LOSE YOUR HEAD, DIE; LOSE YOUR FEET, LIVE.
The statements placed above are from a couple of men in the olden days of Hawaii nei, and this is the story:
There were two men, and one day, the two of them climbed up the mountain to cut house thatching [aho hale] which was a regular thing in those days of ours. They cut thatch until evening, and their work for the day was over, and they went to somewhere suitable and started a fire to warm themselves and prepared their meal for that night, and after they were done eating, they were about to sleep. One of them lay down with his head to the fire and his feet away, while the other slept with his feet toward the fire and his head away; and when the one who had his feet toward the fire noticed his friend with his head toward the fire, he spoke the words placed above, saying:
E, what say you my friend, LOSE YOUR HEAD, DIE; LOSE YOUR FEET, LIVE, so why don’t you move your head away from the fire and move your feet close to it; and when the one whose head was close to the fire heard this, he replied:
LOSE YOUR FEET, DIE, for if you lose your feet to the fire, then where are your feet to go back home with to see the faces of your wife and children; therefore, because of the different choices made by the two men, they stuck to their decisions and both fell asleep; in the middle of the night, the first man smelled the smell of burning hair, and thus being startled, he saw his friend whose head was on fire; at this, he got up and made ready to head back to the home of their families and as the first man neared their houses, he turned back and saw his companion running behind him with his head on fire, the first man knew that this was a spook [uhane lapu] and not a live person, and as this first one entered the house the spook passed by the house, going around with his head still on fire; the first man told their story from beginning to end, while telling those in his household that his friend died because of his stubbornness, for he warned him to move his head away from the fire and yet he did not listen [much less heed]. So pigheaded.
This story is perhaps similar to people of these times; they stick their heads [hou poo] into stubborn ideas that are caused by false pride [uilani kuhihewa] and the results of this mistaken pride is what we have seen above.
(Hoku o Hawaii, 7/25/1912, p. 3)
Ka Hoku o Hawaii, Buke 7, Helu 8, Aoao 3. Iulai 25, 1912.