Child Grabbed by Moo.
On the evening of the 7th of this month, that being a Friday, a couple of small children were bathing in Mokuhinia Pond in Lahaina, close to the bridge [uapo], when the sun was going down.
One of them continued to bathe, his name was Lono; he was almost eight years old, and his height was four feet. Right then after, this boy plain disappeared, but his parents did not think that he disappeared in the water.
A woman named Paahao saw a long fish in the water like an Swordfish [Auau], and its belly was white; she called out to the mother of the boy, “There is a long fish in the water with a white belly.” The mother named Kaohe said, “You must be confusing it with a Turtle.” The other responded, “Let’s go and see.” Kaohe went, and lo and behold, it was as Paahao had seen. Paahao went to go see the fish from atop the bridge while Kaohe continued to watch the fish; after a little time, Kaohe’s eyes were struck [temporarily blinded? “paia mai la ka maka”] and the water turned white, and the fish disappeared from her sight. As for Paahao, she arrived atop the bridge and the fish sprayed up dust, and it disappeared.
Then after, the two thought of Lono, and that he disappeared in the water. And they concluded that this was a moo that had revealed itself for Lono. They searched and went to look on the bridge, but it was not seen.
The father of the boy arrived, named Maalewa. He looked under the bridge, and come to find out, he saw the boy in the water where he was hidden by the moo; his body was attached to the coral and his hair was all that could be seen on the surface of the water.
The father grabbed him by the hair, and pulled him up, and he was almost dead; his body was stiff from top to bottom, and his eyes could not see, and his skin was slimy, which was believed to be the slime of the moo.
He was massaged by his parents until seven in the evening, whereupon he got slightly better but did not say a word, but later he revived.
Therefore, this was something miraculous to see; let it be known to all our friends from Hawaii to Kauai.
T. W. NAKAIKUAANA, PUAA.
Lahaina, Maui. June 8, 1861.
This is the remarkable thing; the foolishness of man. The women saw the child shaking in the water, close to dying, and they did not grab him and save him; but they just stood there saying, “A moo! A moo!” Auwe! the foolishness and heartlessness of some people. If the father had not arrived then, the child would be dead.
[I posted this article a long time ago on the Hoolaupai Facebook page, but because it has such bad search capabilities, i can’t find it. That is one of the reasons i started this blog. Searching for names or places or subjects, etc., is so much easier to do!
I am not sure what the commentary at the bottom is referring to, about the women seeing the boy shaking in the water…
For more on Mokuhinia and the work being done to restore this historic place, see: Friends of Mokuula.]
(Hae Hawaii, 6/12/1861, p. 41)
Ka Hae Hawaii, Buke 6, Ano Hou.—Helu 11, Aoao 41. Iune 12, 1861.