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And now I come to that in Hawaii's history which provokes no love, namely: Centipedes and scorpions. In my wonder and in my why that they are what they are-and to what purpose, I can only say with Portia, God made them, and therefore let them pass for insects. God made the butterfly and the honey-bee; he made, too, let us not forget, these dreadful creatures.
"And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”
They are plentiful on the islands, and while their sting is very painful it is not fatal.
Moral or physical cowardice never seemed to me a virtue worthy of all commendation until I was an eyewitness to it in the centipede, and learned that at the least sound of the human foot it would run, and run like a dart (seeming to realize that it is one of a very bad crew, and will be killed if captured), its mail-like armor rattling along!
I could but laugh aloud with glee in thinking of my one more fortunate escape, and sing with joy, out of the abundance of my heart, “Shoo fly, don't bother me!” I killed, with pleasure, several scorpions (there should be a reward offered for so doing), but I let my friend, the native boy, undertake the centipedes!
So far as good looks are concerned, there is very little to be said in favor of either of these villains. But, at the same time, there is more moral beauty in the cohated centipede-I mean to say I was not able to discern in him during my stay a tithe of the despicable nature of the scorpion. It cannot be said that there is anything mean-looking about him, at all rates, for he is made out of whole cloth, and plenty of it.
I carefully examined one caught alive and brought to me in a bottle. It was a fine specimen, eight inches long, and for a part of its length over an inch broad. A perfect coat of mail of ugly, dull brown, strongly made and riveted, joint over joint, and plate overlapping plate, covered its body; two strong devil's (curved) horns on its head with which to plunge its venomous fluid into human flesh, if getting in its path, and twenty-one pair of wretched, web-like looking feet! Centipede--but not hundred-footed, after all. When I had looked at him, and spoken with him, to my heart's content, I most earnestly wished that I might never see his like again-ugh! On the contrary, the scorpion is a stingy-looking patched up affair, of no definite color-soft-shelled body; and with nothing generous about it, but its too-long, narrow, jointed tail-and its sting! which it carries in its sixth and last joint. Malicious, cunning and cowardly (in the the worse sense of the term), stealing stealthily upon you, with no noise, no warning, and often bringing a mate along with him! I recollect well a boy unconcernedly resting his hand upon the window-sill, and one of these creatures slowly sidling down to thrust in the dart, when the class, as one boy, shouted : “Scorpion! scorpion!” The natives even hate them, and it's a “bad lot," indeed, when they will hate! And the very names ! “ Centipede,” is not unpleasant, unmusi
cal; and, by the way, it is solemnly declared by many that the centipede sings! "Scorpion ”-sharp, burning, stinging to the ear! What's in a name ? A great deal, very often!
Whether it was that these uncanny folk did not wish to get my ill-will-did not want me to say anything bad about them in my own country-call any hard names, etc.; or, on account of my big bump of caution (for I was always speering about for them), that I did not receive a single sting, from them, during my long sojourn of years. I dinna ken! Nor do I care to ken! I will write no aloha for “the likes of them.”
I cannot describe the snakes in Hawaii, for I did not see one, neither did I meet with any one who had; but the native boys tell me there are some on the Island of Hawaii, and I know it must be so.
It is said that in Italy the horse will rear if he sees a tarantula before him in the road. At the Islands a woman will scream on first seeing the spider. They are very large, many of them simply enormous. But when new-comers learn that they are entirely harmless, and will not hurt you, even should they walk over you that they are powerful allies in helping to deplete the detested cockroaches, they soon lose all fear of them. Don't kill a spider. Long live Hawaii's friends! Aloha nui ! .
I noticed one day quite a big one on the wall of my room; he was like a most exquisite bit done in fresco; his body was nearly as large as a small teacup, and his legs described a circle equal to that of the rim of
the saucer. Oh, it was a fine specimen of the kitchen fiend's arch-enemy. My readers may fancy, possibly, that this is a Hawaiian yarn spun from the cobweb. Not at all.
The Fish Market at Honolulu, near the wharves, is a point of great interest on Saturday afternoons. The natives, men, women, and children, come in to town on horseback, from all the outlying valleys round about, and in gay, holiday attire, bright, flaming holokus (dress), red and yellow silk handkerchiefs around the neck, and men, as well as women, with garlands of flowers on neck and hat and horse! All are great and reckless riders. You will hear the jingling of spurs, the rapid thud of the horses' hoofs -the shouting of “ Aloha" as they dash by you, down the Pali road, and you will recollect it is highcarnival day! They come in not only to buy fishof which they are very fond often eating it rawbut to meet and greet their friends, as well. They carry off their bunches of fish neatly tied up in the fresh leaves of the taro, a member of the calla family.
The market is a favorite rendezvous for them. The meeting is a “treat”-not precisely a “feast of reason,” nor a “flow of soul,” but as they are a very affectionate and demonstrative race, there is a good deal of hugging and kissing, laughing and crying, all in a breath.
One comes to know in time that they are very emotional, and that their feelings do not often run too deep. It is with them, “off with the old love, and on with the new,” just when the fancy moves! They are as light-hearted as the negro, fond of music, fond of laughter, fond of flowers, fond of their national dish-"pig and poi," and fond of their country
-Hawaii! At this market may often be heard a noisy political harangue, for it is a great place—this little capital city-for “tempests in a teapot”-or sugar-bowl! Once or twice they have proved quite sharp, and even fatal, to more than one.
Leaving the market behind, and going north, up Nuuana street, which is one of the two streets running in that direction-Honolulu is very small, you know -and straight to the wonderful Pali, or precipice, you will find you are, for a few minutes, in a veritable Chinese, and a Portuguese, town of one-story, weather-beaten, thin and ramshackley-looking houses, shops, wretched restaurants, dirty-looking cobblers' places - curiosity - rooms, etc. A narrow, unpaved street, with not two good wooden sidewalks where two can walk abreast, you will here see. But, if you will persevere, after about half a mile of such, you will emerge into a clearer, sweeter atmosphere, and come into an avenue, of the same name as the street, wide, fresh and beautiful, lined with magnificent palms – Pride of India, etc., — lovely gardens and homes.
You will see in the distance, Mt. Tantalus and other peaks, two thousand feet high, with the sweetest of valleys between-and just before this road begins to grow narrower and steeper, you will turn off, may be,