the story of

Lagalaga and The Hawk

and why the octopus changes its colours

Thousands and thousands of years ago lived a prehistoric gigantic hawk.

It was in the tiny nation of Vanuatu on an Island called Pentecost.

The giant hawk found a vantage point, high up in the mountain hinterland, in an area called Nagabulu, to observe all the other Islands.

Because of its powerful strength and amazing vision, the hawks' eyes could magnify any animal on the ground or any fish in the ocean.

All the animals feared the giant hawk because he had eaten all the living creatures in all the surrounding islands.

The giant hawk had full control, and no other animals could dare to challenge him.

introducing lagalaga

Lagalaga was a very tiny little bird that was able to keep himself safe by living inside tall grass.

All the other animals were very impressed with Lagalaga and asked him to be their leader.

One day Lagalaga decided it was time to hold a meeting and invited all the animals, including all the fish in the ocean.

At the meeting Lagalaga thanked everyone for coming and said,
I cannot do this alone.

Lagalaga then said
We should all come with a plan to kill the gigantic hawk because this huge bird is creating a great menace to the Island community, and all the Islands will soon be without any living creature.
We need to band together all the creatures in the ocean, the air, and the land, while we are still alive.

He asked everyone at the meeting: Who is willing to fight the monster hawk?

Not me! cried out the crocodile, I do not want to die an early death.

Not me! cried out the stingray, I do not want to die an early death.

Not me! cried out the shark, I do not want to die an early death.

Not me! cried out the pig, I do not want to die an early death.

Not me! cried out the lizard, I do not want to die an early death.

Not me! cried out the frog, I do not want to die an early death.

Not me! cried out the turtle, I do not want to die an early death.

All the other animals, and all the fish in the ocean said the same.
They all ran away - except the octopus, the barnacle, the black ant, the red ant, the rat, and the kingfisher.

lagalaga makes a plan

Lagalaga said,
To all of you who agree to stay, we will need a big war‑canoe to fight the monster hawk.
We will need some rope to tie him down.

Lagalaga told the octopus,
We need you at the front of the canoe. I want you to hold tight of the giant hawk with two of your hands.
With your other six hands you can hold the war‑canoe.
This will allow us to inflict our arsenal weapon on to him.

The octopus agreed, and was happy and proud that Lagalaga, the chairman, had given him an important job to fight against the giant hawk.

Now while the octopus is holding down the giant hawk, you, the black ant, and you, the red ant will release your arsenal of stings on the eyes of the giant hawk.

Then you, the strong black barnacle, will close the giant hawks eyes.

You, the rat, have your rope ready, to tie down the giant hawk.

You, the kingfisher, will sail the war‑canoe.

I will be at the point of the mast to lure the giant hawk.

after the meeting everyone agreed

At the appointed time they all sailed to Nagabulu to fight the giant hawk.

Before leaving Lagalaga decided to visit the hermit crab, the oldest chief of wizards, and to ask him for a blessing and to make a prediction and receive some advice.

The wizard said,
You will be successful - but during the process you, Lagalaga, will die.

Lagalaga said, I cannot die, I’m the leader and captain of the war‑canoe.

The wizard said, You will not die - only if you don't follow my instruction.

Oil your whole body with coconut oil until you are slippery when you fight the giant hawk.

Why do I have to be slippery?asked Lagalaga.

The wizard said,
In the event the giant hawk swallows you, you will slip through his mouth and out through his other end -
and you will not die

Yuk! said Lagalaga.

Yes, ok, I will follow your instructions - to stay alive!

The news of the great war against the giant hawk quickly spread throughout the Islands.

The animals on the land and in the ocean were all excited that finally something is getting done to the giant hawk.

Suddenly everyone wanted to get involve with the war.

They all filled themselves inside the war‑canoe to a full capacity till Lagalaga said that’s enough and they all set sail to Nagabulu.

Lagalaga perched himself on the mast of the war‑canoe, and the kingfisher (who was the captain) steered the war‑canoe to Nagabulu.

The octopus set himself on the front end of the war‑canoe and was ready to catch the giant hawk.

They were now approaching Nagabulu.

The kingfisher shouted: A-hoy! I can see the point of Nagabulu!
Everyone stand firm and be ready.

The kingfisher called out to Lagalaga, who was perched on the mast of the war‑canoe.

Can you see the giant hawk?

No! said Lagalaga.

A little further on the giant hawk saw the canoe coming.
He laughed to himself and said,
Here comes my tasty morsels!

The giant hawk flew up and up, into the sky, until he could not be seen anymore.

The giant hawk disappeared into the clouds; but suddenly swooped down with mighty speed, and picked out Lagalaga, who was perched on the top of the mast of the war‑canoe.

Lagalaga was already prepared. He had oiled himself with coconut oil.

He was not killed by the giant hawk but simply slipped through the giant hawks mouth, and came out on the other end!

In his attempt the octopus held him down with his eight arms.
The ants quickly stung the giant hawks' eyes.
The giant hawk was screaming with pain and the barnacle moved quickly and closed his eyes.
The rat quickly tied the giant hawk with his rope.
The rest of the warriors on board beat the giant hawk to his death.

This is the end of the legendary story of the giant hawk that lived high up in the mountain hinterland of Nagabulu on Pentecost Island, thousands and thousands of years ago in Vanuatu.

That day all the fish in the sea, and all the creatures of the air and the land, and all the creepy crawlies celebrated, for they were, at last, free to roam around on the Islands without fear.

The snake organised a celebration, but the snake made a huge mistake, for on the day of the celebration he did not invite the octopus.
So the octopus waited and waited but his name was not mentioned.

He was sad and embarrassed because the snake had completely forgotten to include him in the celebration.

He also knew that without him they would not have been successful to kill the giant hawk.

He was so embarrassed he wished he could disappear in thin air.

After his sad feeling’s he started to change his colours.

That is why when you find an octopus in the sea you will notice all the changes in its colours.

It all originated back to the day the snake forgot to include the octopus in the celebration.

We learn that it is important to give credit to the person who deserved the recognition, and not to take credit from another persons hard work.

Sometimes in life we cannot achieved goals on our own.

We need help from others.

© 2019 Wilfred Woodrow

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