The ʻelepaio is a small flycatcher weighing about half ounce. In old Hawai‘i, the ʻelepaio was considered ʻaumakua, or guiding spirit, for canoe makers. The ʻelepaio is found on Kauaʻi, Oʻahu and Big Island, but the Kauaʻi ʻelepaio is a supspecies endemic to Kauaʻi. Photo by Mitch Walters

Hoʻokolo aku ia ka nui manu.

“Go inquire of the other birds.”

Go and consult others. From the following story: One day a man went up to the mountain srping for water. On the way down he paused to rest, then fell asleep. An ʻelepaio lighted and, seeing the man’s gourd bottle, pecked a hole in the gourd. The sound of th epecking woke the man, who saw the water running out. In anger he threw a stone at the ʻelepaio and injured its leg. It flew away and met an ʻio.

“O! ʻIo, I was injured by a man,” ʻElepaio cried.

“What did you do?” asked ʻIo.

“Pecked the man’s bottle.”

“Then the fault is yours,” answered ʻIo.

ʻElepaio flew and met Pueo. The same words were exchanged between them. So it was with ʻIʻiwi, ʻŌʻo, and all the others. ʻElepaio’s disgust grew greater with ʻAmakihi, who laughed at him in derision.

Receiving no sympathy, ʻElepaio sat and thought and finally admitted to himself that he, indeed, was to blame.

Source: ʻŌlelo Noʻeau, by Mary Kawena Pukui.

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