Menehune Mushrooms

I was on my way into Waianae Village to meet with the Pastor of the Waianae United Methodist Church. Halfway to the bus stop nearest our condo complex, I took a short cut across the lawn. A big black cloud rolled in – right over my head – and it began to rain on me! The patch of rain was no bigger than an umbrella – which I didn’t have with me – so I stepped to the side. The cloud lurched after me.

I stepped to the side again. And again And again. The cloud matched me step for step! I dodged the other way, stumbling off the curb and into the street. The cloud followed, but stayed near the edge of the curb.

I walked up the road, parallel to the curb and the cloud moved along beside me. I stopped. It stopped. If I moved toward the lawn, the cloud got blacker and the rain poured harder. If I moved away, the rain lessened.

I turned and walked back the way I’d come. The cloud still followed. Finally it dawned on me that the cloud did not want me on the lawn. I looked away from the cloud and down at the grass. There were hundreds of little umbrella mushrooms all over the lawn! There were also hundreds of miniature people! They ran toward the mushrooms and seemed to vanish inside!

I moved closer, ignoring the rain, and carefully knelt near one of the mushrooms. I wanted a better look and wished for a magnifying glass, but had to settle for my bifocals. I couldn’t believe it – the mushroom stalk had a little door, windows and … poof! It disappeared into the ground!

“Hey!” I shouted, then looked toward the rest of the mushroom village. They were all popping back into the ground. Only a couple dozen remained. I grabbed for my camera, fumbling with the case. I knew nobody would ever believe this story if I didn’t have a photo!

I have since learned what the islanders have always known, the Menehune of Hawaii are still alive and well and living among us. They help those they like, trick those they don’t, and get even with those who harm them. Luckily, I didn’t step on any homes, so I am not exactly in their bad graces, but I did rile them a bit – I guess that’s why all the photos on my camera came out blank but one, and it is very blurry, but you can just see the last mushroom disappearing into the ground.

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