Uncle Charlie's Bedtime Stories


A Story of the Little People

of Pulehu, Maui

Childhood memories of growing up in Kula


"Authors Note: These stories were created while putting Uluwehi (Diggy) to sleep and the next day he would ask to repeat the stories so I wrote it down.






By ''Uncle Charlie''
Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell Sr.

This story is about three Menehune (little people), that lived in a forest called Ainahou. The area is on the North side of Haleakala Crater, right above the Koolau Gap.

Everyone that lives in Hawaii knows that the Menehune have magical powers and have created great deeds throughout the Hawaiian Islands. They were no different here on Maui.

These three Menehune's names were Ha`alulu, Eleu and Molowa. They were well known by all the other Menehune living in Hawaii of possessing very unusual powers. Ha`alulu was so named by his kupuna (ancestors) a long time ago because he was always shaking, which is actually what it means, to shake or tremble. Actually when you think about it, anyone that lives in Haleakala Crater would be Ha`alulu from the cold. His magic gift was that whenever he would start shaking, he would disappear and no matter where he went, he was invisible.

Eleu in Hawaiian means quick and nimble and that he was. When ever Eleu moved, he was so quick that he disappeared and that was his magic gift. As far as Molowa went, his name meant lazy, but he was not. In ancient times, the Kupuna would name people with hidden meaning. It was true in this case. The magical powers that Molowa possessed was that when ever he appeared to be lazy and sleeping, his magical self became invisible and he would be off and about doing all kinds of good deeds.

One day the three Menehune walked down from the Koolau Gap, towards the Keanae area. They were catching their food for that day which was opai. It was Eleu's job to catch opai in the streams. He was so fast they could not see him, and he filled his eke (bag) in no time and called to the others who were harvesting bananas. Ha`alulu and Molowa made small holes in the middle of the banana tree with their spear, and pulled a ripe bunch down. They picked off each banana so that if any "humans" discovered the tree, they would think that it fell. Loaded with banana and opai, the three left for home in Haleakala.

The 3 Menehune

As they approached a valley, they heard someone crying. They hid their ukana (supplies) and went to investigate. Eleu walked fast and he disappeared. Ha`alulu started to shake and he disappeared. Molowa hid himself in the forest and went to sleep. His spirit joined the other Menehune and they traveled towards whoever was crying. In a small clearing in the forest, they noticed a young boy and girl sitting on a rock by a stream and the little girl was crying.

Little girl and boyThe little girl was broken hearted and talking to the little boy the Menehune could hear their conversation. She was sad that their Kupuna Kane and Kupuna Wahine (grandpa and grandma) were getting old and they could not fix the broken lo`i kalo (taro patches). They had also been sent to the forest to get opai for the family's dinner, but could not catch any because they swam too fast.

Hearing that, Eleu immediately took the upena (net) that was lying next to the little boy and entered the stream next to them. The little boy and girl were so shocked to see their net floating in midair and go by its self into the stream. The little boy stood up and the little girl's mouth was wide open. Both of them could not say a word. All of a sudden the net floated back to them and it was full of opai. Eleu set the net right next to them and went back to the other Menehune. They hugged Eleu and told him that was a wonderful thing he did. The little boy and girl could barely carry the eke (bag) that they had put the opai in and were laughing as they left the forest.

Upon returning home, they had told their Kupuna what happened in the forest. Hearing the story, they knew that the Menehune had watched over their moopuna (grandchildren) and the opai was a gift to them. They all joined hands and prayed their thanks to the gods for the Menehune's help.

Over dinner Eleu, Ha`alulu and Molowa were discussing the faith of the little children and their grandparents. They decided that they would go to the family's lo`i, and repair it. As usual, the Menehune rule had to be followed that all work must be concluded before sunrise. The ancient Menehune rule was that if the work could not be finished in one night, it could never be completed.

As the moon started to set, the three Menehune prepared the magical tools. They had an o`o (digging stick), that with the right oli (chant), would dig an entire field by itself. There was a ko`i (adz), that when shown the task of cutting stone, would cut all the stone that was needed for building walls. Seeing that the moon had disappeared, the 3 Menehune left the deep forest and went to Keanae all in their 'invisible' state.

Arriving at the family's home they immediately started working fixing the broken lo`i, by building new walls around the patches. They replanted numerous patches and made sure they were at different stages of growth. Having done that they cleaned up and repaired everything around the kupuna's property.

The Menehune did not know that for some time they were being watched by the little girl and boy who were hiding by the window in the house.

Little girl and boy

All they saw was the Menehune tools moving all around the taro patches and plants being planted and start to grow as they watched. Like in the forest they could not see anyone using the tools. All activity stopped as dawn appeared and when the sun rose, they could see all the work was done. In waking their Kupuna they all rejoiced and that night they left a gift for the 3 Menehune's.

The grandfather was a carver and he had made 3 beautiful canes out of kauila wood. He instructed his moopuna to take the canes to the forest and leave it in the clearing where the opai was caught. Leave the cane by the big rock next to the stream and say 'Mahalo' (thank you), 3 times. The 2 little children did exactly what was told of them. After saying Mahalo 3 times, when they looked toward the big rock by the stream where they left the canes, they were gone.

They returned home to their grandparents and lived happily ever after.

The morale of the story is, no matter how hard your life is, there is always someone that will help you to make things better.

Aloha, Ahui hou (see you later)

All Pau

Back to Top






The 3 Little Pigs of Pulehu, Maui

By ''Uncle Charlie''
Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell Sr.

Once upon a time, in a little district on Maui called Pulehu, there lived three little pua'a. One was all brown, almost reddish in color, one was brown with black spots, and the last one was pure black.

One Saturday morning as daylight came, the Mama pua'a and Papa pua'a got up and started to grunt and told the baby pua'a that they were going out to eat breakfast and they should stay close to home. As soon as their parents left, they decided that they too should take a walk through the woods and look for something to eat.

They started to walk through the kiawe trees and as they did, sniffed at everything that looked interesting to them. It was such a beautiful morning all the birds was out chirping and everything was so peaceful.As they approached a particular kiawe tree, they saw a large outline under the tree. They put their noises in the air but did not detect danger. The kept playing with each other tails, trying to nip each other ears and was having a wonderful time.

As they got to about 30 feet from this "object", it threw a "kiss" at them. Their ears immediately went forward to detect the source of the sound and then smelled the scent of a human. They turned, tail high in the air and ran for their lives as they realized he was a hunter, waiting for the deer to come by.

They ran all the way back to their home and all tried to tell their parents what happened., at the same time. They were told that it was lucky they were not shot by the hunter . It is was good example and that next time, they should listen to their parents. They promised their mama that they would never wonder off again without permission, because the next time they might not find a nice hunter that throws kisses. They were so tired after that adventure that they lay by the mama and fell asleep.

.Authors note: This incident happened to me hunting for deer on July 4, 1996 in Pulehu, Maui.


Back to Top







By ''Uncle Charlie''
Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell Sr.

Once upon a time, when I was growing up in Kula, on the Island of Maui, a very strange thing happened to me. My brother had a pair of pet guinea pigs and they had escaped from their pen. They set up residence in a stonewall that surrounded our pig pen. In a year, we had a dozen or more guinea pigs running all over the stonewall. I must have been about 6 years old and one day decided that I would try to catch one of the guinea pigs and make it into a pet.

This story happened in Kula early in the morning after the farm shores. I got some rabbit pellets from the store room and found an old box, placed it close to the stone wall where I knew the guinea pigs would walk. Spreading the pellets on the ground, I made a trail into the box. I then held the box up with a stick attached to a long string. Taking the other end of the string I hid in back of a mango tree. I had seen my brother catch run-away rabbits and birds using this method.

Peeping from the back of the mango tree, I could see the guinea pigs were hungry and were starting to smell the pellets on the ground. There was one in particular that caught my eye, whose fur was kalakoa. It seemed to be very hungry and was eating all the pellets. The guinea pig had multi-colored fur, light brown dark black and white. The dark black colors, were shaped like circles over both eyes and it looked like the "Lone Ranger." I immediately named it "Tonto," the Indian companion of the Long Ranger.

Tonto kept eating the pellets on the ground and I remained very quiet hiding behind the mango tree waiting to pull the string when Tonto got into box. The other guinea pigs were weary of the box and would not venture close to it. Tonto was the only daring one in the bunch.

As Tonto got into the box, I pulled the string and the box fell on Tonto. Loud noises were herd coming from within the box. When I opened the latch on the top of the box, it startled me to hear the guinea pig screaming in Hawaiian. "Auwe, auwe" it said in a loud voice. I immediately closed the latch and could not believe what I had heard. Putting my ear close to the box I could hear talking from within and I opened up the latch again.

The guinea pig looked up at me and said, "What are you staring at, get me out of here because there's no air in here and I can't breathe." I put my hand through the latch and grabbed the guinea pig. It started to talk again and said, "Don't grab me so tightly, I'll bite you." I apologized to Tonto and set it on my lap. The guinea pig said, "I'm a female and don't call me Tonto because my name is Heihei." She acquired her name because the coloring of her fur was striking and different then the others.

None of the other guinea pigs had the same coloring like her. Because of this, she did not have many friends. She asked? "Would you be my friend," and I told her of course I would. Heihei seemed very comfortable on my lap as I stroked her fir and she liked it.

I asked her if she would like to come and live with me in the house and without any hesitation she replied, "Of course." In checking with Mama, she said it would be all right if I kept my room clean. I made a house for Heihei on my desk in an old metal tray. I had rocks and grass and it looked the stonewall that Heihei lived in.

That afternoon my brother and sisters came into my room and heard me talking to Heihei. They asked where I got Heihei from? They were very surprised that I caught her because they had tried to catch a guinea pig before but could not. I informed them that Heihei was not like other guinea pigs, she could talk and some time she would speak in Olelo Hawai'i. They asked me to show them how Heihei could talk.

I picked up Heihei and starting talking to her. She just looked at me and did not say a word. I kept trying but she would not talk at all. My brothers and sisters laughed and walked out of my room. Heihei talked to me and said, "ekalamai `ia`u, I forgot to tell you that I can only speak to you and no one else." She said that at that minute she was born, a Hawaiian spirit that lived in the pohaku of the wall had bestowed the gift of speech to her. She was instructed that someday a young boy would come along and make her into a pet. That he would be the only human that she could speak too and if she spoke to anyone else, her voice would be taken away and she would not be able to utter a sound. The is the reason I was the only one that could hear her speak.

Heihei went all around with me in a pouch my mother made to carry her in and we spent many hours together. We had to be very careful when we spoke to each other that no one saw her talking to me. I remember that the best times we had together, when I use to climb a mango tree in the back of our home.

My friends and I had built a "B-29 flying fortress" airplane in the mango tree complete with "cockpits" and "machine gun turrets." Every chance we had we would "fly" this plane and many "battles" were fought in this mango tree.

While up in the mango tree by ourselves, Heihei use to tell me a lot of stories and most of them were really "spooky." She told me about one story in particular that happened to their family one evening as the sun was setting and they were about ready to enter their home in the stonewall. They could hear someone chanting in Hawaiian and went to check the pasture below the pig pen. They noticed an old Hawaiian person looking in the direction of the stone wall. When he noticed the guinea pig family, he stopped chanting. He looked at Heihei and nodded to her. She walked up to him and stared at him. He asked her if she saw a small round rock in the stonewall. All she could do was squeak at him. He started to oli oli and all of sudden she realized that she could speak. He asked if she knew where his pohaku was? Heihei said that she did and led him to the small stone that she had seen in the stonewall. This person who she realized later to be a "Kahuna" was so happy with his pohaku and when he held it to his nose, he vanished. The Kahuna was the one that gave Heihei the gift of speech and set the Kapu of not speaking to anyone. Heihei told me many more stories and I'll tell you about it another time.

One day I noticed that Heihei kept staring out the window looking in the direction of the stonewall. It was the first time that I had seen her do that. When I asked her what was wrong, she said that there was a strange feeling she had and she was longing for her home in the stonewall. I had noticed for several days there was a large black guinea pig squeaking at the window of my room and Heihei answered him. I then realized that he was her "friend."

I took Heihei out to the stonewall and put her down and told her that I loved her very much. If she would ever need me, just call by my window and I'd be there. She made a squeaking noise and all of a sudden this big black guinea pig appeared from the stonewalls. She ran to him and turned around and looked at me saying, "Aloha no, me ke aloha pumehana." With that she disappeared. Several months went by and I saw Heihei again. This time she had 6 little baby guinea pigs following her, completely black with white circles around their eyes. They looked at me and with one high pitched voice said, "Aloha."

That was the last I saw of Heihei and her family. As I grew up I kept checking the stonewall but could never find Heihei. At 13 I left home to board at Lahainaluna High School and forgot about Heihei.

Now that I am gray and a Kupuna(Grandfather), I sometimes wonder if the ancestor of Heihei still lives in the stonewall of the pig pen in Kula. I hope that whoever lives by the stonewall, have a little boy or girl who can experience the joy of youth with their power fantasy. Aloha ahui hou kakoa.

The moral of this story is that everyone has a purpose in life, no matter how they look. All Pau!

Hawaiian Translations: Olelo Hawai'i--Hawaiian Language

Aloha no meke aloha kakou----farewell with deep affection for you all
Kala mai ia'u---Sorry


Back to Top


Ho`iho`i Mai