HOW MAUI LIFTED THE SKY
At the time when Maui was growing up in his mother’s house, the sky was held up only by the leaves of trees.
So close did the sky press to the earth’s surface that all the leaves were flattend out and have remained so to this day.
The sky was a blanket upon the earth, imprisoning heat and darkness.
So low was the sky in those days that man had to crawl about on his knees to go from one place to another. One day Maui said, “The sky is too low! I shall lift it above the earth. I shall push it up so high that man may walk straight upon his legs, so high that the trees may grow tall, and the winds may blow free.”
He placed a magic tattoo upon his arms and then he sought out an old woman with a gourd calabash.
He said to her, “Let me drink from your calabash that I may push the heavens high.”
The old woman placed the gourd to his lips and Maui drank deep thereof. At once new strength surged through his veins and he began the prodigious task of lifting the sky. First, he pushed the clouds that lay low to the ground above the tree tops.
Then he braced his hands and knees against the earth and heaved with his back.
The blue dome of the sky gave way and bent into a beautiful arch over the peaks of the mightiest mountains. Then, with his two hands, Maui reached down and lifted the edges of the remaining sky over the wide expanse of the sea.
Now is the sky tall and serene except when dark storm clouds gather and hide the long slopes of Haleakala, and the fragrant Maui rains lash the lehua trees.
But these storms are only of short duration, for they are afraid to stay long lest Maui hurl them back so far they can never return.