"Alone?" asked Hi'iaka again. "It is no fun to talk to my shadow. It doesen't answer.
Then Pele called her own serving woman. "Go with my sister," she commanded and turned again to tend her fires.
The two journeyed. Hi'iaka sang with joy as they walked under lehua trees covered with blossoms. Then she was quiet, watching the birds gathering nectar from the blossoms.
Suddenly the serving woman whispered, "I hear the grunt of a pig! What is it a pig of the land or sea?"
"Both!" laughed Hi'iaka softly. "You hear the grunt of a pig fish. Someone is taking an offering to Pele."
A moment later a young woman appeared. She was carrying a striped pig fish and a small struggling black pig. "greeting to you woman in green." said Hi'iaka.
The young woman gazed at her, wondering at her beauty. "Who are you?" she asked in a low voice. "O beautiful One, who are you? And where are you going?'
Hi'iaka answered the second question. "We go on a long hard journey. We go through a dangerous forest, beyond the waters of Hilo, over the cliffs and beside the sea until we shall reach Kohala."
There was love in the eyes of the young woman as she said, "Let me go with you on that long, hard journey."
"Your offering is for Pele,"Hi'iaka made answer. "First take it to the fire pit, then return and journey with us."
Wonder and love had grown in the eyes of the woman as she looked and listened. "You yourself are Pele," she wispered as she fell on her face before Hi'iaka. "O beautiful Goddess, accept my offering."
"No I am not Pele. She lives above the fire pit. Go to her but make no mistake. You will see tall and beautiful women. These are sisters and servants of Pele. Look for an old woman. Look for one lying on mats close to the fire. You will find her well wrapped in kapa and stirring the fire with her long stick. Give your offering to her and no else, for that old woman is Pele. Go quickly."
But the woman did not go. "My offering is for Pele," she said "but you O beautiful Goddess, for you I have great love. If I leave you I will never find you again."
"I promise that my companion and I will wait for you," Hi'iaka told her. "You will find us here among the lehua. Go."
So the woman in green went to the fire pit and after leaving her offering, returned to the lehua trees ready to journey with Hi'iaka. The three went on all day, wading streams and climbing the steep sides of valleys. The sun set. "Let us find some house where we can spend the night," the serving woman said.
"No" Hi'iaka answered. "Travelers must sleep in the open." So each wrapped herself in her kapa and slept under the trees.
Hi'iaka was awake at dawn. "Listen!" she whispered, "Voices!"
As the light grew, the voices came nearer. Soon the three saw a company of girls who had come from a nearby village. They were gathering lehua blossoms and making leis. One girl ran to Hi'iaka. "Friendship to you!" she cried, as she threw a lei about Hi"iaka's shoulders. All the girls crowded around the three travelers and made them welcome. "Come home with us and eat," they said.
It was pleasant to rest, to eat good food and enjoy song and the hula. But Hi'iaka was eager to journey farther. "We are travelers through Puna," she said, "Tell us about the trail."
"Take this trail," the girls answered, pointing to a well worn path that led by the edge of the sea.
"The sun is hot on that trail," Hi'iaka said, "and the way is long. We love the shade of the forest. Is there no forest path?"
"Oh no!" the girls told her. "You must go by the edge of the sea."
"There must be a path through the forest," Hi'iaka insisted.
"Long ago there was a forest trail," one girl answered, speaking in a whisper, "but no longer do we travel through the forest for there is great danger."
(To be continued)