Meanwhile, this is what they were reading in English, 1911.


Mayor Fern’s Multiplying Grotto and the Story of Na Iliili Lanau o Koloa [Na Iliili Hanau o Koloa].


STONE—In Honolulu, recently, to the wife of Na Iliili Stone, thirteen Little Stones, sex as yet undetermined.

Shades of Wallach [J. Lor Wallach] and his female rock! Even the teeth of his grandmother have been eclipsed by Mayor Fern’s latest departure from the normal, for be it known that his honor has gone into the rock breeding business. Whether he hopes to establish a happy little quarry, from which the municipality may obtain its supply of gravel, or whether he intends to develop a building stone incubation plant, is uncertain. But, whatever else he is doing, our mayor has a happy little family of polygamous pebbles in his official desk, increasing and multiplying and doing well, thank you.

His honor has been encouraging multiplication in pebbles for a number of months, with, as he reports, gratifying results. Blessed he is, let us remark, en passant, who makes two stones grow where only one grew heretofore.

Before proceeding further with the story of Mayor Fern and the community rocks, it is necessary to digress and relate the history of the “na iliili lanau o Koloa,” which means the stones that breed over in Koloa, Kau, Hawaii. Over there, where McCrosson wants to run his ditch, there is a small section of country liberally covered with black pebbles, the biggest somewhat smaller than a man’s fist, the smallest—the latest arrived progeny—being somewhat bigger than a grain of sand. These stones are made [male] and female, with the females outnumbering the males about three to one. There is no race suicide, and the gravel bank grows steadily, as the little mouths to feed persist on arriving. Over in the Koloa section, according to Hawaiian statistics, an ordinary pebble become a grandfather or a grandmother, as the case may be, in about two years. According to figures not collected by the census man,, it is about an even thing between Koloa rocks and Belgian hares.

Thirteen a Fair Litter.

Mayor Fern is not the only one going in for lignaculture. Paulu Ke-a [Paulo Ke-a], of 113 Ohua lane, who started in with one rooster rock and two hens a few months ago, has now a bushel or so of all sizes, from newlyborns to mature heads of families. He was presented with his original pebbles and told that they would breed, but he scouted the story and threw the three stones in the corner of an empty starchbox. Some weeks later, wanting to use the box, he was astonished to find that his three stones had started up housekeeping and had increased to be a double handful, while the original trio had grown appreciably in size. To say that he was interested would be putting it mildly.

To obviate the possibility of someone playing tricks on him, he left the growing group in the box, filled the rest of it with sand and nailed a cover on. The box he put on a high shelf and said nothing about it. Recently his good wife complained that the sand was shedding out of the box and littering the floor under the shelf. He took his incubator down, when, lo and behold, there were so many stones in it that they had pushed the top of the box off and were crowding the sand out.

He puzzled some more, being loath to accept the idea that the stones had actually produced so much visible progeny. Without telling her anything beyond the fact that the stones were “lucky pebbles,” he selected a couple of wahines and a kane and presented them to his daughter, Mrs. Tom Price, whose husband is a trusted employe of the Honolulu Iron Works. Mrs. Price put the lucky stones in a cocoanut shell calabash. Recently she told her father that they lucky stones kept growing larger every day and asked him the reason. He told her that that was what made them lucky and advised her not to let the children play with these particular pebbles.

Last week, Mrs. Price, astonished, dashed over to her father with the glad tidings that one of the Mrs. Stone had presented her kane with thirteen babies.

Anyone who doubts this story is respectfully referred to his honor, the mayor; to Mr. Ke-a or Mrs. Price. Those who are from Missouri can take a look at the Stone family with the thirteen ones cuddling up to their proud mother, being fed or spanked as the exigencies of the occasion call for.

Great Possibilities.

It is understood that the mayor is looking into the commercial as well as the scientific side of this stone-breeding business. One of his plans, it is whispered, is to cross the rocks with terra cotta bricks, to produce a new variety of building stones with square corners. Another plan is to try the Burbank theory of selection, with the idea of producing a strain of cylindrical pebbles that might be adapted to water-pipe and sewer uses.

[It is interesting to compare this to yesterday’s article.]

(PCA, 2/7/1911, p. 11)


The Pacific Commercial Advertiser, Volume LIII, Number 8892, Page 11. February 7, 1911.


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