Whu Builds A Cave

...Whu stood by the large rock they had come to in the woods. For a while he didn’t move.

“What are you doing, Whu?”

Asking permission to take rock. Always ask before taking. Asking rule very important.

“Who are you asking?”

Asking earth. Asking woods.  Asking ground. Rock belongs to them.

Evidently whoever owned the rock gave Whu their permission, for he stepped aside and waited until Aliss Elizabeth picked it up.

Wait. Must replace.

“Replace what?”

When take, must leave something else behind to replace. Your hat good.

“You want me to leave my hat as payment?”

Not payment, trade.

Reluctantly, Aliss Elizabeth took off her baseball cap and put it where the rock had been. Then she picked up the rock again and they headed home. The rock was indeed a ‘heavy’. She could barely lift it, but carry it she did until they reached her front steps, where she dropped it with such a thud that Herr Doctor came rushing outside.

“Dad, please help me with this rock. It’s too heavy for me to carry upstairs to my room.”

“Aliss Elizabeth, what on earth do you want that rock in your room for?” he asked.

“For Whu. We’re making him a cave,” she replied.

“Where did you get it from?”

“From the woods out back.  But it is okay, Daddy. Whu asked permission.”

“He asked permission?  Who did he ask?”

“He asked the woods, Daddy. I left my hat in trade.”

“You left your hat?  In trade?”

“It’s the Asking Rule, Daddy. Always replace what you take. Whu says it is an important custom where he comes from.”

“I’ve heard of an asking rule,” said Herr Doctor. “It’s Hawaiian. I read about it when your mother and I were there, before you were born. In fact, it was in Hawaii that…” Herr Doctor stopped himself. His daughter didn’t have to know everything.

Not just from Hawaii. All over ocean. Learned from us, long ago....