelling-places.”
There were no more riddles to solve, so the chief and chiefess married and lived royally in that beautiful land of the gods.